Signs of a Toxic Friend

 

 

The Reality of Friendships

Life is more meaningful when it’s shared with people. This is why there’s a consistent need for social belonging and companionship. In college there are all sorts of organizations where people can experience this connection. When social networks expand it allows students to be constantly surrounded with different types of people. Meeting all these people is an awesome way to be involved. Friendships enable people to operate their everyday lives. However, there’s a difference between meeting friends versus intentionally building relationships. People can dictate what they want out of their environment and when there is a negative wave of bad energy it can have a ripple effect for future friendships. Since  friendships leave people feeling vulnerable to share their innermost self. This gives access to someone else’s inner thoughts and feelings which can divulge a place of trust or insecurity. When a person’s insecurities influence their behavior it can lead to a space of misunderstanding and hurt.

 

Example Scenario

Imagine when you first meet a girl you immediately hit it off. You guys have the same sense of humor. You’re both into the same style of music and whenever you hangout with this friend you feel happy. Towards the beginning of the friendship it was fun and games, but as you guys got to know each other you realized that this friend was experiencing deep emotional pain from her past boyfriend. You continue to be her friend and you begin to notice more of her characteristics. When you talk about your week her attention seems elsewhere. When you talk about your mutual friend she has something negative to say. When you bring up your A on your last essay that you worked really hard on she dismisses it. You really care for her and you want to continue to be her friend. You realize that after hanging out with her you’re starting to think negatively about yourself. You develop the courage to confront her about it and she is defensive, but agrees to change. Weeks go on and the same behavior occurs. You realize that when you hangout with her it doesn’t feel as meaningful and fun. Is she a toxic friend?

 

(Image by HelloGiggles)

 

Signs of a Toxic Friend

 

1. Justifying his/her questionable character

Do you find yourself worrying about your friend’s integrity? Do you find yourself trying to convince that her behavior is normal? If there’s a constant mistrust it could be overthinking, but if its a constant result of how you’re feeling around that person it would most likely mean that your suspicion could be true.

 

2. Constantly gossiping about their friends to you

Is the person you are hanging around with continually putting others down, but still hanging out with the person they’re talking about? This situation showcases that if a person is willing to go out of their way to pinpoint someone else’s flaws in a hurtful way it can be done the same way to you.

3. Competition with your successes

When you share about your good day or achievements does she rebuttal it with her own successes? This can be hard to combat, but it's evident when you don’t feel like its a safe space to share what good has happened to you.

 

4. One Person is Talking

Do you feel like you don’t have a slot to chime in? Do you feel like its a one-sided conversation? In this situation its hard because certain times people rant, but when it becomes all that they do it prevents people from openly sharing their own experiences. There isn’t a mutual space of communication.

 

Dependable Friends Matters

The repercussions of who people surround themselves with will affect them in the long run. The environment that people create for themselves shape their attitudes and self worth. Friendships are meant to be joyous and challenging. Good friends will be able to communicate honestly and have a good time. Great friends will sharpen your character and show care without needing to question it.