How to Determine if You Have a Toxic Friend

Let’s be real here, ladies: we’ve all had that one friend that was always a little too harsh. They were overly critical of you, teased you about things that weren’t necessarily funny and would be your best friend one minute and then the next, your harshest critic.

But what if you have a friend that blurs these lines? Someone who is hard to figure out and if they actually have your best interest or not? It’s hard to determine if this person is truly a toxic friend or not, especially when they’re sometimes nice, then sometimes a little mean. Perhaps it’s just their personality. But if you’re starting to doubt if your friend really has your best interest at all, here a few ways to figure out if it’s a personality thing or a complete deal breaker.

1. They embarrass you in front of other people.

This is a classic toxic friend trait: they try to make you look bad in front of others so they can look better. If they bring up embarrassing things from your past, talk about that one time you got “so drunk,” or publicly discuss things you told them in confidence, this person is most likely not your friend. They are trying to tear you down and to make you look “dumb” by bringing up things they know that bothers you, so they seem like the “cool” one.

 

2. They belittle your thoughts/feelings/opinions and write them off, too.

Have you ever went into an awkward conversation with a friend about the issues you were having, just to have them shoot down everything you said and to put the blame on you? This is yet another toxic friend trait; someone who just dismisses your thoughts and feelings and doesn’t take a second to put themselves in your shoes about the situation, is most definitely not your friend. While friends certainly don’t have to agree on everything, they should be more than willing to say “You know, I may not understand completely, but I am really sorry I made you feel that way. Regardless if that was my intention, I apologize and I won’t do that again.” But instead, they say things like “I think you’re just imagining that” or “Honestly, that’s not even what I was doing and I think you’re interpreting it that way and are being too sensitive.” Someone who doesn’t take two seconds to acknowledge how you feel isn’t someone you want to have on your side at any moment in your life.

 

3. They discuss your personal life with other people.

We all talk about our friends now and then, especially when they get on our nerves or we feel concerned about them. But your friends should never be discussing your personal business with other people, even if it’s some of your closest friends. A red flag for a friend like this is someone who consistently discusses your sex life with the other people in your social circle. Sex is a very private thing and if your friend is spilling the tea on all the things you have done, they may not be the best person to confide in.

 

While these traits may not be present in your frenemy, always remember that a good friend encourages you to follow your dreams, is there to objectively listen to you and all around is supportive and not judgmental of your personal choices, even if they don’t agree with them. No person in your life should ever put you down or make you feel less than one, so if you have a friend like this, take my advice: cut ties as best you can.