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How do I know if a friendship is toxic?

 

Dr Elizma van der Smit October 2017

· Relationships

Whilst most of our friends are there for us through thick and thin and can always be relied on for a good time, we've all encountered the toxic friend.

But how do you know if you’re in a friendship that’s affecting your health and killing your spirit?
 

12 Signs that a friendship is toxic

  • She makes you feel negative about yourself: If you feel worse than you did before you met with that person.
  • She expects you to drop everything for her, but she won't do the same for you.
  • You dread seeing her, and you feel drained after meeting her. Seeing a friend should be a positive experience.
  • There’s an imbalance in talk time—all for the friend, none for you.  She would tell you how her day was, but when you start telling…she has to go somewhere and leave you without having listened to you or your concerns and joys.
  • She tells you that you need to change.  She would even make mean remarks about your shortcomings like “You know, you are just too needy.” It is all about what is wrong with you, but she sees no need to recognize her own shortcomings.
  • You feel that you have to walk on egg shells around her, being overly careful, watching every word to avoid saying the wrong thing that will upset her.
  • She needs you for absolutely everything!  A friend that depends on you too much can exhaust you and use up precious time.
  • Some toxic friends jump back and forth between great and awful.  This emotional rollercoaster takes a toll on you and makes you anxious and depressed when you don’t know wat to expect.
  • You can’t share good news.  If you are hesitant to tell her about a new boyfriend or promotion etc., you might be covering up your own happiness because your friend is jealous, competitive and negative when you experience success.
  • Is your friend trying to get you to do something bad?  Maybe pushes you to eat cake when you are on a diet, or inviting you for drinks when you are trying to quit.  Real friends will not do that but toxic friends like to bring you into unhealthy behaviors so that they feel less ashamed.
  • She is constantly late, cancels or make excuses for not turning up, or even forget your plans completely.  Good friends are dependable and consistent.
  • She is constantly negative and tend to complain about everything and everybody.

Remember that we’re born into our family, but we get to voluntarily choose our friends. “If you’re staying in a relationship out of guilt, it’s not a good thing for either party,” says Andrea Syrtash author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing). “All of us deserve to be in relationships with people who we’re excited to spend time with.”

Most friendships are not meant to last. A lot of friendships serve a purpose, and once that purpose expires, so does the friendship. Shedding friendships that don’t serve your best interests is one of the best things you can do for your self-esteem, motivation, and direction. It’s not selfish – it’s healthy!! Kali Rogers, author of Conquering Your Quarter-Life Crisis

This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy. This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.

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This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.