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8 signs of a toxic friend

The word bad friend sounds like an oxymoron…but it exists nonetheless. Is it time to throw out the bad apples?

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:

  1. They lower your self-esteem

    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.

  2. They use you

    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.

  3. They betray your trust

    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….

  4. They are possessive

    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.

  5. They envy you

    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.

  6. You always defend them

    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.

  7. They are dramatic

    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.

  8. They scare 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?

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Recent Comments (6)

  1. Hello Anonymous, thank you…

    Hello Anonymous, thank you for reaching out to us. What about the article or the content do you feel you disagree with and why?

  2. I once had a friend lime…
    I once had a friend lime that, realised how toxic she was and I let her go within me, but I need advice on how to confront her like rational beings and break it off with her

    1. Hello Amara, thank you for…

      Hello Amara, thank you for reaching out to us we appreciate it. We are glad to hear that you came to the realisation of the depth of the situation and removed yourself from it. From your comment, it is clear that you have a good understanding of the situation and want to approach it from a rational end. You could ask for a meeting to have a conversation with your friend. However, remember that even though you may be rational they might not be. Also, many people may not readily accept criticism which could affect your ability to have a constructive conversation. All the best!

  3. Hello,I’ve dated with a girl…
    Hello,I’ve dated with a girl for almost 3yrs now.On the process,she conceived and sired a daughter for me.Now she has become disrespectful,not recognizing me as the father of her daughter,she never show respect even to her parents and after councelling her several times,she hasn’t changed her behaviour yet.Is abandoning her the best thing to do?

    1. Hi Benbellah, 

      I am so…

      Hi Benbellah, 

      I am so sorry for what you are going through. It could be that she is going through Postpartum Depression (PPD). PPD is a serious mental health condition that can arise after giving birth. A women undergoing PPD experience mood changes, anxiety, and sadness after childbirth. I can last anywhere from 6 months to 12 months but it can even last years. Try to be patient with her during this time and instead of leaving her try to support her. This is especially if this is not her nature before giving birth. Try to have an open conversation with her and express how her actions and words are affecting you. It could be that she is not aware about how her actions or words are affecting you and your actions. Learn more about PPD here: Top facts about Postpartum Depression 


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