Toxic Friendship: Signs and Tips
Feeling lonely is painful and depressing. But unfortunately, not every friendship is healthy though. If you would like to know the signs of a toxic friendship and how to make sure you handle the situation well, keep reading this blog post where we are talking about friendships that might be ruining your personality and your mental health.
Effects of Toxic Friendship
Having friends doesn’t always mean that you are being cherished, loved, and respected. Many people admit that they still feel lonely even though they have many friends. This happens because the real bond between people happens only if both people are willing to give and share as well as help and support. In other words, the fact that you are calling it a friendship doesn’t necessarily mean the same to another person.
You might be having one or two best friends and a lot of other people who you chat and meet with but what if some of these people are negatively affecting you? Just like with a toxic relationship between a couple, there might be a toxic relationship between friends. And it’s crucial to know what are the signs of such behavior because it might cause:
- Self-esteem issues
- Trust issues
- Depression, anxiety, nervousness
- Aggressive behavior or distancing from family
- Health issues, and even financial problems
If you have ever experienced bullying or aggression towards you, you know how devastating it feels. But not every aggression or harmful behavior is obvious – sometimes it might be masked and concealed under the cover of a “friend’s advice” or attitude. Here are the signs that you are experiencing a toxic friendship.
They Abuse Your Kindness
“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” That’s a true saying. But if you are constantly asked for a favor, you should be aware. Especially if you have to agree in spite of your comfort, priorities, and plans. For example, you are asked to help with their car, makeup, cat, or anything else. You agree because you want to be a good friend though you are not in the mood, or have other plans. As a result, all you do for them is not appreciated. You might not even be asked if you are free to help – and it’s a bad sign.
There is a type of friendship that is based on someone’s benefit. If they see that you are ready to lend them money and then just forgive the debt, be there to help no matter what, or be ready to move your plans in order to satisfy their needs, you might be used. And that’s not how a friendship should work – you see, it’s a two-way relationship and it should be mutual and equal.
As a fact, some toxic people even might be reminding you of a list of some things they did for you once only to guilt trip you in case you want to say no. It’s like a hook that they put you on in order to later get what they need from you.
They Ridicule You
If your friend has the audacity to say mean things about your looks, your taste in clothing, music, or films, your interests, your job, your family, or your partner – be sure they are not a good friend. There is a difference between giving you sincere advice or critique, if you ask for it, and treating you like a friend who will tolerate any type of behavior.
Even if they ridicule you in a form of a joke, say that you are not okay with that. Maybe they don’t even notice doing it. But if they still keep saying mean things, break this friendship. You don’t need a toxic person who makes you feel bad about your personality or your looks. It might end up in low self—esteem, communication problems, depression, etc. Know you are valuable, and they can’t take that from you with their words.
They Make It All Your Fault
Being able to take accountability and admit mistakes is the basis of a healthy relationship. But when your friend treats you in a way that you can’t even talk about what they do wrong to you, it’s a sign to leave.
If you have ever been in a situation like that, you know it. You try to address a problem and another person says that they don’t remember doing it or makes it look like you were the reason for such behavior or they can’t even believe that their words somehow hurt you. It’s a totally frustrating and painful situation where you feel overwhelmed and defenseless.
Moreover, such people don’t know how to properly apologize. They either don’t do it at all or apologize insincerely. It’s not enough to brush your words off and say “sorry” unless the person is willing to hear you out and change their attitude.
They Make You Walk on Eggshells
If you feel like you are constantly nervous around your friend, and are aware of what you do and say, making sure you don’t trigger them – it is a red flag. Feeling like you can’t be yourself around your friends is exhausting, it takes your energy away and makes your nervous system work twice hard.
If you are friends with someone, they should accept your personality and your interests. Otherwise, why stay friends with someone who you can’t share your emotions with and who is disliking your personal traits?
They Are Rarely Happy for You
There is this kind of jealous people who are happier when you fail rather than when you succeed. They always have something to say when you get a better grade or buy a new clothing item and usually, it’s not something good.
If you often hear phrases like “You just got lucky,” “I didn’t believe you could manage that,” or “Don’t be too excited, it will end eventually,” it’s the basic expression of jealousy about something good that happened to you but not to them. People like this never address their feelings straight as they don’t want to expose their insecurities but they want to guilt trip you and make you feel worse about another achievement of yours. Moreover, they might try to belittle your skills and effort as they see only themselves as someone worthy of great results.
Toxic friendships should be either ended or minimized. You will be hardly able to change another person and why should you? So, there is not much you can do except for addressing your feelings and worries about their behavior. If another person still doesn’t want to hear you out, you might consider ending your relationship.