5 Signs You Are in a Toxic Friendship

 

1. You do/say things you would not normally do

You are skipping school to hang with a friend who hates school even though you actually want to attend your classes? You are making fun of something/someone you actually love? You are wearing clothes you hate, because your friend constantly nags you about your style? Do you go places you do not like just to fit in within your group of friends? If you have answered yes to one of these questions or if they relate to a situation you are currently dealing with, then you need to question yourself about the toxicity of your friendship. A good friend makes the best of your true self shine. If you feel like the way you are is not adequate and you find yourself doing or saying things that you wouldn’t normally do, you are probably not in a friendship with with someone who appreciates you the way you are.

2. You feel a loss of energy every time you hang with your friend

I once had a friend who drained all the positivity out of me each time we hung out. She was constantly unhappy about something. Some days it was the weather, some days it was the altercation she had before we met. It was always something and she made sure to tell me all about it. It is one thing to be present for your friends’ emotional needs, but it is a different ball game to have their emotional turmoil affect your own emotions. Whether it is through their own experience of life or the way they interpret yours, someone who brings negativity into your life is not worth keeping.

3. You feel stuck in the friendship

Maybe you have too many memories, a complicated history, maybe she or he has helped you through an important moment in your life, maybe you feel you still owe them something – whatever the reason is, it is holding back you from leaving the friendship. You feel like it is not right for you to make that move because there is a weight on you. No one should stay in a relationship because they feel stuck. It should be a bond filled with freedom. A friendship is not jail: the only person you are indebted to is yourself.

4. You have been told your friendship is toxic

Now, I am not one to listen to my friends’ annoying advices, but I have learned to be wise enough to discern when to listen. If more than one person tells me the same thing, I start looking into it. If you have been told by different people – people you trust and have always had your interest at heart – that you are in a toxic friendship, then you need to start looking into it.

5. You have been through the same problems over and over again

Do you feel like you and your friend are arguing over the same thing over and over again? Or have you brought up something offensive that your friend does that annoys you and they are still doing it regardless of how it makes you feel? If you keep having the same problematic situation, then maybe there is a deeper issue. Either the friend does not respect you enough to make a change, or your two personalities are not compatible. I was once friend with someone who constantly used a condescending tone with me, when I tried to have a conversation about it, she pointed out that it was part of her personality and she could not change it. There was nothing else I could have done – I knew I could not keep feeling this way, but I also could not change her. You cannot change people, you can only change the part they play in your life.

Bottom line, the most important thing is your happiness and your mental health. A toxic friendship will both harm and rob you of time and energy you can never get back. There are precious people in all our lives that deserve our time and attention. Leave behind anyone who is a threat to your joy. Cheers to taking care of ourselves first, even if it means removing people from our circle in the process.

 

Edited by: Amanda Cloutier-Santos