Right off the bat, you have to know your boundaries in order to be able to point out some of the obvious toxic friendship signs. When you hear the term “red flag,” people usually correlate it with romantic relationships. But red flags can also mean warning signs that tell you that you should be wary of opportunist individuals, may it be who you consider your friend.
But how do you know? How are you able to spot that you’re in a pretty unhealthy friendship?
Here are toxic friendship signs you should be on the lookout for:
They compete with you.
There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition between friends, but toxic people like to compete with you at everything. Say for example, if you share a piece of good news, they top it with something greater. If you’re talking about a recent achievement, they’ll redirect the conversation to brag about their successes and turn away from you. Toxic friends overly want the spotlight on them. They want to be the only ones to be praised but refuse to congratulate you in your triumphs. Stay away from those kind of people.
Being around them is draining.
You know you’re in a toxic friendship with someone when being around them drains you out. A catch up gimmick with good friends feels uplifting to the core, while being with the wrong ones gives you the nudge that you’re not with the right bunch of friends. You will constantly feel “something is wrong”, and later on you will be able to confirm your instinct was right all along.
Toxic people have an uncanny way of bringing out the worst in you. You feel more combative, angry, anxious, and wound up after time spent with them. They influence you with things that you know could harm you like vices.
They only show up when they need something from you.
A friend is toxic when you are there for them whenever they need you but refuse to be around when it’s your time to badly need them around. For some instances they turn to you to ask to borrow something or ask a favor but when it’s your time to ask, they suddenly go missing. No, it’s not about the material things. It’s the thought that counts.
They let out confidential matters.
A toxic friend cannot be trusted. If your friend has gossiping as a favorite pastime, and likes badmouthing others’ lives with you, then they’re probably talking about you, too behind your back.
They are rude to others.
If they treat you nicely but bully and poke fun at others, then you have to pause a moment and realize you’re not with the right company. Observe how they treat others and if you do not like how they act around people, then keep your distance. Immersing yourself in those kinds of friends will not do you good.
You feel light and happier without their presence.
When you distance yourself from a toxic person or company, you will notice positive changes. Your mood lifts, your self-esteem increases, and you feel way better and happier about life.
They always complain and are very dramatic.
Friends who complain that you are not available enough, active enough, or understanding enough are not the kind of friends you should grow with. When a friend raises too many complaints about your shortcomings and makes you feel downright inferior making you question your worth, pull out from that kind of connection as quickly as possible.
They get jealous of you.
Jealous friends are not good for you. Toxic friends feel bitter about your new stuff, or can’t stand seeing you succeed in your career.
They stop you from improving and growing.
Friends aren’t supposed to hold you back from doing better in life. They’re supposed to be there for you while you grow and move forward. A true friend is going to be there for you when you need them.
The list about toxic friendship signs is long but you gotta trust your instincts though. If you feel like you’re in a toxic friendship, you probably are. If the “Friendship” is more draining than it is uplifting or gratifying for an extended period, then that is a sure. red flag.
A word of caution though. Sometimes, our friends experience difficult things that they can neither articulate nor manage, and their pain and anguish manifest in what we might consider toxic behavior. If someone is truly your friend, treat him/her with compassion and understanding. It might turn out to be a passing cloud and he/she returns to his/her normal behavior in short order. Otherwise, if you have said and done everything that you are willing to say and do, and the friendship remains toxic, feel free to walk away. Always remember to love and honor yourself. And also remember to be kind to others. Everyone is struggling with something but compassion goes a long way. Be a good person but never allow yourself to be abused. You are responsible for your own happiness.