Friendships are such an important aspect of one’s life. We all need friends around us. The friends we choose in our life should be encouraging and uplifting.
However, like relationships, friendships can be toxic too. As kids, we have many friends. But as we grow up, we are affected by a few negative things concerning our friends. And as smart, mature adults, we can differentiate between a good friend and a toxic one.
Know that friendships can be abusive and damaging too. If a friend is not serving you right or contributing to your life in any way, then you may want to reconsider that friendship.
Now that doesn’t mean you need to end the friendship altogether, but they shouldn’t be who you turn to for emotional support or confide in them entirely.
Here are a few signs to determine whether or not your friendship can be termed as toxic.
Good friends are like cheerleaders who support you and take pride in your success.
However, if they feel bitter when you acquire things they don’t have, instead of being happy for you, then they aren’t really your true friend.
If you feel like your friend is jealous of your life, your other friends, your relationship — anything at all — and can’t deal with it in a healthy way, then they’re not worth your time.
They can’t be trusted.
Trust is essential is all friendships and relationships.
If you have a friend you can blindly trust, and who wouldn’t break your trust, then you have a friend you can keep for life.
However, if you find yourself not being able to trust a friend—their intentions, their word, their confidentiality, then you might want to check the status of your friendship with them.
They put you down.
You should always feel the best about yourself. And your friend should only magnify that feeling and lift you up.
Some friends will be honest with you and force you to face tough facts, but that’ll mostly prove to be supportive and constructive in the long run.
But if your friend never makes you feel good about yourself and rather just constantly tries to discourage you or tear you down, then that’s not a real friendship at all.
There’s too much drama.
Friendships should be easy and stress-free. But if a friend seems to thrive on drama and is constantly sucking you into it, it may be a cause for concern.
Drama is a very big thing when we talk about toxic friends, for they seem to be surrounded in chaos and are often caught up in problems that you unwantedly end up being a part of.
They often humiliate you.
Teasing and jokes are a part of every friendship. However, if your friend makes fun of you in public and tells cruel jokes at your expense, then they’re being toxic.
Moreover, if you explain this to your friend and the behavior still doesn’t change, this so-called ‘friend’ is not good for you.
Healthy friendships should be about having your back and speaking well of you.
They drain your energy.
Friendships should make you feel happy and relaxed — and able to be yourself. Healthy friendships leave you feeling emotionally fulfilled.
But if you’re feeling anxious, drained, run down, or just fed up— there’s a good chance you’ve got a toxic friend.
Over time, surrounding yourself with such toxic friends not only erodes your self-esteem and sense of self, but affects your mental health, thus creating negative behavioral patterns.
They control you.
Good friends empower you and push you to be self-sufficient and independent.
A toxic friend will always try to have the upper hand in every situation and act bossy. They might always insist on being in charge of what you do or where you go.
They might even try to influence your life choices, such as your career, relationships, or future plans.
They are rarely there for you.
A true friend will always be there for you whenever or wherever you need them.
On the other hand, a toxic friend might always lean on you for guidance and emotional support, but will ghost you whenever you might need them.
They neither care about what you’re going through, nor check in on you from time to time.
They manipulate you.
Healthy friendships are open to apologizing, forgiving and being straightforward. But toxic friends can be really good manipulators.
They know how to twist their words, and what to say in order to get away with anything. They won’t shy away from guilt tripping you either.
If your friend makes you feel guilty for anything and everything, especially when they’re at fault, it’s time to move on.
Friendship is a two-way street. That means giving that tough love — and accepting it when it comes your way.
But a toxic friend may point that that you aren’t giving them enough time, and turn around and do the same thing to you.
They may also criticize you for everything, but not accept any criticism from you. Such a friendship is no good and may only harm your well being.