11 Signs Your Friendship is Toxic

Genuine friendship is a beautiful thing. Friends make you laugh and smile, and support you no matter what. However, not everyone you come across will have the best intentions at heart. Getting caught up in a damaging friendship is draining and time-consuming, to say the least. You should avoid them at all costs.

“Toxic relationships are all about trying to get something from you,”. “The relationship is not about you at all; it’s all for the other person. It’s about their needs and your needs become less and less important.” If you feel as though your friend is always taking (and never giving), that’s a real red flag.

The drama follows people for a reason. “You know they’ve got a drama and you want to help them. You take that person under your wing but you very quickly get drawn into that web,”. “It’s very difficult to get out of that without seeming as though you’re unkind.”

Being showered with attention can be a wonderful feeling but it soon turns dark. “If somebody has low self-esteem, they can feel quite flattered by the attention initially,”. “It can feel as though they’re needed and wanted. But then they start to notice that it’s not as nice as it was but they don’t have the confidence to speak their mind.”

Friends are meant to support you and your dreams. However, toxic friends may do the opposite. “Are they constantly trying to stop you? So, when you have an idea or want to do something that doesn’t involve them, are they coming up with reasons why that’s not right for you?”. “They can be quite manipulative.”

Everyone needs boundaries. For example, if your friend constantly calls you late at night, that could be a real issue. “They may be someone who is constantly ringing you at night with drama,”. “Perhaps they ring you and they are in tears.”

“Anything new that you want to try, they might say ‘what if it goes wrong?’ They also criticize your appearance,”. “They may not do it outright, but they may criticize how you dress or what your hair looks like. You feeling good about yourself can be a threat to them.”

Of course, we all want someone to care about us. However, at a certain point, that caring can be too intense to handle. “It can actually feel as though they care because they are giving so much time to you,”. “Remember, it’s all about them and not about you.”

“One of the aims of somebody who is in a toxic friendship is to isolate you. So, what you’ll find is they’ll start talking about your other friends,”. “And then you’ll hear rumors that they’ve been talking about you but you can’t believe that because they are such a good friend so you start to doubt yourself.”

There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition but watch out for this toxic trait. “They can be jealous of you as a person—not just your other friends. The whole thing is about feeling better about themselves,”. “They’ve got someone to compete with. When they compete, it gives them that sense of purpose.”

Beware of any form of aggression. It’s more than toxic and you need to walk away. “If someone is aggressive, that’s a red flag and that friendship needs to be ended,”. “You need to be letting other people know that there’s aggression and taking steps to put your safety in place.”

One of the biggest red flags you may notice is with yourself. All of the above tactics could make you feel ashamed. “Don’t feel guilty,”. “Don’t feel like you’re a bad person. You’ve got to put your mental health first. There’s obviously something that’s not right that you have to address.”