10 Signs of Toxic Friends You Need To Look Out For!

Last Update on October 9, 2023 : Published on March 18, 2021
Are You In A Toxic Friendship

Healthy and true friendships can be a blessing, on the other side bad or toxic friendship can turn into a curse. Various studies have shown that where healthy friendships can help improve your mental and emotional health, an relationship with a toxic friend can harm you and your overall wellbeing. In this blog, we’ll explore what are the signs of a toxic friend that you need to look out for!

Friends can make your life more vibrant and meaningful with the emotional and social support they provide. When we are with our friends, we feel happy, relaxed, and calm. Friendships help us maintain social wellness, strengthen our relationships, lower feelings of loneliness, and lowers the risk of depression and other mental health concerns.

Toxic friendships, normally, don’t have such positive effects instead they mentally drain us of our energy and bring us down emotionally. The signs of a toxic friendships can sneak up on you and can disguise themselves as healthy when in fact they are not.

The toxic friendship signs can be subtle and it can be a little difficult to understand. Healthy friendships can be helpful not only to your social wellbeing but also to your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. These kinds of friendships can uplift you and motivate you while toxic friendships have the opposite effect.

Look out for these signs of a toxic friendship:

10 Sign of Toxic Friendship You are in:

1. They Put You Down

They Put You Down

Jokes and good-natured banter between friends can be healthy but when a friend begins to demean you with hurtful words and jokes, makes you feel uncomfortable, or insults you, then it is a very big sign of a toxic friendship.

2. They Gossip About You

Unappreciative of Your Achievements

Gossips can be hurtful especially when you confide in your friend with information and they tell everyone in your social circle about it. Toxic friends love spreading rumors and secrets even when you tell them something in confidence. When others stop caring about your feelings, it is one of the signs of a toxic friendship.

3. They are Unappreciative of Your Achievements

They Gossip About You

Another sign of a toxic friendship is that when you share your achievements with your friends, they seem to not care much about your efforts and your accomplishments. Toxic friends don’t understand your goals and what they mean to you. Most often, they will be more or less jealous of you and your achievements instead of supportive.

4. They are Not Present When You Need Their Support

Time Spent With Them

You are always there for them but they are not there when you need their support is also a sign of a toxic friendship. Toxic friends are constantly making excuses as to why they can’t be with you when you need them the most. Sometimes, instead of asking how you are, all they talk about is themselves and their recent problems.

5. Time Spent With Them Makes You Feel Unsettled

Not Present When You Need Their Support

Spending time with your friends should make you feel energetic and happy but if you’re left feeling unsettled and upset, then it is a sign of a toxic friendship. Time spent with a toxic friend will leave you feeling uncomfortable and instead of looking forward to meeting them, you’ll be feeling quite the opposite.

6. They Criticize You

They Criticize You

A good and true friend will offer you constructive criticism when they feel it is needed but a toxic friend will always criticize you whether you deserve it or not. This behavior is a sign that your friend is toxic. They will make you feel bad about yourself instead of helping you get better. The ‘advice’ they offer you will make you feel ashamed than helpful.

7. They Never Seem to Prioritize You

Never Seem to Prioritize You

While it is not practical to talk or meet with your friends regularly, it is possible to take some time to check on people we care about and love. When a friend stops prioritizing you and caring for you above the other things going on in their life, it is a sign of a toxic friendship.

8. They Try Changing You

They Try Changing You

When under the guise of “helping you”, your friend is making comments about changing your appearance or anything else about your outer appearance, then it is a sign your friend is toxic. True friends will accept you as you are – inside and outside – but a toxic friend will want to change everything about you to suit their needs.

9. They Leave You Feeling Tired and Drained

Feeling Tired and Drained

Healthy and true friends will emotionally support you but toxic friends will leave you feeling emotionally depleted and drained. Friendships should be about joy and support and they should be emotionally fulfilling. If being with a friend is making you feel mentally tired and fatigued, then it is one of the signs your friend is toxic.

10. They Don’t Respect Your Boundaries

Don’t Respect Your Boundaries

Another toxic friend trait is that they never respect your boundaries. They will show up uninvited to your house or will call you at times when you’re in the middle of something important or at 3 am. Toxic friends don’t listen when you tell them that their actions are making you uncomfortable. They refuse to respect your space and will make you feel bad when you try to point it out. Manipulating is a game that toxic people love playing.

Types Of Toxic Friends You Need To Stay Clear Of!

There are types of toxic friends that you need to steer clear of. These toxic friends can be are can be categorized as:

1. The Taker

Every relationship is based on a “give and take” concept. If your friend is constantly taking – emotionally or materially – from you and not giving you the same, then it is time you reconsider the friendship. These kinds of toxic friends are always taking from you and will leave you feeling depleted.

2. The Green-Eyed One

Yes, you guessed right – The Jealous One. These types of toxic friends are always envious of your achievements in your life. If your friend is always belittling your achievements, then it is a symptom of a toxic friendship.

3. The Emotional Manipulator

This type of friend can be difficult to spot, in the beginning. An emotional manipulator knows how to get what they want from you without you realizing it. This type of toxic friend are liars, charmers and will make you feel “special” but once they will soon leave you behind once they’ve gained whatever it is from you.

Also Read: Recognizing & Protecting Yourself From Emotional Manipulation

4. The Negative One

This type of toxic friend will always spend time whining and complaining about their life and how others treat them. They always have a negative opinion of almost everything. Remember, these types of friends not only criticize everything but will also spread that negativity onto you. These friends also get jealous and will always have something negative or pessimistic to say.

5. The Critic

These types of toxic friends are controlling and will make comments or jabs about you in front of others. They always try to make you feel less in front of others. True friends never do anything that might let you down or make comments that will make you feel less. If your life has The Critic, then it is time to rethink your friendship.

Also Read: How to Be Friends With Your Inner Critic

6. The Drama Queen/King

This type of toxic friend is the one that will always have something akin to disappointments, heartbreaks, or letdowns to share. These friends thrive on drama and are self-absorbed. They will not make any effort to ask about your concerns and issues as they are always wrapped up in their drama.

7. The Gossip Queen/King

This type of friend is the one who will actively spread gossips and rumors. These types of friends are truly toxic as they don’t much care about what they’re talking about or whom they’re talking about. They will talk about you or behind someone’s back that will be potentially harmful to their character. Remember, with this type of toxic friend, no secret of yours is safe.

If you have any of these types of toxic friends in your life, then you need to reconsider your friendships.

How Toxic Friendship Harms You?

Toxic friendships can seriously affect your overall happiness and wellbeing. If you experience the following in a friendship, then it is time for you to say goodbye to that friendship:

1. You feel lonely

Spending time with friends should help you improve your social skills but toxic friendships will leave you feeling lonely and alone even in the company of others. You will be in their company but will still feel like an outsider

2. You feel stressed.

Friendships can help decrease stress but if hanging out with friends increases your stress then it is not good. Spending time with friends shouldn’t add to your stress but a toxic friendship can make you feel stressed, irritated, and miserable

3. You don’t feel confident anymore.

In a toxic friendship, you’re treated poorly and are constantly manipulated which can affect your confidence and self-esteem. Spending time with toxic friends will leave you doubting your strengths and skills.

4. You blame yourself for their actions.

As I said before, manipulation is a game that toxic people love playing. When you’re in a toxic friendship, you are not supported and you are left feeling that you are somehow to be blamed for the behavior of your friends

5. You feel uncertain and insecure.

People in toxic friendships will always feel uncertain about themselves. You might feel as if you’re saying or doing the right thing but subtle hints from your friends will leave you feeling uncertain about your skills and abilities.

Once you start doubting yourself, you may find it difficult to trust others as well. This behavior will leave you feeling insecure about yourself and any of your potential relationships with others.

Also Read: How To Stop Your Fear of Being Judged Hold You Back

What To Do About A Toxic Friendship?

If you are experiencing all the above feelings and signs of a toxic friendship, then you should reconsider the relationship. Removing toxic friends from your life can be good or your mental, emotional and physical health. It’s okay to offer a second chance but sometimes a second chance is not the best choice.

Leaving a toxic friendship can be difficult on your emotions and if you’re unsure what to do with the friendship or how to get rid of toxic friends, you can try:

Final Thoughts

Ending a friendship – toxic or not – can be challenging and difficult on your emotional health. Do not ignore the signs of a toxic friend. If you need additional support and help, you can always contact a therapist or a counselor for help. A therapist can help you understand your feelings and help you find effective ways to cope with them.

You can also write to us for help and support at info@calmsage.com as well.

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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