If lately, you’ve felt like your “friend” is no longer the best option for you, you’re probably in a toxic friendship. Signs of a toxic friendship are often imperceptible.
We all have friends because we need them to provide and receive strength and support. Healthy friendships give off security, safety, empowerment, and uplift. A buddy is a real friend when they serve as a constant reminder of everything you are rather than everything you are not.
But when you start to feel energetically exhausted and emotionally drained after spending time with your friend, it’s a red flag that something is wrong.
That said, toxic friendships are not always conspicuous. The reason this article will highlight signs that indicate you might be in a toxic friendship.
Signs of a toxic friend include; emotional abuse, constant competition, disliking their company, and behaving erratically when you’re around them. A genuine friend should compliment you, not put you down. They should not make you question your judgment by misrepresenting facts.
20 Signs You are in a Toxic Friendship
The following signs will tell you whether you’re in a toxic friendship.
- You Feel Exhausted Physically
Pay close attention to your body when you’re with the buddy or when you consider contacting them. Your body has a way of communicating with you when you’re around someone else. Are you tense, calm, or cheerful? Consider your physical and emotional responses whenever your friend’s name appears on the phone screen.
- You Feel Unsupported
Instead of downplaying your success, your buddies ought to applaud it. Avoid a friend who snarkily remarks when sharing your successes or good news. Healthy friendships are characterized by support and encouragement rather than jealousy or snobbery.
The motivational speeches should be reciprocal. A friend should be a support system to share your struggles and success.
- Being Yourself is Impossible
If your friend doesn’t appreciate you for who you are and pushes you to make unnatural changes to your personality or looks, that is another symptom of a toxic friendship. A genuine buddy wouldn’t advocate for you to alter who you are. Your friends should encourage you to be your best self, not someone else.
- Everything is Centered on Them
Like any other kind of relationship, friendship is a two-way partnership. If your friend makes everything about them without showing interest in what you are going through, it’s time to call it quits. For instance, they might find a way to make the conversation about themselves and their experiences rather than giving you the time and room to share when you’re speaking with them.
- They Have Lost Your Trust
Trust is the foundation of friendship. It’s pointless to have a friend you can’t trust. It’s usually a clue that something is wrong if you don’t believe they have your best interest at heart.
For instance, a toxic friend might promise to pick you up at the airport but cancel at the last minute.
Building enough affection to maintain that friendship may be challenging if you frequently feel let down by them.
- The Friendship is Emotionally Abusive
Friendships have the potential to be violent physically and emotionally, just like other relationships. You might not realize that you are being subjected to emotional abuse because it can be so subtle. But if a buddy starts acting in a manner that is excessively critical, controlling, envious or prone to outbreaks of rage, just cut them off.
- Your Friend Gossips About Others
There are warning signs to watch out for even before a friendship turns toxic, such as when your buddy talks negatively about other people behind their back.
For instance, they frequently gossip about others and defend their actions by claiming they do so out of concern for them. If they come across as vindictive, cunning, or bossy, there’s a good chance that it will eventually affect you.
- You Don’t Like Being Around Them
If you did a happy dance when they changed plans to meet up the last time, you’re likely sick of working harder than the friendship is worth. It seems more exhausting when you’re around them. You might also experience more anxiety and headaches in their company.
- You Are in Constant Competition With Them
Healthy competition amongst friends has no negative effects. This is particularly valid if you work in the same industry or have children at the same time. But in the end, you should still feel good about your friend and want the best for them.
However, if you feel like you’re in a perpetual war that you’d like to win over every time, your friendship is on the toxic path.
- Their Advice is Not Reliable
You occasionally need good pals to provide guidance. However, if you approach a buddy for help and immediately regret it, that could indicate that they are toxic.
- They Diminish You
A healthy friendship should make you feel better, not less important. A toxic buddy will always put you down through criticism and other subtle ways.
- You Keep Fighting
Friends fight from time to time, which is normal. But if your fights generate more negative than positive vibes, it’s time to reconsider your friendship. If you suppress information out of fear that the argument might turn physical, that’s your cue to end the friendship.
- They Make You Question Your Judgment
They cause you to question your judgment. To cause misunderstanding and worry, toxic friends misrepresent facts. For instance, they might fabricate a story to escape accountability for their deeds, point the finger at you for their failures and cause stress in your life without taking into account how their actions affect you.
- You Feel Manipulated
Manipulation or pressuring you into doing things you don’t want to do are two indicators of a toxic buddy. A manipulative buddy may induce you to enter into a deal that appears fair but is actually unfair.
- You Create Excuses for Them
A toxic buddy makes you feel uncomfortable by making you defend their terrible behavior in front of other people.
- You are Humiliated by How They Treat Others
Some toxic friends are rude towards people you care about, including your partner, other friends, or even your children.
- You Suspect Their Intentions
Even the closest of friends are far from flawless, but having good intentions is usually a great plus. When you get the feeling that they are not genuine with their intentions, it’s getting toxic.
- You’re Aware of Their Negative Comments
Your friendship is probably toxic if your friend talks negatively about you. The trick is figuring out whether your buddy is speaking in your best interests honestly or not.
- When You’re Around Them, You Dislike Your Behavior
Subtle toxic friends can spread their toxicity to others. They cause you to exhibit less than ideal behaviors when you are around them.
- They Hardly Return a Favor
It’s likely that your friend is toxic if they constantly ask for your assistance yet are unable to reciprocate even the tiniest favor.
Your body goes under tremendous stress when you are in emotionally unhealthy friendships. The strain of navigating challenging or unfavorable circumstances produces a sense of foreboding and discomfort.
Therefore, if a friendship isn’t giving you what you need, it might be time to put it behind you. You are better off alone than in a toxic friendship.
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