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Signs You’re Dealing With a Toxic Friend

In life, you’re going to come across toxic people. It’s inevitable. Whether it be a classmate or co-worker, there are just some bitter people in the world. But having a toxic friend can be especially draining. Friends are supposed to be the people you go to after a long day who can uplift you and make you feel better about yourself, not stress you out. One time or another, we have all dealt with a toxic friend. Here are some warning signs that you are dealing with a toxic friend:

The friendship is one-sided.

Now this can be tricky because some people genuinely don’t initiate as much as other people. But if they only reach out when they need something from you or just NEVER text or call, this is a problem. They might care about you, but if you are not receiving a much as you’re given, you need to make some changes in that friendship.

They can never be happy for you. Instead, they envy you.

In your relationships, it’s normal to talk about your successes. It’s OK to be proud of yourself and want to share that with your loved ones. A good friend would celebrate with you, too, not be resentful and envious of your success. If they always think you’re bragging about being happy about something good going on in your life, that’s a problem. But it is NOT your problem.

They constantly talk about themselves.

No one likes a self-centered person. A toxic and self-centered person is always the centers of conversations. However, they’ll give you the brush-off when you try to share your life with them. A good friend cares about what you have to say. They ask you questions about your life. If most of the conversation is revolved around your friend, you need to do some evaluating of that friendship.

They bully you.

This one should be a given. If a friend is making fun of you in any way or making you feel inferior, they are NOT someone you want to have in your life. You should never feel less than around a friend. I understand that it’s normal to joke around with friends, but just use your judgment. If a friend takes a joke too far, let them know that it upset you!

It actually starts to stress you out.

You know the friendship is going down the bad path when it genuinely stresses you. Friendships should be fun and enjoyable and help you relieve stress, not cause it! You shouldn’t feel anxious around the person. When you’re in a great friendship, it boosts your immune system. But toxic friendships are sickening. Take care of yourself, mentally and physically. If that means removing a toxic friend from your life, then so be it.

With all of this said, no friendship is worth any stress, anxiety, or feeling of inferior. Here’s what I always say: if they’re not helping you grow, let them go.

Emily Garber

Muhlenberg '21

Muhlenberg College Content Editor
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