Cutting the Fat: How the Deal With Toxic People

How to tell if a friend really has your best interest at heart, or is just using you.


We’ve all been there: it’s 7pm on a Tuesday, you’re just about to order Chinese food and watch Netflix before getting a jump on sleep. And then your phone rings. Your friend is on the other side, absolutely begging you to come out with her tonight, promising to be home before the sun comes up. Yes, she knows it’s a Tuesday. Yes, she’s aware you have work in the morning and need to look like something other than a glorified zombie in a blazer. But she pushes on, finally dropping the bomb, “Wow, you’re no fun anymore.” Now you’re enraged; I’ll show you fun, you think.

Cutting the Fat: How the Deal With Toxic People

Flash to a few hours later, you’ve been dragged out to a shady bar and instantly abandoned for the dude in the corner with the man-bun who kinda smells like stale cigarettes and craft beer. Three Cosmopolitans and a plate of mozzarella sticks later, she gives you a kiss on the cheek and heads off into the world with Man Bun. You get home at 3am and set as many alarms as possible to make sure you get up for work in four hours. Sigh.

We all have the friends that we love dearly, but always seem to drag us down. Whether it’s pushing going out when we’ve already got sweatpants and ice cream on our minds, or letting us go home with the weird guy that works in the 7/11, it’s a tough situation to be in. But is your friend a culprit of minor follies like forgetting to return a borrowed scarf, or major issues like borrowing over $100 and then not speaking to you for roughly three weeks. It can be difficult to distinguish a poison human from a flighty friend, and ultimately, deciding where to cut the fat. Here are five ways to figure it out:

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Avatar of Cristiana Caruso

Hi internet friends! I've had a passion for writing before I could walk and am so excited to be sharing that with you all. My goal is to not only entertain and bring humor into the magazine world, but to also empower women and raise awareness of the social and cultural issues we face. I'm an astronomy lover and a cheese enthusiast, as well as constantly hooked up to an IV of caffeine. Don't be a stranger!

Reader Discussion: 69 Comments

  1. Avatar of Melanie Mitro

    I guess I’m a bit of a people pleaser and I always believe that there’s good in everyone. For years, I’ve prioritized other people’s happiness over mine because I always thought that maybe if I show them how genuine I am with what I’m showing, they would learn to be genuine as well. Truth be told, it never happened. Not even once. If people use you the first time around, there’s no way they’ll suddenly realize that “Hey, she’s being real. I’m going to be real too.” That’s just not how it goes.

    • Avatar of Estelleakl

      Don’t we all believe that there’s good in everyone? But that kind of perspective isn’t always good.

  2. Avatar of M e l a n i e

    Friendship should be a very equal relationship. No one should be above the other and both of you should grow as individuals and no one should be dragging someone else down.

  3. Avatar of Laryssa Oliveira

    Toxic people are all over. My only problem is that they’re some of my family members. How do you even cut family members off?

  4. Avatar of O L I V E R A

    Friendships aren’t rainbows and unicorns but in the end, you should always have an excuse for that friendship to be worth the trouble. If you can’t even think of 1 logical reason, end it.

  5. Avatar of TARA WRIGHT

    When you’re a group of friends, it’s so hard to kick one out just because she’s being toxic. Can you just imagine if that was you and let’s say it’s a 5 VS 1? It’s unfair for the person. Kinda feels like bullying.

  6. Avatar of Tara Pavlovic

    Tara Pavlovic

    I’m never the type of person that would still treasure any relationship just because it’s been years since I’ve known the person. I hate toxic people in my life and I feel like my sanity doesn’t have room for it anymore. I feel like I’d go crazy if I keep toxic people in my life just for the sake of being with them for years. People can be our own flesh and blood and still be toxic. Nah, we shouldn’t have room for that crap in our lives. If you want to live peacefully, just scrap them out.

  7. Avatar of Kathy Hinojo

    Kathy Hinojo

    I know someone who was like this before. We weren’t exactly friends but she’s friend with my best friend. She always talks about why I have this and that even though she can easily buy something like that. I mean, she just hates it when someone has more than her. Like, WHYYYYY?

  8. Avatar of Kathy


    This is the reason why I only have 1-2 real friends. Being surrounded by a lot of people whom you call friends isn’t always worth it. Once shit hits the fan, I’m guessing that only 1-2 will be around to help you lean up the mess you’re in. It’s quality over quantity, people. Even on Facebook, you can have thousands of friends there but only a few would dare to react to your posts or even shoot you a message asking how you are unless they’re going to invite you into some networking scheme.

  9. Avatar of Gloria Castillo

    Gloria Castillo

    I was told that if you keep counting your good deeds to others, it means it wasn’t given from the bottom of your heart. Friendship can be really complicated.

  10. Avatar of Mona Conner

    Mona Conner

    Friendships can be toxic at times. But not all the time, so learn how to weight things properly. Friendships are usually deep-rooted and you can’t just decide to uproot it just because you want to.

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