Insights Into Teens

Insights Into Teens: Episode 181 "Dealing with Toxic Friends"

November 13, 2023 Madison and Joseph Whalen Season 5 Episode 181
Insights Into Teens
Insights Into Teens: Episode 181 "Dealing with Toxic Friends"
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

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!

An original podcast by a husband and wife team of self professed pop-culture geeks. It is a discussion about all things entertainment from movies and music to television and pop culture. We examine some of the more obscure aspects of the entertainment industry.

Speaker 1:

Insightful Podcasts by Informative Hosts. 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.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to Insights into Teens. This is episode 181, Dealing with Toxic Friends. I'm your host, Joseph Whalen, and my creative and inspired co-host, Madison Whalen. Hi everyone how are you doing today, Maddie?

Speaker 3:

I'm alright. How about you?

Speaker 2:

I'm doing okay. Before we get into any deep topics today, I did want to offer a quick programming note. Last week our episode 180 episode ran a little bit longer than they normally do. We ran into some video production issues in the last segment there. I had to put some makeshift solution together to finish that last week. Hopefully we won't have that problem this week. I've changed the storage location. I just wanted to apologize to the audience for that if that caused any inconvenience. Besides that, what new is going on with you?

Speaker 3:

Well, not too much. I'm on break now, which is fun.

Speaker 2:

So how long you on break for?

Speaker 3:

Up until Monday.

Speaker 2:

Okay, this is for.

Speaker 3:

I think it's like in service, but also for like veterans.

Speaker 2:

Veterans Day. Yeah, that's cool, doing anything, anything planned, anything interesting.

Speaker 3:

I mean, I'm hanging out with one of my friends on Friday, so that's fun.

Speaker 2:

Well, there you go. You're being social. Look at that.

Speaker 3:

I know it doesn't always happen.

Speaker 2:

Well, is it one of your toxic friends, though, that you're hanging out with, or you know, non-toxic?

Speaker 3:

Non-toxic, that's good.

Speaker 2:

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 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. 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. 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 subscribe right into us. I already invited them to subscribe. You can subscribe twice, we don't mind. But I would also invite you to write in, give us your feedback, tell us how we're doing, give us suggestions for show topics. You can email us at comments at insightsintothingscom. You can find us on Twitter or X or whatever we're calling it this week at insights, underscore things. Or you can find links to all of our social media and much more on our official website at wwwinsightsintothingscom Shall we.

Speaker 3:

We shall.

Speaker 2:

We shall so. Research for our topic this week has come from a resource that we've kind of been going to well a lot with lately, and that's the Newport Academy. They say that adolescents emphasize is 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. Adults 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.

Speaker 3:

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, 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 quote mean girl dynamics, such as exclusion, betrayal, rumors and shaming. Such situations might lead parents to disapprove of their teen 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.

Speaker 2:

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.

Speaker 3:

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, crushing 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 or gaslighting them if they try to call them out on their behavior.

Speaker 2:

So we threw a big word out there reciprocity. You know what reciprocity actually is.

Speaker 3:

Unfortunately no.

Speaker 2:

So reciprocity is a very fancy word, for if you do something to me, I want to do something to you.

Speaker 3:

I was going to say it sounded similar to reciprocate, which I do know.

Speaker 2:

That's exactly what it is. It's doing something back to somebody else when they do it to 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?

Speaker 3:

Honestly I would. I think I did at least have one. 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.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, 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 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 that he did Nothing, you know, no breaking the laws or anything dangerous or anything, but just stupid stuff the kids would get into. And you know, my parents tried to point out to me that he was toxic to me and they didn't like him in various other non-flattering descriptive words. And I, you know he was my friend, 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 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?

Speaker 3:

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 she was the only other one I interacted with. So you know, 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.

Speaker 1:

So you know, it's whatever.

Speaker 3:

However, there was one instance where it was. 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, 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, maddie, I think if you dressed more like your other friend, you'd be happier. 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, I'm just like what. And you know, he kind of went on a bit about saying how, like, oh, if you dress 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, 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 like and it was kind of like the one time I really ever kind of got insulted, and it's like huh.

Speaker 2:

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?

Speaker 3:

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, 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 your 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. In fact, I'm not sure to them than they am to myself. So you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, anyway, that's another podcast all together Moving on. So the friend who was toxic 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?

Speaker 3:

Being honest, I don't entirely know, I don't really remember if he told me much about his home life or if there was anything he probably did. It's just, I never really picked up too much on it. But I think it kind of 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 again. Like I said, he had a weird complex when it came to his relationship with women, strictly romantically.

Speaker 2:

Right. And sounds like he was. He was compensating for something more than anything, really.

Speaker 3:

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. So I feel like in a way, it all could be connected, but I don't really have enough evidence to prove it entirely.

Speaker 2:

No, 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 two cents on it.

Speaker 3:

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.

Speaker 2:

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 back. 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, annual guild meet and greets and an active community both on the web and on Discord. The Second Sith Empire is more than your typical gaming group. We're family. Join us on the StarFord server for nightly events such as operations, flashpoints, world Boss Hunts, star Wars Trivia, Guild Lottery and much more. Visit us on the web today at wwwthesecantsefempirecom.

Speaker 3:

Welcome back to Insights into Teen. 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. Teen friendships 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.

Speaker 2:

Most important supportive teen friendships make teens more emotionally and physically healthy. Learning adolescent friendships help dispel anxiety 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.

Speaker 3:

Young humans are wired to seek out friends.

Speaker 2:

You silly humans I was going to say.

Speaker 3:

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 you teen as friends who are toxic, they may be afraid of the consequences of ending these friendships. Kids 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.

Speaker 2:

So what about the influence of teen friendships? Teens strongly influence each other, often mirroring their friends' behaviors a little in high school. Teen friendships can have positive effects by fostering support, kindness and empathy among friends. Some 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. 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.

Speaker 3:

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 relationships can result in loneliness, low self-esteem and emotional distress.

Speaker 2:

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 past what you can offer, seeking mental health treatment is a viable option, 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?

Speaker 3:

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 and you know I feel like those are more healthy forms of peer pressure because they've, you know, helped me expand my horizons.

Speaker 2:

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? Do they? Do you take away things from their personality that you find desirable, that you want to embrace yourself very often?

Speaker 3:

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 has kind of had a similar experience to mine, and you know they have been trying to get me to either expand my social circle, stop worrying so much about school and learn to just have fun. I'm still struggling on that route, but you know, knowing what they're like and how stressful their life is, and they're still trying to be, to have fun and to have friends and actually have more of a social life. It's like you know, maybe I could try that eventually. I'm doing what I can right now.

Speaker 2:

And you know what I think. That's all you can do in life, right?

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

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?

Speaker 3:

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 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. 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.

Speaker 2:

Do you feel right now that you have a sufficient level of friendship, that you're getting to support you 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?

Speaker 3:

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, 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. So, you know, I think it could be sufficient, but it could also, I guess, be better.

Speaker 2:

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?

Speaker 3:

Well, the thing is that was kind of like a new friendship in a way. It was one that kind of started and ended that same year and after my friend ended up saying I always kind of had this weird feeling about that friend. Like I said, he was very open about how he felt and it really never got brought up again, but at the same time 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 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. And I've realized now that that's not really an okay thing to say to somebody.

Speaker 2:

So do you think their intentions were positive, but their delivery came across as negative? Is that it? It sounds like that's what you're saying.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I don't think that he really wanted to insult me at the time. Again, I think that's just from 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's really not how that should be. 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 realized it and it's like, yeah, that doesn't seem like that's okay to say.

Speaker 2:

No, it was just bad delivery. It sounds like there, 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.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

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.

Speaker 1:

Insights into entertainment a podcast series taking a deeper look into entertainment and media Talking a lot. Our husband and wife pop culture fanatics are exploring all things, from music and movies to television and fandom. We'll look at the interesting and obscure entertainment news of the week. We'll talk about theme park and pop culture news. We'll give you the latest and greatest on pop culture conventions. We'll give you a deep dive into Disney, star Wars and much more. Check out our video episodes at youtubecom backslash insights into things, our audio episodes at podcastinsightsintoentertainmentcom, or check us out on the web at insightsintothingscom.

Speaker 3:

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….

Speaker 2:

That's easy for you to say.

Speaker 3:

Parents often wonder how to shield… oh my god.

Speaker 2:

Alright, once more with feeling.

Speaker 3:

Apologies. Parents often wonder how to shield their child from negative influences, especially when dealing with a toxic friendship. While 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 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.

Speaker 2:

To assist your child in this process, offer them insights into what healthy relationships should entail, assess 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, emphasize, sorry, emphasize. My eyes aren't doing too well. Too much glare from the lights, folks, sorry. Emphasize what a good friend provides. Well, let's try this again. I don't know, maybe it's just this segment, maybe you threw my timing off Fair enough. Once more, with feeling, Emphasize that a good friend provides support, encouragement, acceptance, trustworthiness and kindness and patience when they can't get their lines ready.

Speaker 3:

Yep, pretty much. So what to do when you don't like your teen's friends, when parents dislike their child?

Speaker 2:

So what to do when you don't like your teen's? That's a different podcast.

Speaker 3:

Different one altogether, folks. 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. Taking responsibility even if their friends act otherwise and setting clear behavioral expectations are vital.

Speaker 2:

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. Become 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.

Speaker 3:

So here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind when communicating with your child about their friendships. Here's what you should do Hide 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 the process… no.

Speaker 2:

Oh, you had it. I knew it was right there.

Speaker 3:

Encourage your teen to talk through and process difficult emotions relating to their toxic friends, and invite your teen's friends for dinner or other events so you can learn more about them.

Speaker 2:

What you shouldn't do, and somehow I always get the don't do ones here. The way we work this out, maybe on the bed you know bedcop 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. Don't talk over them or insert your own negative opinion about their friend, who is a bad influence, and don't forbid your teen from uh. Don't forbid your teen to bring their friends home, even if you don't like them. So… the toxic friend that you had, I assume mom or daddy did not have to get involved in that one.

Speaker 3:

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.

Speaker 2:

I do.

Speaker 3:

So that was one where you kind of got more involved with it. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

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.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I'll be honest At a point, through that friendship, until I ended up gaining more emotional maturity, and thanks to this podcast, in fact, that.

Speaker 1:

Thanks, podcast yeah.

Speaker 3:

Thanks, phoenicians. That friendship, like it, would always seem to result in fights. Even if we, you know, 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, we'd fight in the morning, then we'd make up in the afternoon. 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 and I will take credit for a good amount of the fights and Just the one you won, right. I didn't win too many of them.

Speaker 2:

I'll be honest.

Speaker 3:

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 that point, right, yeah, well you know we hadn't done the podcast yet.

Speaker 2:

I don't. You know, I learned as much from this podcast, I think, as you do, and hopefully the audience does.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So one question I did have, though, is you obviously handled 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 given them advice, or they came to you to talk about, or anything like that? Have you, have you played that peer, that that mentor role to somebody else who's been in a toxic friendship?

Speaker 3:

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, 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.

Speaker 2:

Now do they still come to you for advice at this point in time on things like that and the toxic friendship, a friendship or a romantic relationship that they were encountering issues with?

Speaker 3:

Actually the one it ended up becoming both actually, which was certainly strange. I did not expect that, because my one friend who 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 matured, they're still younger than me and they would get into fights a lot and like they both come to me, ask me for advice and I kind of told them alright, 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, 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 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.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

So, you know, I gave them the best advice that I could, and it went from a friendship to a romantic relationship between the two of them, which was certainly not something I expected.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. So do you feel comfortable bringing something like this to mommy or daddy, or both of us? If you were an antitoxic 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 know if they answer that one yeah. But do you think that mommy would be a helpful influence if you were running into something like this, and do you feel comfortable talking to her or me? There's an outside chance you might be comfortable talking to me, so I'll even throw that one out there.

Speaker 3:

I will say, if it had to come between you and mommy, it would probably be mommy on that, because mommy was is less Likely to be to openly judge my friend and like wow, really I'm that bad, no, it's just. 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 and it's a better mediator, because I feel like, like I don't know, I do feel like you would do a lot of the don'ts here.

Speaker 2:

And you know this is the second podcast in a row that I mean told. I have issues with a lack of empathy here. I think I'm getting the message at this point in time, guys. Thanks.

Speaker 3:

I'm sorry. Like it's a learning experience for everybody, I'm clearly working through my own stuff. You have your own stuff. We're you're still working on. You're almost 50. We don't, we all still have stuff going on.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, thank you for making me feel old, so.

Speaker 3:

Anyway, you want to ask me more questions and continue this going on.

Speaker 2:

I think I punish myself enough already today. I don't think there's any more questions. Fair enough.

Speaker 3:

I still love you.

Speaker 2:

I appreciate that. It's good to know let's take a quick break, we'll come back and we'll get your closing thoughts and then we'll wrap things up.

Speaker 3:

Alrighty, 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 obvious. 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. If that does a work, you might have to cut it off, and you know there's nothing wrong with having to do either of those things for the parents. Obviously Don't show too much judgment to the friends your kids hang around and you know I'll 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 the friendships. You know the good and the bad.

Speaker 2:

I sense I just lost several nominations for father 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 what I'll once again encourage our listening and viewing audience. If you don't do so already, please subscribe to the podcast. You can find audio and video versions listed as insights into things. You can also find high quality audio versions listed as insights into teens, and we're available on Apple, spotify, etc. Etc. Give us your feedback. Maybe you too can criticize me and tell me how mean and heartless I am. You can email us at comments and insights into things. Calm, we do stream five days a week on twitch at twitchtv Slash insights into things. If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, you do get a free monthly twitch Prime subscription. We'd appreciate you could through that our way. It helps us keep the lights on here. You can also find us on Facebook at Facebook comm. Slash insights into things or that and much more can be found on our website at wwwinsightsintothingscom, and you although I have no idea how this one's gonna go. Wow, that is marketing genius right there. Folks Check out these other podcasts. They're a dying breed. Catch them before they're gone. That's it another one in the books.

Speaker 1:

You.

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