Comments on
Cutting Out the Toxic Friend

Do you have a friend in your life that drives you absolutely insane? A friend who never takes your advice, makes terrible life choices, and always ends up dragging you into their seemingly endless stream of drama?

10 thoughts on “Cutting Out the Toxic Friend

  • September 6, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Dear Ms. Burleton:

    I rarely visit the site, although I should more and more.
    I have just read your short essay on “Toxic friends”………I found it compelling…….
    THANK YOU…I am happy that presently, among the perhaps dozens of emotional issues that plague me, the one described by you is not one. In that I have been a headstrong person, along with all my weaknesses.

    However, please do allow me to comment on something unrelated to your words.
    It is perhaps nothing that most will care to comment on, but something that has disturbed me just as I finished reading your very short bio/synopsis.
    It reads that you were born to “a very emotionally disturbed WOMAN” (my caps, since I have no access to italics).
    I can only say that your sentence comes across—–to me, and I cannot imagine that it does to nobody else, as magnificently callous……
    May I humbly suggest that the credit be given to that very emotionally disturbed woman and such credit should be in the manner of substituting for such a word—-woman——and instead made MOTHER?…….

    I cannot imagine that a person of your sensibility would have “buried” that woman as part of any act of “exorcism” of any and all “evil”, all the horrible things she passed on to you, most surely without true vindictiveness? Or….if indeed there was such horror to the entire story, which I would love to read (I believe it is part of your best-selling book) having been able to overcome such trials would not have offered you the way to humanize her……?

    “Woman”, used in stead of MOTHER seems so hopelessly cold, so callous, so…indeed…dehumanizing……

    My thanks to you.

    My honor,

    Raymond Louis Llompart

    • September 6, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      The tone of your response letter was so very judgmental. You know nothing of her journey, yet you chose to focus on one word. Sad really.

      • September 8, 2017 at 9:39 am

        Dear Kat:

        It is true that I “know nothing of her journey” but I do KNOW quite a bit of what abandonment by a mother can be, and how it may take a lifetime (if lucky!) for one to FORGIVE.
        I was abandoned by my mother, and was extraordinarily lucky to have been raised by my paternal Grandmother, who literally became my Mother.
        It took me decades to deal with what was the most overwhelmingly painful issue of my life, and during all that time I referred to her as “that woman”. Not until decades of therapy, profound searching, and contact with “that woman” was I able to finally humanize her and begin to refer to her as my mother, albeit my “biological mother”, since another had taken over the role in an extraordinary way.
        Behind the many stories that a great writer and speaker of everything humane MUST show is the capacity to forgive. Nothing will elevate you more than having forgiven those that willfully or not may have not only hurt but just about destroyed your life.
        Words are, of course, one key to a person’s complex understanding, and a short group of sentences immediately create an image in anybody’s mind. Thus, you can choose to stay silent—-or “complain”. I am honored that my note was published, and what I wonder is why there is no response from the writer——I mean from Ms. Burleton. Sorry, but again—referring to my Mother as a “woman” is a window onto a person’s psyche. That the person has chosen such a word and NOT “Mother” is a (perhaps very small?) example of lack of forgiveness, or at least a fault when it comes to a professional writer’s selection of words…..not just any words, but those that depict another human being, arguably one’s most important person in a lifetime—for good or bad.
        I stand behind my words.
        My Mother is no longer “that woman”, she is now my Mother, and I do not even have love for her. But I forgave her.
        “No one” has to, factually, forgive. But if I am here to “teach” and offer respite I think I should select words that are the most tender, the most, yes—-forgiving.

        Thank you,

        Raymond Louis Llompart

      • September 8, 2017 at 10:12 am

        Dear Raymond,

        Thank you for reading my blog.
        I chose the word “woman” because it doesn’t sound correct to say “born to an emotionally disturbed mother”.

        Thank you again

      • September 10, 2017 at 10:25 pm

        Dear Ms. Burleton,

        I am deeply honored that you took the time to respond to my note.
        From what we can see, there is someone who clearly felt more offended by my words than I would have imagined.
        If you feel offended as well, then please accept my deepest, most sincere apology.
        As ‘KAT’ has stated, I do not know your person, and without a context I should have refrained from a comment that was perceived ITELF as callous. It was not my intention. But I generally speak my mind very openly, and what I was trying to convey, and you can see it in my response to this person had nothing to do in and of itself with you or your qualities as a professional. Your essay was very much of help, I am certain to many, many people in this wonderful website which has given me a tremendous amount of sustenance over the years. it did not, as I said, “benefit” me because I have generally have been very aware of abuse (having suffered it greatly from the very beginning) and I have been able to steer away from parasitical people who lean abusively on others. BUT, the fact is that I enjoyed your words and have been motivated to the point of buying your book as soon as I have a moment—I believe I should find it on Amazon.
        I do not agree that “woman” sounds more correct than “mother”—-perhaps this is simply a matter of etiquette and I should not have even commented.
        Therefore, again, my apology to you, and again, I am grateful for your graciousness in responding. Never was I trying to “accuse” you of anything except to offer my thoughts concerning a word——nothing else.

        My many thanks to you, and my wishes for your continued success in motivating others towards behaviour that is healthy and life affirming. Very few things in life can be as fulfilling, as I have myself have found throughout the years, myself imparting words of hope to many, if “informally” since I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology and are steeped in everything from Freud to Horney to Jung and many other great thinkers.

        Very truly yours,

        Raymond Louis Llompart

      • September 10, 2017 at 2:16 am

        I was referring to the callous and judgemental tone of your letter…breathtakingly so, really. If your goal is to “teach” and offer “respite”, might I suggest you take you own advice and use more “tender” words when imparting your “wisdom”. I don’t know you or Sarah, but I can tell you this, by the tones of both of your letters I would love to have a conversation with Sarah, but not so with you. I would feel judged and criticized talking with you, which would put me right back into the victim mode I have worked so hard to overcome. You miss the most important thing about forgiveness…it is not for her mother it is for her. You lose alll credibility when you presume to know what was in her heart when she wrote what she did. Her story is not your story, yet you made it about you. I am not sure why I have responded twice now to someone who is so verbose in his anger and judgement of a stranger, and yet has such a dearth of self awareness he believes he is “teaching” others. If, as I suspect, you are narcissistic, then I have just completely wasted my time with you.

      • September 10, 2017 at 11:28 pm

        Dear Kat,

        I am flabbergasted in what I consider a response from you that is magnificently out of proportion.

        First, you have misunderstood my use of the word “I”, as in “if I am here to teach…”. The word has been used in this case as a hypothetical “you”, “she”, “they”…..

        Being criticized by anyone, unlike your feelings toward such behaviour has nothing to do with victimizing a person in and of itself. It is when the critique is abusive and demeaning that one has crossed a boundary and become heartless without the detachment required of such an act, of course depending on the level of intimacy. This is at the heart of Ms. Burleton’s essay.

        I as well as many professionals will tell you that criticism when constructive, is a way to help a person grow. No criticism, no growth. Sources of therapy are more aggressive than others, but it is a fact to the degree that one extends such a practice that it will go hand-in-hand with the level of it.

        In this case, I was perhaps incorrect in using the words cold, callous and dehumanizing. Alas, my mistake. They carried too much weight. But my words, please trust me, carry no anger. If anything, due to my history, exposed transparently to you in my previous response what I felt was sadness— if misplaced.

        By the way, there is general consensus in the discipline of Psychology and understanding of the human psyche that narcissism, Madam, is common to almost all of us human beings. It is to the degree that we develop such behaviour (including thinking, of course) that it can become a pathology.

        My apology to you, especially because I can perceive that your response has been quite emotional over what was, to me, an issue of language and mostly etiquette——not anything to do with passion. Again, my choice of words was perhaps too severe. I am sorry if I offended you.


        Raymond Louis Llompart

  • September 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    I had/have a work related friend who was very supportive in one sense but horribly emotionally abusive in other ways. You were either with him or against him.

    Emotional toxicity is health damaging. It is important to move on from that environment.

    Once he was cut out from my work relationship, my life improved.

  • September 9, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks for this article. I was in a very similar situation with a friend who chose to continue to be married to her high school “sweetheart” even though he was abusive to her. He went to prison for strangling her but she is still with him. She will never leave him. Which is fine, it is her life decision but I cannot continue to listen to it. I have given her non-pushy advice over the years, most of it was just commonsense to me but she didn’t follow any of it. Now her son has a child out of wedlock and there is even more abuse which I refuse to listen to. I backed off recently listening to it and would change the subject. I received some ugly texts from her husband saying that I do not care about their family and don’t listen to her problems. Her husband told me that she is exhausted listening to my problems. I really don’t have any problems just every day things that happen with everybody. I am sure she is exhausted from her own problems. I have listened for over 20 years to no avail and I am exhausted with it myself. It is making me afraid, almost like I am living this abuse myself. No more. I feel betrayed because she was talking about me to her husband and her son because the text revealed that and he wouldn’t have known had she not told him. He told me I was selfish because I wasn’t listening to his wife and somebody needed to help her. I feel like this is manipulation. I have been there for her over the years and did encourage her to leave him once upon a time. She chose to stay. I tried to talk to my friend about how I felt and the text. She did say sorry about the rude text from her husband but when we got into the specifics of it and the betrayal it was too much for her and she ended up denying it and even said may be he thought you were my son’s girlfriend. That is even worse and I felt insulted. Here I am a grown mature adult and this young girl who got pregnant and does drugs who is a low-life (and I don’t mean to be harsh but it is true) he mixed up our texts. I don’t think so because what he was saying was specific to what she told him. She called me one more time and my answering machine just happened to be off so she couldn’t leave a message. I haven’t heard from her again but it hasn’t been very long. I am scared because I do feel bad cutting her out but her husband, son and girlfriend scare me. She had told me that we would be friends for ever in our last conversation. I was afraid at first she was rejecting me but when I thought about it afterwards I realized I have to end this relationship for my own sanity. I will avoid making friends with married women in the future who have baggage with their husbands. They always take their husband’s side in the end, no matter how bad it is.

  • January 25, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    I don’t know what to say of what’s going on with me now. I have only one friend. He’s 21 years older than me; so he’s old enough to be my dad. There are many times he comes on as a dad to me and I’m not crazy about it. In fact he can remind me of my late dad who was abusive at times.

    I like him because he’s all that I have. I hardly have any family to talk to also. We talk just about every night and it’s nice to have someone to talk about my day with. But lots of times he gets very critical and I feel depressed after talking to him. Also he has physical limits, so it makes me feel like I’m having to do all of the work to get us together. We don’t get together that much.

    He’s all that I have, so it’s hard for me to just get rid of him. If someone else comes along that I like much better, it would be no problem for me to just fade away from him. He never wants us to split up, ever. But I prefer to. So I don’t know what to do. It’s hard being all alone but then it’s hard having someone who does not understand me and undermines my emotions. Also it’s very hard for me to make friends because of how I am.


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