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Toxic Friendship When is a friendship no longer good for

Toxic Friendship: When is a friendship no longer good for you?

“Today, when people (especially young people) report toxic friendships, they mostly mean friendships where one side takes more and the other side gives more, so the friendship is too unbalanced,” explains Dr. Karsten Wolf. He also goes on to say: “Psychologically speaking, one can roughly say that every form of relationship (with one exception, we will get to that below) must be energetically reasonably balanced in order to be permanently good and sustainable.” Briefly, Dr. Karsten Wolf a healthy friendship like this:

“There has to be some balance between giving and taking.” If this is not the case, the friendship becomes stressful, energy-sapping and toxic for one side.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions. dr Karsten Wolf explains that in some cases a friendship can also work if it is not completely balanced energetically. “There are definitely friendships in which one side (viewed from the outside) obviously tends to give more than the other side and yet both sides feel comfortable and healthy in the friendship – this has to do with different personalities.”

Whether a friendship is toxic or harmonious always depends on how the two personality profiles interact. dr Karsten Wolf describes the types as follows: “Personalities with a predominance of the need for attachment and protection as well as a more anxious-avoidant personality type.” You feel comfortable in a friendship despite an imbalance of give and take. “In order to feel good and healthy, these people primarily need security through attachment, which they have to reassure themselves over and over again. It is not uncommon for powerful and dominant personalities to convey this longed-for security.”, according to Dr. Karsten Wolf. While some need security, others are protectors. What happens then: The individual with a need for attachment and security invests a corresponding amount of energy in friendship. If the other party keeps the promise of security, both sides can feel comfortable, although it can seem a bit unbalanced from the outside.”

Now, according to Dr. Karsten Wolf but also personalities who are particularly often perceived as a toxic part in friendships:

“A ‘take more than give’ can be found in particular in people who would like to be the center of attention, who are selfish, who always need a stage for themselves and their productions, who also have little empathy and always have their own interest in mind, sometimes can be particularly calculating and also manipulative.”

In these cases, the phenomenon of the toxic friend can also be described using technical terms: “In psychiatry, such personalities can be described as hysterical, narcissistic, dissocial, sociopathic or even psychopathic.”
There are also very specific behavioral patterns for these personality types, as Dr. Karsten Wolf describes: “On the basis of such pathological traits, this ‘take more’ is then presented either in a strong ‘egocentric clinging’ to the friendship, or in a pronounced ‘distancing’ in the friendship.

At this point in a friendship, what we described at the beginning finally happens. The toxic personality becomes a supposed mental bloodsucker for the other person: “In such toxic friendships, the ‘damaged’ side tends to feel drained, energetically drained like a vampire, as sufferers often describe the relationship.”

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