They say a good friend is hard to find, but you know what’s not? A toxic friend. More often than not, at some point in our lives we have all had a friend who seemed okay at first but as time passed, turned out to be the worst influence on us.
A toxic friend may be hard to identify, they have a way of tricking you into believing they are the best thing to ever happen to you, but in reality are always looking for ways to put you down. Any of this sound eerily familiar? Then read on to find out if you have a toxic friend you can do without.
1. Attempts To Control
“Don’t talk to her” or “don’t do this” or “don’t go here”
These are all words you have probably heard if you have been with a toxic person. In a relationship while these signs may be easier to spot, we are quick to dismiss them as nothing in a friendship. We delude ourselves into believing that they have our best interest at heart, and are only doing it for us. But remember if you do everything someone is telling you to do, and if they are controlling every aspect of your life, they are not your friend. Good friends empower each others choices, not dictate how you should live your life.
2. Isolate You From Others
“Why do you want to hang out with her, I am your best friend.”
Similar to controlling you, a toxic friend may also believe they have ownership over you and hence try to dissuade you from making new friends. They feel they have a right over your time and energy and you should always be available for them, not anyone else. You may dismiss this as just possessiveness, and “she cares about me a lot“, but soon you will release, you have isolated other friends, and relationships for this friendship. Friendship should be easygoing not dominating and bordering on attention seeking!
3. They Have Something To Say About Everyone
“Did you hear what she did?”
Gossips are always fun to hear despite how meaningless they maybe. It’s okay to sometimes indulge on a gossip session with your girlfriends about a celebrity, or even that one girl who you all went to school with all those years ago. But, if someone has something negative to say about everyone, chances are they are saying something bad about you too. Conversations that just centre around people don’t allow you to grow, but instead limit your growth. Inspired minds uplift each other. Surround yourself with people who teach you things about yourself by scintillating conversations, not brainless gossip about someone else.
4. They Constantly Belittle You
“Why are you like this?” or “You’re so stupid.”
Harmless banter and easy teasing are normal for a friendship. But when the banter becomes attacking on what you do constantly than that is not a good friendship. You may overlook it and laugh it off, but if they’re using your insecurities to make jokes at your expense in a room full of people. A good friend tells you if you’re doing something wrong, they don’t attack you for doing what you did.
5. Everything Is A Competition
“So what you got an A on a test, I got an A*”
Whether it’s a job promotion, your wedding, or even a diet you are doing, a toxic friend will compete with you constantly. They will never be happy for you completely, and will always want to one up you every chance they get. Fair warning, stay far away from people like this, it will be an unnecessary stress that you don’t need. A good friend will be happy for your success and won’t want to steal your shine.
6. It’s All About Them
“So I did this yesterday” or ” can you believe this happened to me?”
For a toxic friend, the world is their stage and you and everybody else are mere props. Every conversation starts and ends with the woes of their lives. It’s all about them, and even if they ask you about your day they are either not paying attention or just filtering what you say with something that has happened to them. These people thrive on attention, and seek it desperately. It maybe fun to hear about what they are going through, given the over exaggerated way they describe it, but that is not someone you need in your life. Friendship is a two-way streak and you should be given the same attention you give them.