As an adult you probably have your set group of friends. The problem with a tight knit circle, though, is that it may have one or two bad apples - commonly referred to as toxic friends. You may not know them now, or you do know them, and already got rid of said friend. Toxic friends tend to be closest to us, and that’s probably why it takes much longer to identify them.
Here are some signs that can tell you if your friend is toxic:
Friends like these take joy in making you feel inferior. They criticize your appearance; they never have anything positive to say when you need encouragement. They lack sympathy and empathy towards whatever you may be dealing with. They compare you to other people or to themselves. This eats away at your confidence and can affect your spirit in the long run.
Such friends only come to you when they need something from you, or something done by you. They barely ask nicely and just expect you to agree no matter how busy you may be. If you happen to know someone they are interested in, they will act nice towards you to get that connection set up, and once they get what they want, they won’t talk to you for weeks or months.
Friendships are formed on trust and for many of us, once that trust is broken, it’s very hard to retain the friendship. You may have told your close friend a huge secret in confidence and one day you hear that same secret being spoken about in outside circles. You find out that they got the information from your friend and he/she did not even apologize to you for spreading your confidential information. Someone like that cannot be trusted with anything else because who knows what they would do with your personal information....
Ever met someone who doesn’t allow you to have other friends? Operative word being – allow. Since when do we have to get permission from our close friends to have other friends? Friends like these may claim they do not want to share you but in truth, they just don’t want someone else having the benefits they already get from you. They don’t want to see you associated with anyone else but himself or herself.
Jealousy is such a negative trait to have in a friendship as it can cause a lot of damage. Your friend should be supportive of you, not envious. The envy creates a barrier between you that will only get worse as you continue to excel and your friend continues to be jealous of your achievements. Some jealous friends can sabotage your work, your marriage or your life, while others will wish you the worst. That’s something you don’t need from a friend.
This is where the toxicity falls on you as a victim. People have told you over and over again about your friend’s toxic behaviour but you always defend them. You do this because they probably haven’t treated you in a negative way… yet, or because you’ve been friends for a long time and you don’t want to lose them. Defending them only gives them more reason to act the way they do and soon, if they haven't already, they’ll bring their toxicity to you.
Ever met someone who is always in a case? They overreact over the smallest things and cause drama wherever you both go, making it very uncomfortable for you and the people around you.
If you find yourself feeling a sense of dread when your friend texts or calls you… you are scared of what it’s about. You shouldn’t feel anxious about talking to or seeing your friend, if you do, you should ask yourself why.
Have you ever had to break up with a toxic friend? What did you tell them to end the friendship?