Do you know what a toxic friendship looks like? Can you tell if your teen is caught up in one? Join us as we delve into this complex issue that’s become a common teen drama affecting their mental health. In a world where acceptance and social connections are everything, teens often overlook the toxicity in their friendships. We discuss how these relationships, built on manipulation, exclusion, and criticism, impact personal growth and well-being. We stress the importance of understanding that sometimes these toxic behaviors are the result of underlying, unspoken challenges like trauma or mental health issues.
Throughout this episode, we explore the influence of peers on personal growth. We all know that friends can make or break our high school experience. But what happens when these friendships turn toxic? How do we help our teens navigate this rough terrain without overstepping? We’re here to provide insights, sharing dos and don’ts of intervening, emphasizing the importance of open communication and transparency between parents and teens.
Finally, we dive into some actionable advice for dealing with toxic friendships. How can we create a space where our teens feel safe to share their experiences? How can we guide them without being judgmental? Listen in as we offer some practical tools and tips to support your teen in managing toxic friendships and building healthier connections. So, grab your headphones, hit subscribe, and let’s get the conversation started!
Insights Into Teens: Episode 181 “Dealing with Toxic Friends”
My creative and inspired co-host Madison Whalen
Friendships during middle school and high school are essential for teens’ health and development.
Toxic friendships involve cruelty, rejection, and shame, and can have a negative impact on teens’ well-being and mental health.
Parents can support their teens by listening to them, getting to know their friends, teaching them about mutually supportive friendships, and letting them decide for themselves who they want to keep as friends.
In this episode of Insights Into Teens we’re going to talk about how mental health treatment can help adolescents build self-esteem, confidence, and skills for building healthy connections.
Email us at:
Hi-res videos on Youtube:
Streaming 5 days a week on Twitch:
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Adolescence emphasizes the importance of peer connections, which can be both significant and thrilling for teenagers.
However, navigating relationships beyond the family during this phase can be bewildering and emotional.
Toxic friendships during this period can adversely affect teenagers’ mental well-being and create challenges for the entire family.
Such toxic friendships arise when mistreatment occurs, including gossip, hurtful remarks, and manipulation.
Parents may feel compelled to intervene and manage these toxic friendships for their children, but attempting to remove negative influences can have unintended consequences.
Instead, engaging in conversations with teenagers about their toxic friendships and empowering them to make positive choices is advised.
What Is a Toxic Teen Friendship?
In healthy teen friendships, there is a sense of mutual support and recognition.
Positive friendships are characterized by reciprocity, safety, and lack of judgment.
However, teenagers are strongly driven by the need for social connections and belonging, sometimes causing them to remain in toxic friendships out of fear of rejection and isolation.
Toxic friend groups can involve teens as both instigators and victims of behaviors resembling “mean girl” dynamics, such as exclusion, betrayal, rumors, and shaming.
Such situations might lead parents to disapprove of their teen’s friends.
It’s important to note that toxic behavior is not limited to teenage girls; individuals of any gender or sexual orientation can exhibit harmful friendship traits.
Parents should consider that their child’s toxic friend might be dealing with unspoken challenges.
Children who have experienced trauma or mental health issues might express their pain through problematic behavior.
This doesn’t excuse their actions but underscores the need for understanding and support.
While this doesn’t justify remaining in a toxic friendship, comprehending the reasons behind mean behavior can encourage compassion among parents and teenagers themselves.
Here are some of the behaviors toxic teen friends may exhibit:
Criticizing or making fun of their “friend”
Gossiping excessively, either to or about them
Insulting them in the guise of “helpful” statements
Trying to control their time or other friendships
Pressuring them to engage in risky behaviors, such as alcohol or drug use
Posting negative things about them on social media
Taking advantage of them
Dismissing their needs and preferences
Embarrassing them in front of other kids
Gaslighting them if they try to call them out on their behavior
Do you know anyone who exhibits any of these traits?
If so, do you know why they do what they do?
Why Teen Friendships Are So Important
Teen friendships are a crucial part of teen development.
Humans need to feel like they belong in order to be happy and well adjusted.
Middle school and high school are the most formative years for finding belonging and acceptance.
Moreover, teens are learning social skills, how to communicate with peers, and how to empathize with others through their friendships.
Most important, supportive teen friendships make teens more emotionally and physically healthy.
Caring adolescent friendships help dispel anxiety and depression, improve cognitive function, and even boost immunity.
While parents are always important in a young person’s development, teens need good friendships to thrive.
They often turn toward one another to deal with stress and difficult emotions.
And they support each other through difficult times and adverse experiences in and outside of school.
Young humans are wired to seek out friends.
If a child’s friends turn toxic, it can have a significant impact on their well-being and self-esteem.
The need to belong and be accepted drives teen behavior.
This is one of the reasons kids get into toxic friendships.
If your teen has friends who are toxic, they may be afraid of the consequences of ending these friendships.
Kids in both middle school and high school are highly motivated by the desire to belong, to be part of a group, and to gain the approval of popular peers.
The Influence of Teen Friendships
Teens strongly influence each other, often mirroring their friends’ behaviors in middle and high school.
Teen friendships can have positive effects by fostering support, kindness, and empathy among friends.
Positive behaviors of one friend can inspire others to be compassionate and helpful.
However, negative friendships can also lead to poor decisions and behaviors.
Parents worry about their teens being influenced by toxic peers or engaging in negative peer pressure.
Research indicates that teens are more likely to use substances if their friends do so.
How Teens Toxic Friendships Impact Mental Health
Toxic friendships have a negative impact on teens’ mental health, potentially leading to or worsening conditions like anxiety, depression, and isolation due to elements like rejection, cruelty, and gaslighting.
These unhealthy relationships can result in loneliness, low self-esteem, and emotional distress.
Teens affected by toxic friendships might exhibit troubling behaviors and emotional changes that seem unfamiliar and alarming.
Patience and support are crucial during this period, as rejection is particularly difficult for teenagers to endure.
It’s important to observe signs that suggest they require extra assistance.
If their needs surpass what you can offer, seeking mental health treatment is a valuable option.
How to Get Your Child Out of a Toxic Friendship
Parents often wonder how to shield their child from negative influences, especially when dealing with a toxic friendship.
While it might be tempting to intervene and control their friendships, outright forbidding interactions with such friends could lead to anger and frustration.
Prohibiting friendships doesn’t equip children with the skills to handle challenging situations and decisions on their own.
Instead, it’s important to allow kids to make their own choices regarding friendships, even though it might be difficult to observe.
To assist your child in this process, offer them insights into what healthy friendships should entail.
Discuss the qualities of supportive relationships and engaging in positive activities together.
By helping them grasp the distinction between positive and toxic friendships, you empower them to make the right choices.
Emphasize that a good friend provides support, encouragement, acceptance, trustworthiness, and kindness.
What to do when you don’t like your teens friends
When parents dislike their child’s friends, it’s important to prioritize the teen’s autonomy in friendship choices unless there’s a significant risk.
Staying engaged by getting to know the friends, inviting them over, and communicating with your child fosters an open relationship.
Encouraging responsibility, even if their friends act otherwise, and setting clear behavioral expectations are vital.
Toxic friends often struggle with personal issues, and they might benefit from parental attention.
Maintaining compassion while safeguarding your child from harmful friendships is key.
If you genuinely believe your child’s safety is compromised due to a toxic friendship, intervention might be necessary.
Inform school staff if dangerous activities or substance abuse are involved, and consider discussing the situation with the friend’s parents or others for insight.
Transparency with your teen about your actions is crucial to prevent feelings of betrayal and anger.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind when communicating with your child about their friendships.
Validate their concerns and emotions about their toxic friend.
Ask your teen questions about how they feel in the friendship and what has bothered them.
Encourage your teen to talk through and process difficult emotions relating to their toxic friends.
Invite your teen’s friends for dinner or other events so you can learn more about them.
Judge or shame them, or else your teen may stop coming to you for support.
Criticize your teen’s friend to your child, as that may force them to stop sharing and defend the friend.
Talk over them or insert your own negative opinion about their friend who is a bad influence.
Forbid your teen to bring their friends home, even if you don’t like them.
Closing thoughts shoutouts
[OUTRO AND CREDITS]
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00:00:03:18 – 00:00:53:17
Insightful podcasts by informative host insights into Things, a podcast network. Welcome to Insights into Teens, a podcast series exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison Whalen, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.
00:00:53:20 – 00:01:08:15
Welcome to Insights into Teens. This is episode 181 dealing with Toxic Friends. I’m your host, Joseph Whalen, and my creative and inspiring co-host, Madison Whalen.
00:01:08:17 – 00:01:09:12
00:01:09:18 – 00:01:11:00
How are you doing today, Matty?
00:01:11:03 – 00:01:12:18
I’m all right. How about you?
00:01:12:22 – 00:01:39:11
I’m doing okay. Before we get into any deep topics today, I did want to offer a quick programing note. Last week, our episode 180 episode ran a little bit longer than they normally do, and we ran into some video production issues in the last segment there. So I kind of had to put some makeshift solution together to finish that last week.
00:01:39:11 – 00:01:57:03
So hopefully we won’t have that problem this week. I’ve changed the storage location and I just wanted to apologize to the audience for that. If it caused any inconvenience. So we signed that. What was going on with you?
00:01:57:06 – 00:02:02:04
Well, not too much. I’m on break now, which is fun.
00:02:02:11 – 00:02:04:25
So how long you on break for?
00:02:04:27 – 00:02:06:12
Up until Monday.
00:02:06:15 – 00:02:09:12
Okay. This is for.
00:02:09:15 – 00:02:12:27
I think it’s like in-service, but also for like veteran.
00:02:12:27 – 00:02:14:04
00:02:14:06 – 00:02:15:21
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Doing anything, anything clean, anything interesting.
00:02:18:16 – 00:02:21:12
I mean, I’m hanging out with one of my friends on Fridays, so that’s fun.
00:02:21:13 – 00:02:23:27
Well, there you go. You’re being social. Look at that.
00:02:23:28 – 00:02:25:22
I know it doesn’t always happen.
00:02:25:25 – 00:02:30:19
Well, is it one of your toxic friends, though, that you’re hanging out with or, you know, nontoxic?
00:02:30:20 – 00:02:31:17
00:02:31:17 – 00:03:07:23
That’s good. So that is what we’re talking about today. Friendships during middle school and high school are essential for teens health and development. Toxic friendships involve cruelty, rejection and shame and can have a negative impact on teens well-being and mental health. Parents can support their teens by listening to them, getting to know their teens, their friends, their teens friends, teaching them about mutually supportive friendships and letting them decide for themselves who they want to keep as friends.
00:03:07:25 – 00:03:36:26
In this episode of Insights in the Teens, we’re going to talk about how mental health treatment can help adolescents build self-esteem, confidence and skills for building healthy connections. But before we do that, though, I do want to take a moment to invite our listening and viewing audience to subscribe to the podcast. You can find audio and video versions of all of our podcasts listed as insights into Things.
00:03:36:28 – 00:04:01:22
You can find audio versions of this podcast listed as Insights into Teens. We are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Pretty much anywhere you can get a podcast these days. I would also invite our audience to write into us. I already invited them to subscribe. You can subscribe twice. We don’t mind. But I would also invite you to writing.
00:04:01:22 – 00:04:30:00
Give us your feedback. Tell us how we’re doing, your suggestions for show topics. You can email us at comments and insights into things. Come. You can find us on Twitter or X or whatever we’re calling it this week, and insights underscore things. Or you can find links to all of our social media and much more on our official website at WW w dot insights into things dot com shall we.
00:04:30:06 – 00:04:31:13
We shall we.
00:04:31:13 – 00:04:38:03
00:04:38:05 – 00:05:07:13
So research for our topic this week has come from a resource that we’ve kind of been going at a well a lot with lately and that’s the Newport Academy. They say that adolescence emphasizes the importance of peer connections, which can be both significant and thrilling for teenagers. However, navigating relationships beyond the family during this phase can be bewildering and emotional.
00:05:07:15 – 00:05:50:06
Toxic friendships during this period can adversely affect teenagers mental well-being and create challenges for the entire family. Such toxic friendships arise when mistreatment occurs, including gossip, hurtful remarks and manipulation. Parents may feel compelled to intervene and manage these toxic friendships for their children, but attempting to remove negative influence can have unintended consequences. Instead, engaging in conversations with teenagers about their toxic friendships and empowering them to make positive choices is advised.
00:05:50:09 – 00:06:03:11
So what exactly is a toxic teen friendship? In healthy teen friendships, there’s a sense of mutual support and recognition. Positive friendships are characterized by reciprocity.
00:06:03:13 – 00:06:04:21
00:06:04:24 – 00:06:34:23
Reciprocity, safety and lack of judgment. However, teenagers are strongly driven by the need for social connections and belonging, sometimes causing them to remain in toxic friendships out of fear of rejection and isolation. Talk to friend groups can involve teens as both instigators and victims of behaviors resembling, quote, mean girl dynamics such as exclusion, betrayal, rumors and shaming. Such situations might lead parents who disapprove of their teenage friends.
00:06:34:25 – 00:06:44:15
It’s important to note that toxic behavior is not limited to teenage girls, individuals of any gender or sexual orientation can exhibit harmful friendship traits.
00:06:44:18 – 00:07:16:27
Parents should consider that their child’s toxic friend might be dealing with an unspoken challenge. Children who have experienced trauma or mental health issues might express their pain through problematic behavior. This doesn’t excuse their actions, but underscores the need for understanding and support. While this doesn’t justify remaining in a toxic friendship, comprehending the reasons behind mean behavior can encourage compassion among parents and teenagers themselves.
00:07:16:29 – 00:07:43:06
So here are some of the behaviors toxic teen friends may exhibit. They may criticize. These include criticizing or making fun of their friend, gossiping excessively, either to or about them. Insulting them in the guise of, quote, helpful statements, trying to control their time or other friendships, pressuring them to engage in risky behaviors such as alcohol or drug use.
00:07:43:08 – 00:07:55:18
Posting negative things about them on social media, taking advantage of them, dismissing their needs and preferences, embarrassing them in front of other kids, or gaslighting them if they try to call them out on their behavior.
00:07:55:20 – 00:08:00:03
So we throw a big word out there reciprocity. You know what reciprocity actually is?
00:08:00:10 – 00:08:01:18
00:08:01:21 – 00:08:08:06
Though reciprocity is a very fancy word for if you do something to me, I’m going to do something to you.
00:08:08:09 – 00:08:11:14
I was going to say it sounded similar to reciprocate, which I do know.
00:08:11:16 – 00:08:30:05
That’s exactly what it is. It’s doing something back to somebody else when they deal with you. So I didn’t want to leave that hanging out there in case anyone didn’t understand what the word was. So do you or have you had toxic relationships with friends in the past?
00:08:30:08 – 00:08:53:11
Honestly, I would. I think I did at least have one. I don’t I’m not in a relationship with that person anymore. And it certainly wasn’t as bad as it probably could have gotten. But considering what our friendship kind of consisted of, I’d say that it was pretty toxic.
00:08:53:13 – 00:09:20:04
Yeah. As a as a kid, and I didn’t realize this until later on, I had a very good friend of mine who probably would fit into the toxic category. And it wasn’t that they were mean to me or anything like that. It was I would wind up getting in trouble because of them. They were I would say they were kind of spoiled.
00:09:20:07 – 00:09:53:05
Right. So they came from kind of a more privileged background than I did. And just out of sheer boredom, he would do things that he knew were wrong just to get a rise out of his parents, because his parents were kind of distant from him. And by association with him, I wound up getting tied up with several of these schemes of nothing, you know, breaking the laws or anything dangerous or anything, but just just stupid stuff the kids would get into.
00:09:53:07 – 00:10:13:07
And, you know, my parents tried to point out to me that he was toxic to me and they didn’t like him and various other non flattering descriptive words. And I you know, he was my friend. He was a he had been my friend for a long time. And I didn’t want to hear what they had to say. So I ignored it.
00:10:13:14 – 00:10:28:18
And then eventually we wound up drifting apart. And that distance allowed me to see that he was a toxic person. How did you determine the person or people that have been toxic to you were toxic?
00:10:28:20 – 00:11:01:11
Well, the one it was kind of obvious. So I had this friend when I was a freshman. He was in my math class. And, you know, we started talking because my other friend needed to give something to him. And somehow that ended up correlating in us speaking. And apparently he had lunch with me as well. So we ended up so we would occasionally come over to me and my other friend because really we were the only two that and she was the only other one I interacted with.
00:11:01:14 – 00:11:31:15
So, you know, it was it was fine up to a point. He did have some less than desirable traits, specifically in terms of his view on his romantic relationships with women. And like, he was weirdly open about it and like both me and my other female friend were like, okay, you’re a bit strange, but you know, you’re respectful to us.
00:11:31:15 – 00:11:55:21
So, you know, it’s whatever. However, there was one instance where it was, so it was kind of eye opening at least afterwards. I didn’t initially pick up on it. At one point we were, you know, eating lunch and it was usual. And the thing is, me and my other friend, we had completely different styles of dressing. She dressed more feminine.
00:11:55:24 – 00:12:19:17
I dressed in like hoodies and pants and, you know, nothing wrong with either style. And at one point he ended up going, You know, Maddy, I think if you dressed more like your other friend, you’d be happier. Mm hmm. And that, like, came out of nowhere. And, like, I didn’t even really pick up on it at first, and, like, I wasn’t even technically offended.
00:12:19:17 – 00:12:40:01
I’m just like, what? And you know, he kind of went on a bit about saying how, like, Oh, if you just more feminine, if you wore makeup, I think you’d be happier. And thankfully, my other friend was like, Hey, I don’t think that’s an okay thing to say. So at one point he ended up leaving and then, you know, my other friend was like, Hey, be okay.
00:12:40:01 – 00:13:00:05
That wasn’t okay for him to say. And I’m like, Yeah, I’m fine. And we technically still talked afterwards, but I don’t talk to him anymore. And, you know, that always kind of stuck out to me. And I’m like, and it was kind of like the one time I really ever kind of got insulted. And it’s like, Huh.
00:13:00:08 – 00:13:10:25
Interesting. So you’ve had a toxic friend and you have many friends. Do you think you are a toxic friend to any of your friends?
00:13:10:27 – 00:13:32:04
I mean, I’d hope not. I try not to be, because most of the time I try to make sure that, like my friends are well taken care of. And in a lot of instances, I’ve kind of been considered to be the mom of the friend group in the ways that I would normally have all the stuff that my other friends would need.
00:13:32:04 – 00:13:52:25
And if we were ever to hang out, I’d always like we’d always be the ones supplying like the, Hey, we’re going to be at my house, Hey, we’re going to supply of food, hey, we’re going to do this. We’re going to do that. And obviously a toxic friend could probably do that. But I never try to demean my friends when it comes to when they ever come to me with like something that they’re struggling with.
00:13:52:27 – 00:13:56:15
In fact, I’m nicer to them than they am to myself. So, you know.
00:13:56:21 – 00:14:00:17
Yeah. Anyway, another podcast altogether.
00:14:00:19 – 00:14:01:16
00:14:01:18 – 00:14:18:25
So the friend who was talking to you. Do you know why they acted like this? Did they? Was it issues at home? Did they have a certain issue with you? Do you have any idea what their motivation was for acting the way they did?
00:14:18:27 – 00:14:45:25
Being honest, I don’t entirely know. I don’t really remember. If you told me much about his home life or if there was anything, it’s probably did. It’s just I never really picked up too much on it, but I think it kinda makes sense because the thing is, me and my friend, like he jokingly referred to himself as a womanizer, kind of in the ways that like he had this, I don’t know.
00:14:45:26 – 00:14:53:28
Again, like I said, he had a weird complex when it came to his relationship with women, strictly romantically, and.
00:14:54:01 – 00:14:59:02
It sounds like it was he was compensating for something more than anything, really.
00:14:59:04 – 00:15:30:15
Yeah. And to be fair, maybe that’s something to do with how he ended up getting raised. I feel like that was kind of, I don’t know, the way that he seemed about women, despite the fact that, you know, he technically respected me and my friend. I feel like that like something at home could have shaped his idea of his romantic relationship towards women and then also his perception of, I guess, how women express themselves by their looks.
00:15:30:18 – 00:15:38:07
So I feel like in a way, it all could be connected, but I don’t really have enough evidence to prove it entirely.
00:15:38:14 – 00:15:54:10
Well, and based strictly on what you just said, he sounds incredibly shallow and probably severely lacking in self-confidence, and he’s trying to put up some kind of front to compensate for these things. That’s just my $0.02 on it.
00:15:54:11 – 00:16:01:27
And he was open about it, at least with us. Like he never really hid that sort of thing. And he was like, you know, I’m like this. It’s whatever.
00:16:02:00 – 00:16:50:02
Yeah, that’s really not something to brag about. Anyway, I think we’re going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we will talk about why teen friendships are so important. We’ll be right. For over seven years, the second Sith Empire has been the premier community guild in the online game star Wars, the Old Republic with hundreds of friendly and helpful active members, a weekly schedule of nightly events and your guild meet and greets and an active community both on the Web and on Discord.
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00:17:25:20 – 00:17:49:26
Welcome back to insights into teens. Today we’re talking about dealing with toxic friends and now we’re going to discuss why teen friendships are so important. Teen friendships are a crucial part of teen development. Humans need to feel like they belong in order to be happy and well-adjusted. Middle school and high school are the most formative years for finding, belonging and acceptance.
00:17:49:28 – 00:17:58:17
Moreover, teens are learning social skills, how to communicate with peers, and how to empathize with others through their friendships.
00:17:58:19 – 00:18:37:27
Most important, supportive teen friendships make teens more emotionally and physically healthy. Caring adolescent friendships help dispelling society and depression, improve cognitive function, and even boost immunity. While parents are always important to a young person’s development, teens need good friendships to thrive. They often turn toward one another to deal with stress and difficult emotions, and they support each other through difficult times and adverse experiences in and outside of school.
00:18:37:29 – 00:18:41:18
Young humans are wired to seek out friends.
00:18:41:21 – 00:18:43:05
Silly humans. I was going.
00:18:43:05 – 00:19:09:07
To say, I thought that said weird for a moment. If a child’s friend turns toxic, it can have a significant impact on their well-being and self-esteem. The need to belong and be accepted drives teen behavior. This is one of the reasons kids get into toxic friendships. If your teen has friends who are toxic, they may be afraid of the consequences of ending these friendships.
00:19:09:09 – 00:19:18:15
Kansas, both middle school and high school, are highly motivated by the desire to belong, to be part of a group, and to gain approval of popular peers.
00:19:18:18 – 00:19:52:15
So what about the influence of teen friendships? Teens strongly influence each other, often mirroring their friends behaviors of middle and high school. Teen friendships can have positive effects by fostering support, kindness and empathy among friends. Positive behaviors of one friend can inspire others to be compassionate and helpful. However, negative friendships can also lead to poor decisions and behaviors, and I’m proof of that.
00:19:52:17 – 00:20:06:21
Parents worry about their teens being influenced by toxic peers or engaging in negative peer pressure. Research indicates that teens are more likely to use substances if their friends do so.
00:20:06:24 – 00:20:31:11
So how teens Toxic friendships impact their mental health. Toxic friendships have a negative impact on teens mental health, potentially leading to or worsening conditions like anxiety, depression and isolation due to elements like rejection, cruelty and gaslighting. These unhealthy relationship can result in loneliness, low self-esteem and emotional distress.
00:20:31:14 – 00:21:03:05
Teens affected by toxic friendships might exhibit troubling behaviors and emotional changes that seem unfamiliar and alarming. Patience and support are crucial during this period as rejection is particularly difficult for teenagers to endure. It’s important to observe signs that suggest they require extra assistance if their needs are passed. What You Can Offer. Seeking mental health treatment is a viable option.
00:21:03:08 – 00:21:17:23
And, you know, we’ve talked about peer pressure in the past. How influential is peer pressure for you on a day to day basis?
00:21:17:25 – 00:21:55:04
I guess I’m certainly not as peer pressured as I probably could be, although, you know, despite not being the most social person, I do still want to, you know, fit in with my friends in a way. And I guess none of them have really gotten to the point where they’ve pressured me into doing too many things. And if there was ever something that my friends had wanted me to do, it was usually just out of, Hey, there’s this new thing we’re doing, or Hey, I’m kind of not super into doing this either, but if we do it together, maybe it’ll be, you know, better.
00:21:55:06 – 00:22:04:26
And, you know, I feel like those are more healthy forms of peer pressure because they’ve you know, helped me expand my horizons.
00:22:04:28 – 00:22:28:24
That makes a lot of sense. Overall, how influential do you think your peers are on you? Do they inspire you? Do they? Do they have the do you take away things from their personality that you find desirable that you want to embrace yourself? Very often.
00:22:28:26 – 00:23:01:28
I mean, yeah, I’d say that a lot of my friends, like, have certain qualities about them that I do want to see eventually projected in myself, although I don’t know how soon that’s actually going to happen, because my one friend is like a year older than me, and this kind of had a similar experience to mine. And, you know, they have been trying to get me to either get expand my social circle, stop worrying so much about school and learn to just have fun.
00:23:02:01 – 00:23:22:22
I’m still struggling on that round. But, you know, knowing what they’re like and how stressful their life is and then them still trying to be to have fun and have friends and actually have more of a social life, It’s like, you know, maybe I could try that eventually. I’m I’m doing what I can right now.
00:23:22:29 – 00:23:26:03
And you know what? I think that’s all you can do in life, right?
00:23:26:07 – 00:23:27:04
00:23:27:07 – 00:23:38:05
Do you think that your friends today are having a positive impact on you? A negative impact on you or no impact at all on you?
00:23:38:07 – 00:24:10:24
I feel like for the most part, they’re all having a positive impact on me because if I ever need support, they’re usually always there. And the thing is, I have like I have friends, but they’re all kind of in like separate little areas where like I have different ways of socializing with all of them. Some of them I can talk to them about, like really like deep topics that like I have an issue with and I can usually, you know, get their support.
00:24:11:02 – 00:24:34:28
Other friends, I kind of just joke around most of the time and we don’t really ever get serious. So it’s kind of interesting. I do feel like I benefit from both relationships and the ways of gaining support from the friends I’m able to share a deeper connection with while also getting, you know, entertainment and, you know, feeling happy when I’m around my more comedic friends.
00:24:35:01 – 00:24:59:19
Do you feel right now that you have a sufficient level of of friendship that you’re getting the support you and and kind of nurture you through this part of your life? Or do you feel you’re lacking in some areas when it comes to the number of friends, quality of friends, that type of thing?
00:24:59:21 – 00:25:26:02
I think the quality is all right. And, you know, the quantity could also be okay. But I do feel like there could be there are kind of certain gaps. So but just because like in school, like I have friends, but I don’t see them as much in a lot of my classes. And it’d be nice to have you know, friends in my classes, but I’m able to see most of them every day.
00:25:26:03 – 00:25:32:28
So, you know, I think it could be sufficient, but it could also, I guess, be better.
00:25:33:00 – 00:25:49:10
So the friends that you have now are not toxic. I think we’ve adequately established that you’ve had at least one toxic friendship in the past. How did you deal with that toxic friendship and what impact did it have on you at the time?
00:25:49:13 – 00:26:20:13
Well, the thing is that was kind of like a new friendship in a way. It was one that kind of like started and ended that same year. And, you know, I after my friend ended up, like, I always kind of had this weird feeling about that friend. Like I said, he was very open about how he felt and like, you know, it really never got brought up again.
00:26:20:13 – 00:26:50:17
But at the same time, like we never really mentioned it. And then after this year, I never really talked to him afterwards. So I do feel like it has at least impacted me in the way that, like I kind of understand more of the ways that people can be toxic and the ways of how it’s like toxic positivity in a way where it’s like, Oh, you know, I do think you’d be happier, but you need to do this.
00:26:50:20 – 00:26:55:26
And like I’ve realized now that that’s not really an okay thing to say to somebody.
00:26:55:28 – 00:27:04:06
So do you think their intentions were positive? But the delivery came across as negative? Is that it sounds like that’s what you’re saying.
00:27:04:12 – 00:27:32:16
Yeah. I don’t think that like, he really wanted to insult me at the time. Again, I think that’s just from like a dated belief or whatever, because a lot of dated beliefs kind of seem like you say it in a way that’s like, Oh, I do actually want to help you, but it doesn’t. And you’ve worded in a way that’s like, Oh, that, that’s really not how that should be.
00:27:32:16 – 00:27:47:03
So I don’t think he was actually trying to hurt me in a way, and I didn’t really feel hurt by it at the time. But then it’s like I kind of I kind of realized it and it’s like, yeah, that doesn’t seem like that’s okay to say.
00:27:47:05 – 00:28:01:28
So it was just bad delivery. It sounds like they’re like, you know, not everybody, not everybody can express themselves in the most publicly consumable manner. I guess I can. That’s about as politely as I can say that.
00:28:01:28 – 00:28:03:08
00:28:03:10 – 00:28:22:22
All right. Well, we’re going to take our last break. And when we come back, we will talk about how to get your child out of a toxic relationship if they are in one. We’ll be right back.
00:28:22:24 – 00:28:31:04
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00:28:33:10 – 00:29:05:20
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00:29:25:20 – 00:29:40:22
Welcome back to Insights in a Teen. Today we’re talking about dealing with toxic friends. And now we’re going to talk about how to get your child out of a toxic friendship. Parents often wonder how to shield their child from negative bibimbap.
00:29:40:24 – 00:29:42:25
That’s easy for you to say.
00:29:42:27 – 00:29:46:15
Parents often wonder, how does she. Oh, my gosh.
00:29:46:15 – 00:29:52:11
All right. Once more with feeling apologies.
00:29:52:14 – 00:30:24:12
Parents often wonder how to shield their child from negative influences, especially when dealing with a toxic friendship. Well, it might seem tempting to intervene and control their friendships outright. Forbidding interactions with such friends could lead to anger and frustration prohibiting friendships. Doesn’t even quip children with the skills to handle challenging situations and decisions on their own. Instead, it’s important to allow kids to make their own choices regarding friendships, even though it might be difficult to observe.
00:30:24:15 – 00:30:55:29
To assist your child in this process, offer them insights into what healthy relationships should entail. Discuss the qualities of supportive relationships and engaging in positive activities together by helping them grasp the distinction between positive and toxic friendships. You empower them to make the right choices, empathize and emphasize sorry, emphasize my eyes, or I’m doing so well. Too much glare from the lights.
00:30:56:02 – 00:31:07:21
Sorry. Emphasize what a good friend provides. Wow. Let’s try to see. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just this segment. Maybe you threw me my time, you know.
00:31:07:21 – 00:31:08:20
00:31:08:22 – 00:31:20:19
Once more revealing, emphasized that a good friend provides support, encouragement, acceptance, trustworthiness and kindness and patience when they can’t get their lines right.
00:31:20:26 – 00:31:28:05
Yep, pretty much. So. What to do when you don’t like your teen’s friends when parents dislike their child?
00:31:28:07 – 00:31:32:07
So what to do if you don’t like your teen’s? That’s a different from a.
00:31:32:10 – 00:32:00:07
Different one altogether, folks. When parents dislike their child’s friends, it’s important to prioritize the teen’s autonomy and friendship choices. Unless there’s a significant risk staying engaged by getting to know the friends, inviting them over and communicating with their child fosters an open relationship, encouraging responsibility even if their friends act otherwise, and setting clear behavioral expectations are vital.
00:32:00:09 – 00:32:33:07
Toxic friends often struggle with personal issues, and they might benefit from parental attention. Maintaining compassion while safeguarding your child from harmful friendship is key. If you genuinely believe your child’s safety is compromised due to a toxic friendship, intervention might be necessary. Inform school staff of dangerous activities or substance abuse are involved, and consider discussing the situation with the friends parents or others for insight.
00:32:33:09 – 00:32:42:29
Transparency with your teen about your actions is crucial to prevent feelings of betrayal and anger.
00:32:43:01 – 00:33:03:03
So here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when communicating with your child about their friendships. Here’s what you should do Validate their concerns and emotions about their toxic friend. Ask your teen questions about how they feel in the friendship and what is bothered them. Encourage a teen to talk through the process. No.
00:33:03:05 – 00:33:05:13
No, you’re at it. It was right there.
00:33:05:15 – 00:33:18:27
Encourage your teen to talk through and process difficult emotions relating to their toxic friends and invite your teenage friends for dinner or other events so you can learn more about them.
00:33:18:29 – 00:33:42:05
What you shouldn’t do. And somehow I always get the don’t do ones. Here are the way we work this out. Maybe on the bad you know, bad cop here don’t judge or shame them or else your teen may stop coming to you for support. Don’t criticize your teen’s friend to your child as that may force them to stop sharing and defend the friend.
00:33:42:08 – 00:34:08:15
Don’t talk over them or insert your own negative opinion about their friend who is a bad influence and don’t for big Your team from don’t forbid your team to bring their friends home even if you don’t like them. So the toxic friend that you had, I assume mommy or daddy did not have to get involved in that.
00:34:08:17 – 00:34:24:24
No, you didn’t. Although I did want to bring up another friendship that I feel at a point was toxic. But now I still I don’t entirely talk to them as much anymore. But like, I feel like it got better and I think, you know who I’m talking about.
00:34:24:27 – 00:34:26:00
00:34:26:03 – 00:34:32:06
So that was one way you kind of got more involved with it. Yeah.
00:34:32:09 – 00:34:46:18
Well, and that was less about the friend and more about the environment that you found yourself in from time to time. And that was what was more concerning to me. I don’t know if Mommy ever shared the same concerns or not.
00:34:46:21 – 00:34:57:03
Yeah, I’ll be honest that at a point through that friendship until I ended up gaining more emotional maturity and thanks to this podcast and fact.
00:34:57:06 – 00:34:58:15
That thinks podcast.
00:34:58:15 – 00:35:32:01
Yeah, thanks for that friendship. Like it would always seem to result in fights, even if we, you know, generally genuinely cared for each other, we would just fight constantly. I would get in trouble because of that friend and it was just not fun for a time. And there was a point where it was just like, Oh, we’d fight one day and then we would fight in the morning because we had because we both were like in before and after care would fight in the morning, then we make up in the afternoon.
00:35:32:03 – 00:35:57:00
So it was it wasn’t an ideal friendship, and I can’t entirely say that it was the most toxic friendship or it was toxic in a way, but I can’t really blame my friend or even me at the time for it because we were both young. We had we were starting to go through puberty and we were both just emotional messes at the time.
00:35:57:00 – 00:36:02:17
And I will take credit for a good amount of the fights and.
00:36:02:19 – 00:36:04:15
Was just the 1 to 1, right?
00:36:04:17 – 00:36:22:26
I didn’t win too many of them, I’ll be honest. But you know, it was certainly a toxic environment. But I think that was kind of more so with both of us. And I know and you ended up mentioning you did a don’t where it was like you kind of mentioned your judgment toward my friend at point.
00:36:22:27 – 00:36:31:08
Yeah, Well, you know, we hadn’t done the podcast. I don’t you know, I learn as much for this podcast. I think, as you do and hopefully the audience does.
00:36:31:10 – 00:36:31:29
00:36:32:02 – 00:37:06:17
So one question I did have though, is you obviously handle your experience with toxic friendships fairly cleanly and definitively. Have you had friends who have been in toxic friendships that didn’t involve you but that you may have experienced with them or giving them advice or they came to you to talk or anything? Have you and you played that peer, that mentor role to somebody else who’s been in a toxic friendship?
00:37:06:19 – 00:37:28:24
I mean, yeah, I guess specifically to some of my younger friends, because I guess I was kind of considered to be, you know, older, wiser, you know, whatever. And They came to me and would tell me that like they had issues with certain people and like they were and like some of their friends were just not being great to them.
00:37:28:26 – 00:37:46:11
And specifically through my relationships with at least one of them and how it was kind of toxic and like how we would fight and stuff, I tried to use that experience in order to help kind of guide them in a way. I don’t know if it was the most effective way at the time, but that was kind of what I tried to do, at least not.
00:37:46:11 – 00:37:59:19
Do they still come to you for advice at this point in time on things like that? And was the toxic friendship a friendship or a romantic relationship that they were encountering issues was.
00:37:59:21 – 00:38:22:20
Actually the one it ended up becoming Both, actually, which was certainly strange. I did not expect that because my one friend who I, I had a couple younger friends and one of them would normally stick by my side and the other one I technically fought with. And by this point, you know, I’m emotionally mature. They’re still younger than me, and they would get into fights a lot.
00:38:22:24 – 00:38:45:20
And like, they both come to me, ask me for advice, and I kind of told them, all right, my main advice was kind of just let each other cool off and then I’ll help to mediate, you know, the situation, because usually if they conversed afterwards, it just got really bad and it was like, okay, you might want to let off some steam elsewhere.
00:38:45:22 – 00:39:07:18
Don’t interact with each other for a bit and kind of find your own ways to cool off, you know, take some time to, you know, collect your thoughts. And then when you guys are at a more you know, stable point, then we can convene because that’s how I ended up going through it. Because whenever I’d fight with my one friend, it was usually because I was riled up and couldn’t control my emotions.
00:39:07:18 – 00:39:18:17
And afterwards I would kind of have to step back, talk to some of my other friends, and then come back at it with a clear head. And if I continued to engage with that friend, it would get really bad.
00:39:18:21 – 00:39:20:04
00:39:20:06 – 00:39:29:12
So, you know, I gave them the best advice that I could, and it went from a friendship to a romantic relationship, the two of them, which was certainly not something I expected.
00:39:29:15 – 00:39:48:29
Interesting. So do you feel comfortable bringing something like this to Mommy or daddy or both of us? If you were in a toxic friendship, do you think we would help? Do you think we would hinder? I know what you think I would do. So you probably don’t the answer that one.
00:39:48:29 – 00:39:49:21
00:39:49:24 – 00:40:05:10
But do you think that Mommy would be a helpful influence if you running into something like this? And do you feel comfortable talking to her or. Or may you might. There’s an outside chance you might be comfortable talking to me. So I’ll even throw that one out there.
00:40:05:12 – 00:40:16:01
I will say, if it had to come between your mommy, it would probably be mommy on that, because Mommy was is less likely to be to openly judge my friend.
00:40:16:04 – 00:40:18:01
I’m like, Wow, really? I’m that bad?
00:40:18:03 – 00:40:18:27
00:40:18:29 – 00:40:20:10
00:40:20:12 – 00:40:40:17
Look, you would offer solutions and if I needed, you know, extra solutions, I’d always come to you. However, I feel Mommy is better at empathizing with both sides. One is a better mediator because I feel like like I know I do feel like you would do a lot of the don’ts here.
00:40:40:17 – 00:40:50:03
And you know, this is the second podcast in a row that I’m being told I have issues with a lack of empathy here. I think I’m getting the message at this point in time. Guys, thanks.
00:40:50:10 – 00:41:01:24
I’m sorry. Look, it’s a learning experience for everybody I’m clearly working through my own stuff. You have your own stuff you’re still working on. You’re almost 50. We all we all still have stuff going on.
00:41:01:27 – 00:41:11:13
Okay. Well, thank you for making me feel old. And I’m sure that. So anyway.
00:41:11:17 – 00:41:15:02
Anyway, you want to ask me more questions and continue this. Go on, boy.
00:41:15:04 – 00:41:21:11
I think I’ve punished myself enough already today. I think there’s any more questions that I feel comfortable asking.
00:41:21:13 – 00:41:24:15
Fair enough. I still love you.
00:41:24:18 – 00:41:32:17
I appreciate that. It’s good to know. Let’s a quick break. We’ll come back. We’ll get your closing thoughts and then we’ll wrap things up.
00:41:32:17 – 00:42:07:16
All righty. Okay. So to everybody out there, I just wanted to say that toxic friendships for the most part, are not good. And it’s important. It’s important to have them. Obviously. I know it’s important to recognize the signs for teens, understand that if you do have to end a friendship, even if, like you can empathize with the other person, if it is a friendship that’s harming you, either try to communicate as best you can with that friend.
00:42:07:24 – 00:42:37:21
If that doesn’t work, you might have to cut it off. And you know, there’s nothing wrong with having to do either of those things. But the parents obviously don’t show too much judgment to the friends your kids hang around and, you know of. Always offer support to your teen and don’t make it seem like, oh, I’m forcing you to do this or do that when it comes to your friends, because really, you know, just let your kids kind of explore or the friendships, you know, the good and the bad.
00:42:37:24 – 00:43:02:12
I sense I just lost several nominations for Father of the Year just on this podcast alone. Anyway, so that’s all we had today. I will be back next week to criticize me further. But before we do go, I do want to once again encourage our listening and viewing audience. If you don’t do so already, please subscribe to the podcast.
00:43:02:14 – 00:43:28:09
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