Am I In A Toxic Friendship? 8 Ways to Tell
Toxic friendships can negatively impact your mood and affect your health. If you feel that your friendship harms your well-being, you may want to reconsider the relationship with your friend. Whether you decide not to turn to that person for emotional support anymore or you choose to end the friendship altogether, removing yourself from the relationship is a necessary step.
On the contrary, real, solid friendships have the power to boost mood, bring lots of joy, improve one’s coping abilities, and even extend life. One Australian study showed that you are more likely to live longer if you have strong social bonds.
How to Recognize a Toxic Relationship?
If a friendship brings frustration to your life rather than comfort and joy, it may be that you are dealing with a toxic friendship. Here are a few red flags to help you recognize toxic friendships:
You Can’t Trust Them
Trust is vital to any close, fulfilling relationship. If for any reason, trust becomes an issue in your relationship, you may want to reconsider the status of that friendship.
They Drain You
You will recognize the toxic friendship by the feeling of being emotionally exhausted after every interaction with that person. If you feel that your friend is constantly causing you stress and frustration, you may be trapped in a toxic friendship. A healthy friendship should never leave you feeling anxious, stressed, or emotionally drained.
They Always Criticize You
Honesty is important in relationships. However, toxic friends will use any opportunity to pour their criticism and put you down. Being honest doesn’t equal rudeness. So, if your friend’s comments make you feel bad about yourself most of the time, this may be a sign that you are dealing with a toxic friend.
There is a Lot of Drama in Your Relationship
There is always a lot of drama going on in your toxic friend’s life, whether they are being unbelievably fun and popular, always arguing with someone and causing troubles, or constantly needing your help and support. Whatever the reason, you feel constantly sucked into drama in their life, which can be very draining.
Your Friendship is Lopsided
If your friendship is always focused on your friend’s needs, experiences, and feelings, there might be a problem with your relationship. If you are the one always listening, giving advice, or supporting in the relationship, then that relationship might be toxic.
They are Codependent
Your toxic friend may be very needy, wanting all your time and attention. They may cross your boundaries and show no respect for your space. However, if you try to bring it up, your toxic friend will accuse you of abandoning them.
You Feel Responsible for Them
A toxic friend will always make you feel guilty for things you say or do. Also, you will constantly feel responsible for them and their feelings.
They are Jealous of Other Friends
They will never like your other friends and may try to isolate you from them. Additionally, they may be jealous of your partner and other people you hang out with.
In conclusion, if a friendship makes you feel uncomfortable and off-balance, it may be time to reevaluate that relationship or formally end it altogether.