Friends can add colour and contentment to your life, whether you’ve known them for a short time or all your life. But everyone has, at one stage or another, had a friend who just seems to suck the life out of you with their constant demands, negativity, and manipulation. It’s often said that we can’t choose our family, but we can choose our friends, and sometimes you have to make the hard choice of talking to a friend about your feelings or ending the friendship.
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Friendships don’t turn toxic overnight, Tony Kanengone, a Soweto based social worker in private practice, says. “We all make mistakes. If a friend does something that makes you uncomfortable, talk to them about it. Friendship is about respect and acceptance, and if they respect you, they won’t repeat the behaviour that upsets or angers you. “If they carry on with hurtful or destructive behaviour, the relationship will sour and turn toxic, and you’ll need to take action,” Tony explains.