‘He drives me mad!’ Why don’t we dump toxic friends?

According to psychologists, ‘ambivalent’ relationships can cause us more stress than being with people we actively dislike. Is it time to let go – or can these friendships be salvaged?

Roger and Jim have been friends for more than 30 years. When they were younger they were in a band together, and their friendship was forged over a shared love of music and beer. Even now, despite family commitments on both sides, they manage to catch up every couple of months. “Even though he drives me mad,” says Roger.

It is Jim who leaps to Roger’s mind at the mention of toxic friendships. Every time they meet, Roger says, they “tend to have the same conversation”, because Jim never listens to what he says.

Continue reading…