When you get to be my age (an undisclosed location in your 30s), you realize that friendships are sacred. They are necessary. And, as mothers, we simply do not have the time, energy, or patience for those who suck the life out of us and become as toxic as our 2-year-old’s dirty diapers.
So, I made a manifesto. Here are the seven types of women I will not befriend, and why:
1. The my-way-or-the-highway mom
You MUST breastfeed. You MUST baby wear. You MUST endorse free range parenting. You MUST vaccinate your kids. If your circle of understanding and openness is as small as a pencil eraser, you need to keep walking. Preferably a long walk off a … well, you know.
2. The chronic dieter
I’m all for supporting you making healthy changes, but I don’t want us to spend our every conversation discussing your newest smoothie creation (that tastes like farm dirt) or how many ounces you lost last weekend by taking a spinning class. I don’t want your obsession with your body to infect me or my kids. As a type 1 diabetic, I’m just trying to make healthy choices day-to-day and be thankful I’m alive.
3. The judger/gossiper
I don’t mind listening to the occasional vent and offering some gentle advice and support. However, if you are chronically judging and gossiping about a friend or relative, well, they say this about those who cheat: if they do it with you, they will do it to you. I don’t trust you not to spill my secrets the next time I’m not around.
4. The –ist or -bic mom
Fill in the blank. Racist. Sexist. Ageist. Homophobic. If any of these apply, I don’t have time for you. My family is multi-racial. If you’ll judge others, you are surely judging me too. I get enough judgment and ignorance from the general public, so yeah, I’m going to be picky when it comes to my friendships. And I don’t want your attitudes about others anywhere near my children.
5. The husband-complainer
Your husband doesn’t pick up his dirty clothes, spends too much time at the bar after work, doesn’t meet your emotional needs, is no stallion in the sack, and spends money irresponsibly. The occasional rant is one thing, but the daily dishing is another. The repetitive complaints put me in an uncomfortable position.
6. The faith injector
I’m a Christian, but I’m also a realist. People have bad days and hard times. Shit happens. Everything isn’t sunny, and no, not every situation has a “bright side.” Saying that something is “God’s will” or “everything happens for a reason” might make me hit you in the face with my Bible.
7. The all-about-me-drama-queen
We all need help sometimes! Need me to pick up your kids from school on occasion, grab you a latte when I’m at the coffee shop already, or bring you dinner after you’ve had a baby? Sure! But if the friendship is one-sided, it’s not a friendship. Being oblivious to my needs means we aren’t a match made in friendship heaven.
When women weed out the toxic friends, those who bring down rather than lift up, we make room in our lives for authentic, mutually-beneficial, lifelong friendships to form. Ask yourself, who in my life is causing me to feel worse about myself rather than better? Who am I allowing to treat me as less-than?
Are there any toxic friend-types you would add to this list?