How to Determine Toxic Friendships


No matter how busy I might be with work, running my Communications Agency, constantly putting out content as a freelance journalist, I work just as hard at maintaining my relationships with my friends because they each bring something special to my life. Good friends are hard to find, but friends is even more difficult to lose.

And then there are the friends that make you wonder how the hell you ever became so close in the first place. Recently, I had been feeling stuck in toxic friendships with long time friends.

The reality is that many friendships are not filled with the same depth and emotion you might have with your bestie. Some are just surface level, and that’s fine.  However, what happens when someone drains you more than she energizes you?

It can be hard to see what’s best for you when you’ve invested in a friendship. Too many of us put up with too much because the pain that certain relationships bring us scares us less than the pain of letting go of people we love. We also tend to deny toxic relationships because most of us are exposed to so many of them that habits of toxic relationships actually feels normal. But the fact is that they are most certainly not normal; they’re detrimental to our health.

Are you stuck in a toxic friendship that you’d like to end? Do you still pretend to be close with someone who you no longer trust, respect and just don’t want to deal with them at all?

There’s no doubt that friendships are hard to end. However, it is necessary. I’ve learned that as you age and mature everyone doesn’t grow at the same pace as you. Some people continue to do the same shit for years and being around that type of energy can be extremely draining.

These signs will tell you if you’re dealing with a toxic friend:

1. You’re giving more than you’re getting. If your friend always seems to need your help, but can’t return even the smallest favor, then chances are they’re toxic.

2. They are not Supportive of you and your accomplishments

3. You no longer trust them. Friendships are built on trust. After all, if you can’t rely on your BFF, what’s the point of having one?

4. You know they talk sh*t about you.

5. You don’t think they have good intentions.

6. They have crossed a major boundary for you, with no apologies.

7. Instead of communicating that something is wrong, they make passive-aggressive comments.

8. They are jealous of you/your other friendships.

9. They insult you or are mean to you.

10. They are passive aggressive toward you.

11. They act jealous of you.

12. They find excuses to not support you.

13. They only care about themselves.

14.  They don’t share details of their life with you.

15. They aren’t there to celebrate your success.

When you think back on your last few achievements, you remember they weren’t there or, didn’t have much interest or understanding about how much your goals mean to you. In fact, they might even be resentful of your success or doubt how you’ve earned your achievements.

 16. They’re not interested in details of your life.

When the conversation shifts to you, and you start detailing something anything that is important to you, whether it be about your job or your relationship, they are distracted and soon shift the conversation to something else.

17. Your mother doesn’t like them.

This may sound childish but, mother always knows best, and they have your best interest at heart. In fact, this doesn’t only have to be your mother. If any other person close to you doesn’t like this friendship and can offer you reasons as to why, then chances are that you’ve just been blind to those reasons.

18. They criticize you but not constructively.

A good friend will certainly critique you because they want to better you and help build you up. But a bad friend will criticize you just only to make themselves feel better. The difference is whether or not they offer help or advice.

19. They don’t prioritize you.

Everyone is busy these days and we all have a million things to squeeze into 24 hours in a day. But we make time for the people we care about. We make time for our friends and family and prioritize them when we can. If this person never prioritizes you, it’s because they don’t care about you as much as they care about the rest of the things going on in their lives.