Is your friendship bringing you down when it should be lifting you up? Read the 10 signs of a toxic friend…
- Emotional Manipulation.
Most mates joke and tease each other but it’s only funny when you’re both laughing. If your friend constantly finds ways to put you down, then that’s a red flag of an unhealthy relationship.
- Me, Me, Me…
Is your friend only interested in their own needs and wants? Do they talk about their own problems but never seem to be available when you need them most? A true friend will be there for you, just as you are for them.
- Spills Secrets.
If your friend has broken your trust and shared something you told them in confidence, that’s a good indication that they didn’t respect your feelings or care about your privacy.
- Chaos and Drama.
Is your friend always at the centre of some drama or argument? Toxic friends often create a whirlwind of commotion that sucks you in, drains your energy and can even get you into trouble.
- So Competitive.
Your friend is always trying to get one up on you. If you showed them the phone you got for your birthday, they’d go out and immediately buy a better one. They can’t stand you having something that they don’t.
- Very Needy.
A toxic friend can be extremely needy and constantly demands your attention. They might call or text you all the time and kick off when you don’t immediately respond to them.
- Try To Change You.
Does your friend make comments about how you should change your hairstyle, wear different clothes or compare you in a negative light to their other friends? A good friend should love and respect you for who you are.
- “I’m Sorry… Not.”
If you call out your friend for their behaviour and they simply shrug it off with a lame non-apology like, “It was just a joke”, then they’re not taking ownership of their actions. They don’t care about how their behaviour affects you.
- Extremely Jealous.
Toxic friends don’t like you having other friends. They’ll try to isolate you from your other friendships and will say negative things about them.
- Liar, Liar.
Toxic people tend to exaggerate or completely make up aspects of their life to get your attention or sympathy. This could be a tactic to keep you close but it could also be a silent cry for help. Try to get them help if there’s a real situation hiding underneath all the drama, such as abuse, drugs or serious mental health issues.
Toxic Friends and You
Being in a toxic friendship can be damaging to your mental health. You can be left feeling ignored, self-conscious and alone. Having a toxic friend can also be stressful and make you feel uneasy because they can be so unpredictable. Most importantly, you don’t feel supported or cared for.
Set boundaries and be clear about the behaviours you won’t accept such as, “You need to respect that I have other friends and stop saying mean things about them”. If this doesn’t work, and they continue to act in a way that impacts you negatively, then it’s unlikely that their behaviour towards you will ever change.
Take time away from the friendship. Do you feel better now that you have less contact with that toxic friend? If so, it’s time to end the friendship and move on. Getting support and advice from your family and other friends will help you heal and can strengthen the positive, healthy relationships in your life.