Being friends with everyone is good if you are surrounded by good people, but letting even one toxic friend into your life can be very chaotic. Caring and always being there for your friends is well and good, but only if they reciprocate too. It is not just romantic relationships that can turn out to be toxic and abusive. Toxic friendships, too, can be very damaging and end up taking a form of mental abuse sometimes.
A toxic friend might not seem like an evil person, and they are probably not. It just includes too much friction. It is like being on a roller coaster, but not in a good, fun way. This kind of friendship brings frustration and exhaustion in your life.
Sometimes, both parties involved can equally be toxic to each other. Whatever your case may be, you need to realize that your friendship is doomed and will only cause more emotional turbulence in your personal life if you continue to sail on this sinking boat. We can easily point some signs of a toxic friendship out, while others are subtle and hard to get noticed.
Here are some ways that can help you find out whether your friendship is healthy or toxic:
1. They put you down
One of the most common traits of a toxic friend is that they constantly put you down. They make you feel worse about yourself and even stomp on you when you are at your low. It might not always be very dramatic. They might be very sweet to you, yet you note that they do not particularly appreciate you. They will always find something wrong with everything you do.
This can be extremely demoralizing for you. And if a friend is not overtly critical to your face and yet you feel that they are never happy with you or what you do, without making it apparent. Trust your guts and understand that they will never be happy for you. You deserve a better friend than that.
2. They will lie to get your sympathy
Toxic friends have a habit of lying to gain sympathy. They believe they are never in the wrong. And if you try to hold them accountable for their actions, they will always have an excuse cooked up. Most of the time their story will not add up.
These kinds of friends like to blame everything on the problems they have faced in their life, always playing the victim card even when they are not the victim in that situation.
They will always try to garner your sympathy, and to do so, they will try to justify their actions by blaming their past for the mistakes they make in the present. Whenever you will be at fault, you will be the bad guy, but with them, the same rules won’t apply. According to them, it is always the situation that is wrong and not them.
3. They do not practice what they preach
While a toxic friend might tell you all the things they want you to improve about yourself and criticize you, they cannot take the criticism back. They are hypocrites to the core. They will make you feel bad when you fall short or lack even slightly in your duties towards them as a friend.
But if they do the same, it is hard to make them see their mistakes or repent for them. They do not feel guilty about their actions as, in their mind, they are convinced that they justify it. They do not take responsibility for their mistakes expect you to take responsibility for yours.
4. Toxic friends can be very needy
Toxic friends behave in a very needy manner, making it seem like everything is about their needs. When they feel low or are down, they would expect you to show relentless devotion towards them. They might even have impossible expectations from you.
They would want you to understand them without them even having to explain things to you. If you cannot be present for them, no matter how important the reason for your absence might be, they will still make you feel guilty about it and hold a grudge against you.
5. They try to compete with you
A toxic friend might show they are encouraging towards you from the outside. But in reality, they are secretly very competitive and do not wish to see you excel. They are always trying to outdo you, be it at work, in studies, or even in relationships. Everything is a competition for them.
6. There is always a lot of drama involved
With toxic friendships, there is always something amiss or some kind of drama going on. It could be in the form of constant fights or periods of cold treatment towards each other.
Toxic friends may seem like an amazing person, or they may also seem like someone who needs your help. Either way, toxic people are often good manipulators. They will trick you into believing this amazing image of them, which will be tarnished later because of all the drama they will create in your life.
7. They rarely are good listeners
If you feel like your friend never really listens to you, even when you are sharing something of grave importance, it might be a sign that you are in a toxic friendship.
Toxic friends will not empathize with you. They will make everything about themselves, even when it’s your problems that call for attention. They will not pay attention to them. They may also wave them off by either saying that they have been through the same or by interrupting you in between, not allowing you to finish what you want to tell them.
8. They can be copycats
Toxic friends might secretly try to copy you. They will try to dress up like you, talk like you, and behave like you. Learning something from friends is not a bad thing, but it is bad if a person copies a friend in secret and criticize him/her in public.
Though they might go on copying you in everything, they will never openly appreciate your personality or your taste in fashion, etc.
Do not be a fool and observe if any of your friends show toxic tendencies. Getting rid of them is better than having them eventually drain you emotionally, physically, and mentally. Do not let them take undue advantage of your love and affection towards them. All healthy friendships need an equal amount of work from both sides.