Shut off the NutriBullet and listen up: you don’t need to hit the gym or pretend to enjoy an açaí bowl because we’ve found a detox that will make you feel great and let you EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT. Introducing the Friend Detox.
What’s the Friend Detox? It’s all about boosting your emotional health with quality over quantity. Instead of ridding your body of toxic substances, rid your friendship circle of toxic friends.
Sure, the thought of cutting off a friend might seem scary or even unnecessary, but if you don’t feel good about yourself around this person, you don’t look forward to seeing them, you subconsciously avoid their messages and your parents/siblings/other friends get oddly quiet when you mention them, yeah, they’re a toxin and they need to be gone.
But we believe in composure here at Style so we don’t advocate screaming, cattiness, rudeness, breathing fire, or delivering an ultimate punch, however warranted they might be. When detoxing your friendships, do so with the patience, compassion and resolve of Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and, of course, Oprah.
But where do I look, Oprah? Where?? After extensive research into toxicity at the lab, we’ve discovered the top five friend toxins to flush out of your system (ew) to give yourself a healthy start to the New Year.
“I’m staying at yours tonight, yeah? The taxi to my place is so expensive.”
“Oh no, I forgot my wallet again. I’ll shout you next time?”
“Come out with me, this guy I like is there but I can’t go alone.”
“That’s a bummer you broke up with your partner of four years. But shut up for a second because that guy just sent me a weird Snapchat and I’m going to describe it to you in detail.”
Whether it’s your hospitality, your money, your personal time or your kindness, Mooching Microbes take, bolt and don’t give a damn. And once you need something? “Oh man, so annoying, I have to babysit my second cousin’s hermit crab that night. Oh wait, your hot housemate is coming? Yeah, babe, be there in a second! You’re paying, right?”
How to detox: Turn off the tap. Politely but completely. If the Moocher tries to plead, guilt-trip or be nasty about your sudden financial/emotional frugalness, combat emotion with logic: is this friend broke, homeless, or friendless? No? Then what’s stopping them from doing it themselves/paying back the favour to you?
Whether this approach kickstarts a bevy of new, resentful excuses or even an embarrassed and ashamed silence, at least you have taken action, brought the mooching out into the open and made your position clear. Spend that newfound money on a victory lipstick because you just handled a Moocher.
Bunny Boiler Bacteria
The Bunny Boiler: an extremely toxic friend who is possessive, clingy, obsessive and will easily pull out all the stops to make you do what they want. We’re talking guilt-trips, exaggerated or fabricated personal trauma, erratic confrontations about nothing and vindictive behaviour like ignoring you, bitching about you or sabotaging a possible romantic connection (YOU MONSTER).
It’s also a Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction. If you really, really, really like bunnies, don’t watch the movie and disregard the name. It means nothing…
How to detox: Treat Bunny Boilers as you would a two-year-old throwing a tantrum: remain rational and don’t give their manipulative behaviour any kind of emotional response, or even any response at all.
Yes, this seems impossible when dealing with someone who is getting in your face because you DARED to accept a coffee date invitation from someone who looked at them funny. But since Bunny Boilers operate by taking an inch and running a mile, the obvious solution is to simply give no inches. Be cool, calm, collected and they will either quieten down and leave you alone or go nuts and reveal their true self to others around them in the process.
“He’s actually a great guy, he just gets that way when he’s drunk.”
“She’s not always that crazy, just talk to her when she’s sober, you’ll love her.”
“Sorry, your Honour, I didn’t mean to embezzle all of those people. I just get so saucy when I’ve had Chardonnay.”
As I’ve discovered, the courts do not accept that defence no matter how hard you try.
Yeah, yeah, alcohol lowers your inhibitions and makes you do crazy stuff, but honestly, if someone is rude, abrasive or pushy when they’re drunk, it probably just means they’re good at hiding that general crappiness when they’re sober. AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FO’ DAT!
How to detox: If this person is not important to you, feel free to avoid, as drunken confrontation is neither pretty nor productive. If this is a person you do care about, try communicating how their drunken behaviour affects you in a constructive and compassionate manner. (But remember to have the conversation while they’re sober.)
There could be some deeper issues, or they may not be aware that their behaviour isn’t normal or acceptable. If you’re willing to put in the effort, support them in adopting healthier drinking habits by going along for the ride, whether it’s abstaining from drinking, setting yourselves a drinks limit or just drinking lots of water between drinks. However, it’s important to remember that you can’t be someone’s crutch – they have to put in the effort and let you have a stress-free night.
It could be an ex, a fling or a friend with benefits – all we know is that the chronic creeper is a mysterious and (usually) unhealthy relationship. They often flare up at the end of a night out, when you’re feeling lonely or insecure or when you’re just bored. Although something fun, safe and stress-free is harmless, it’s when you’re making a disproportionate amount of effort or putting aside your needs for theirs that the dangers arise.
And not to play the FOMO card, but it’s important to consider what you’re missing out on if you’re too busy answering someone’s late-night texts and altering your plans in order to see them when they’re probably not giving you what you need.
How to detox: As the chronic creeper manifests in many ways, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. If you’re looking to feng shui your love life, ask yourself some questions. First, “Is this harmful to me or anyone else?” If the answer is anything but an emphatic “no”, it’s time to re-evaluate and think about what you actually need in your life. Is it this fling that slightly boosts your self-esteem but mostly makes you feel crappy? Or is it bacon? (Hint: it’s bacon).
We’ve all had that stellar bud whose first response to your exciting news of an achievement is a snarky joke, who has never paid you a compliment, and who thinks the moment that you’re surrounded by a group of fun, attractive people is the perfect time to tell the story of when you slipped and fractured your wrist when you stopped to pick up a 10-cent piece off the floor. THAT WAS ONE TIME.
You tell yourself they’re not that bad, they’re just insecure and their rudeness/bluntness/permanent stink-eye is refreshing! It could be constant bragging, condescension, relentless teasing or embarrassing you in front of others, but if a friend has to cut you down to boost their own confidence, they are not a friend.
How to detox: Maintain as little contact as possible and avoid one-on-one time like the plague. Sure, they will notice this and maybe they will kick up a fuss, but the fact remains that no amount of politeness, social cohesion or their own personal dramas is worth feeling bad about your self. Bye, haters.