Ten Ways to Recognize Toxic Friends

Ten Ways to Recognize Toxic Friends


How is your social circle rolling along…bumpy or smoothly? Friendships strengthen our lives with goodness if the friendship is good. Friendships should be fun, close, trustworthy, supportive, easy and a bond that is worthy of your time and energy but sometimes friendships can be toxic and draining.

If you have great friends, it is pretty easy to recognize as you simply feel an easy connection that requires no extraordinary measures; it just flows and feels comfortable. There is give and take, support if you need it, warmth in their words, encouragement, and a security that someone has your back. However, if you feel the knife twisting in your back when you turn away from them you may be in a toxic relationship.

In a world filled with challenges that can drain the life out of you who needs a “friend” that constantly puts you down with the expectation that you should lift them up instead. It just sucks the life right out of you while you watch their own ego grow like an inflated helium balloon as they ensure their needs are met at the expense of yours.

So how do you know if your friendships are toxic or not, let’s look at some serious red flags?

  1. Disrespectful– Does your friend seem to always be one sided, wanting everything their way, activities are always their choice, disregarding what you want…all the time, ridiculing your opinions, making rude remarks that leave you feeling hurt? Does your friend return your calls, messages and or texts or do they leave you hanging wondering why they haven’t gotten back with you?
  2. Acceptance of differences – There will be times when friends will disagree and this is when it has to be OK to agree to disagree and let this rest peacefully.
  3. Dishonest – This is a no brainer; friends shouldn’t lie to your face or behind your back.
  4. Rude – When you converse with your friend whether or not the conversation is a fun light-hearted one or a serious conversation, there is no room for being rude, impolite, or mean.
  5. Boundaries – Friends should respect each others space and time; knowing that sometimes each of you may have other obligations to handle and may not always be available.
  6. Supportive – Friends that are only available when they want something from you will leave you feeling empty and alone. Do your friends support you when times are rough or do they only want to come around during the good times?
  7. Draining – Does time with your friend leave you feeling drained, empty, and exhausted?
  8. Exploited – Nothing hurts more than to find out your friend has betrayed your trust and spilled the beans about all your private conversations or worse yet insulted your reputation with false statements.
  9. Controlling – Does your friend try to run your life with the “my way or the highway attitude”?
  10. Trust – You know the feeling, sometimes it’s just there, that feeling that you can’t trust this person, your intuition is telling you that something just doesn’t feel right.

If you have just read this list, and a light bulb came on about the friends you have in your life, then it is time to assess the situation and decide if this friendship is worth salvaging. Typically, if an honest conversation about the subject goes horribly wrong then you will probably have your answer. Perhaps the person doesn’t realize that you feel mistreated in the relationship and they are willing to make changes to salvage your friendship, if so then there is room for growth. However if the opposite is true then it might be time to move on to another friend.

With the current world population over seven billion people, allowing a toxic friendship to deplete all the positive energy from your heart, mind and soul isn’t worth it. Half the fun in having great friends is finding them, so step outside of your comfort zone and get creative with how to make friends. The work itself may lead to rousing adventures as well as fabulous friends, then all the work will be worth it!

With Light & Love,

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