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Toxic Friendships: They are Everywhere

An apparent struggle for many people all throughout life is how to select the friends you’d want to spend the most time with. While for many of us things are constantly change and moving, the typical object that stays the same is your relationship with your friends. If you don’t have these strong connections you tend to feel slightly lost throughout life and it’s an important part of growing both mentally and socially.

    There are aspects of a friendship that tend to suggest it is one you should end. Regardless of how much you care about this person, sometimes it is better to end a friendship with a person who does not always fill your bucket. What I mean by this is the example that you can imagine every person you see walking around carrying a bucket from all of the positive things that have happened to them that day. When you see your friends you say hi, I missed you, glad to see you, and this adds positive aspects of their day into their bucket. But when you say negative things you take not only from your own bucket, but from whoever’s bucket is around you as well.

    When you make negative comments about yourselves or about how other people you know see you this is a sign of toxicity. It may be difficult if your friend is doing this to get them to see how negative their thoughts and what they say actually are, and it’s especially more difficult to change people that it is to just embrace people for who they are. If you find yourself constantly having to validate someone else because of the negative comments they say about themselves or the negative things they think others think of them, this too takes away from your bucket. Not only does this negativity affect the way this other person interacts with the world, it also clouds over the relationship this person has with you. The more negative things someone says about themselves the more likely that the person listening will start to see these things as flaws as well.

    Sharing any kind of gossip or saying anything that someone told you in confidence shows a lack of loyalty to the friendship. If you feel inclined to share all of your friends dirty little secrets, you most likely are creating unnecessary drama in that person’s life. Creating drama in this sense is pointless both for you and for the other person, as it doesn’t really make any of a difference in your life, but it could make a world of a difference for someone else.

    If you find a friend constantly making the conversation about whatever is going on in their life and not allowing you to talk about yours or being uninterested in what is happening in your life it shows that they are using you for more than the basics of friendship. This kind of selfish behavior shows how a toxic friend feels when they are in a relationship with another person. If someone cannot slow down for one second and think about what their friends might be going through without relating it to themselves, they may not really be interested in a mutual friendship and instead be focusing on a relationship that is more one-sided.

    Comparison. Without a doubt, if a friend starts to compare themself to you you need to immediately shut it down without indulging in any of what they say. Comparison is the beginning of the end for most friendships, as the second someone starts to compare himself to you outloud, you will begin to internally compare yourself to them. It’s an unfortunate habit of human nature that we tend to follow in suit with the behavior of those we spend the most time with.

    When your friends make up fictitious details about their lives or they lie to you, it’s a sign that they are more toxic than beneficial. You shouldn’t have to make up scenarios in order to be friends with people, you should feel comfortable telling other people how you feel. Lying or omitting the truth should typically mean that you should find other friends; you shouldn’t need to lie to someone to spend time with them.

    Additionally, if someone is typically unhappy then they will suck away your happiness too. It’s important to protect your positivity and your happiness and other people who do not focus on being happy will make sure that you are unhappy too. Typically this sort of unhappiness involves drama; it nearly always does. If someone brings more drama into your life than peace they may have reached their expiration date.

    And finally, quite possibly the most important point, if you’re dreading spending time with your friends or checking your phone that’s when you know it’s time to get rid of a toxic friendship. There are so many more ways that you can make yourself happy rather than spending time with someone who makes you feel completely miserable.

    Ultimately you need to surround yourself with people who aren’t going to act out often, because in practicality we all have shown some of these toxic characteristics at one point or another. Whether or not you’re aware of it, we all do things that affect other people negatively, but if you try to focus on saying positive things it may completely change the way that you interact with other people.


UC Berkeley class of 2021. My heart is in the mountains, and with any corgi I see. I'm interested in writing, yoga, running, hiking, boxing, playing piano, music, adventures, and studying psychology and anthropology.
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