Identifying Toxic Friends - 7 Signs You Should Watch Out For

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2023-04-30 - 21:06

Let's talk about friendships. We all need friends in our lives, right? They're the ones who laugh with us, listen to us vent, and support us through thick and thin. But not all friendships are created equal. In fact, some can be downright toxic.

Toxic friends can be harmful to our mental and emotional well-being. They can bring us down, drain our energy, and make us feel bad about ourselves. That's why it's important to know how to identify toxic friends and take the necessary steps to avoid them.

In this blog post, we're going to focus on the signs of toxic friendships. We'll explore some common behaviors that toxic friends exhibit, and we'll discuss what you can do if you find yourself in a toxic friendship.

Remember, friendships should make you feel good about yourself and your life. If a friend is making you feel the opposite, it may be time to re-evaluate that friendship. So, let's dive in and learn how to spot toxic friends and take care of ourselves in the process.

You Give, They Take

Have you ever had a friend who only seemed to come around when they needed something from you? Or maybe they always seemed to conveniently forget their wallet when it was time to split the bill? If so, you may have experienced the classic sign of a toxic friendship: you give, they take.

Toxic friends are notorious for being selfish and disregarding the needs and efforts of their friends. They may only reach out when they need a favor or support, but are nowhere to be found when it's time to reciprocate. This kind of unbalanced friendship can be draining and unsustainable in the long run.

It's important to analyze the frequency of favors given and received in a friendship to identify whether it's a healthy one or not. If you find that you are constantly giving without receiving anything in return, it may be time to reevaluate the dynamic of the relationship.

Remember, friendships are supposed to be mutually beneficial and supportive. If you feel like you are constantly being taken advantage of or your efforts are going unnoticed, it's okay to set boundaries and communicate your needs to your friend.

If they are truly a friend worth keeping, they will understand and work to make the relationship more balanced. But if they continue to take without giving, it may be time to move on and find friends who value and appreciate you for who you are.

Too Much Criticism

We all know how important it is to have friends who can help us grow, provide support, and lift our spirits. However, there are times when certain friendships can do more harm than good. Toxic friendships are unbalanced and can cause more harm than good. If you find yourself in a friendship where you're constantly being criticized, it's time to take a closer look.

It's normal for friends to tease each other playfully, but when the teasing becomes too frequent or targeted, it can be hurtful. Criticism that goes beyond playful teasing can be a red flag that your friendship is toxic. For example, if your friend criticizes your personal choices or your significant other, it's a sign that they don't respect you or your choices.

In a healthy friendship, teasing should focus on insignificant things and should be mutual. It should be playful and not meant to hurt or put the other person down. Friends who constantly criticize their friends usually do so to make themselves feel superior. They may try to control their friend's actions or behavior, and this can be harmful to your mental health.

If you find yourself in a friendship where you're constantly criticized, it's important to take a step back and assess the situation. Do you feel comfortable around your friend, or do you feel like you're walking on eggshells? If you feel like you're constantly being judged or criticized, it may be time to reevaluate the friendship. Remember that healthy friendships should be supportive and uplifting, not critical and negative.

Lack Of Respect

Have you ever had a friend who gets upset when you hang out with other people? Or maybe a friend who constantly interrupts you when you're talking to others? This could be a sign of a toxic friendship.

One of the key components of a healthy friendship is respect. Friends should respect each other's boundaries, opinions, and personal lives. When one friend doesn't respect the other's choices, it can create tension and discomfort.

Toxic friends often don't respect their friend's personal life. They may want to monopolize their friend's time, leaving little room for other relationships. This can make the friend feel guilty for wanting to spend time with other people or pursuing their own interests.

In some cases, toxic friends may even create conflict to keep their friend to themselves. For example, they may start rumors about other people to make their friend think that spending time with them is a bad idea.

In order to avoid toxic friendships, it's important to surround yourself with people who respect you and your personal life. True friends will support your choices, even if they don't always agree with them. And remember, it's okay to say no to someone who doesn't respect your boundaries. Your mental health and wellbeing should always come first.

Lack Of Support

We all have goals and aspirations, and having supportive friends to cheer us on can be a huge help. However, toxic friends can be the opposite of supportive. In fact, they may actively try to undermine or sabotage their friend's goals and accomplishments.

Toxic friends may belittle their friend's accomplishments, dismiss their goals as unrealistic, or simply not show any interest in what their friend is trying to achieve. They may even try to make their friend feel guilty for pursuing their dreams or make them doubt their abilities.

If you find yourself in a friendship where your friend is unsupportive or actively tries to bring you down, it's time to take a step back and reevaluate the relationship. True friends should want to see each other succeed and be happy for each other's accomplishments.

Of course, it's important to remember that we all have bad days and may not always be able to offer the support our friends need. But if a friend consistently fails to be there for you when you need them, it may be a sign that the friendship is toxic.

In a healthy friendship, both friends should feel comfortable sharing their goals and accomplishments with each other and offering support and encouragement. So, if you have a toxic friend who is constantly bringing you down or not supporting you, it may be time to let go and seek out friendships that lift you up.

Lack Of Trust

Trust is essential in any healthy relationship, especially in friendships. If you have a friend who constantly betrays your trust, then it may be time to reassess that relationship. Toxic friends tend to gossip, spread rumors, and even share your secrets with others. This kind of behavior can be hurtful and damaging to your mental health.

A true friend should be someone you can rely on and confide in without worrying about your secrets being shared with others. If you find yourself constantly questioning your friend's loyalty or finding out that they have been sharing your personal information with others, then it's time to take a step back and evaluate the friendship.

Building trust takes time, effort, and honesty. If your friend isn't willing to put in the effort to build a trustworthy relationship, then it's not a healthy friendship. Trust also goes hand in hand with respect. If your friend doesn't respect your boundaries, feelings, or personal life, then it's unlikely that they will respect your trust.

It's important to note that trust can be rebuilt in some cases, but it takes both parties to be willing to work towards it. If your friend has betrayed your trust and is not willing to make amends or put in the effort to rebuild the relationship, then it's time to let go and move on.

Trust is a crucial component of any healthy friendship. Toxic friends tend to betray their friend's trust, gossip, and spread rumors. If you find yourself in a friendship where trust is constantly being broken, it's time to reassess that relationship and determine whether it's worth salvaging or letting go.

Lack Of Communication

Communication is key in any healthy relationship, and friendships are no exception. Toxic friends, however, may have a tendency to avoid communication or even manipulate their friends' emotions to get what they want. This can be extremely harmful to the friendship in the long run.

One common way that toxic friends manipulate their friends is by using guilt or fear to control their behavior. They might make their friend feel guilty for not spending enough time with them, or they might threaten to end the friendship if their friend doesn't do what they want. This type of behavior is controlling and not healthy for any friendship.

Additionally, toxic friends may avoid communication altogether. They might be evasive or dismissive when their friend tries to talk to them about their feelings or concerns. This can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings, and ultimately damage the friendship.

It's important to note that open and honest communication goes both ways in a healthy friendship. If one friend is constantly avoiding communication or manipulating the other, it's not a balanced friendship. Both friends should feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with each other without fear of judgment or retaliation.

If you find yourself in a friendship with a lack of communication, it's important to address it with your friend. Let them know how you feel and encourage them to be open with you as well. If they continue to avoid communication or manipulate you, it may be time to reevaluate the friendship.

Constant Drama

Have you ever had a friend who always seemed to be surrounded by drama and chaos? Someone who constantly brought negativity into your life and made you feel drained? If so, you may have been in a toxic friendship.

Toxic friendships are often characterized by a constant stream of drama and conflicts. These types of friends tend to thrive on negativity and may create drama where there was none before. They may constantly complain or vent to you, bringing down your mood and leaving you feeling drained.

Healthy friendships, on the other hand, should bring joy and positivity into your life. They should leave you feeling uplifted and energized. While it's normal to have disagreements or misunderstandings in any relationship, healthy friendships should be built on a foundation of mutual respect and support.

If you find yourself constantly caught up in your friend's drama or feeling drained after spending time with them, it may be time to re-evaluate the friendship. It's important to prioritize your own well-being and surround yourself with people who bring positivity into your life.

Remember, it's okay to set boundaries and distance yourself from toxic friends. It's not your responsibility to fix them or put up with their negative behavior. Your mental health and well-being should always come first.


In conclusion, friendships are an essential part of our lives, and it's important to surround ourselves with people who uplift and support us. However, not all friendships are created equal, and toxic friendships can do more harm than good. It's crucial to identify signs of toxicity in our friendships and take necessary steps to avoid them.

One of the most significant signs of a toxic friendship is an unbalanced give-and-take dynamic. If you find yourself constantly giving and not receiving, it might be time to re-evaluate the friendship. Similarly, excessive criticism, lack of respect, and lack of support are all indicators of a toxic friendship. Trust and communication are also vital components of healthy friendships, and if they're lacking, it's time to reassess the relationship.

Toxic friendships are often characterized by constant drama and chaos, whereas healthy friendships bring joy and positivity into our lives. It's important to prioritize our mental and emotional health and surround ourselves with people who make us feel good about ourselves.

In conclusion, healthy friendships require mutual respect, support, trust, communication, and positivity. If you identify signs of toxicity in your friendships, don't be afraid to distance yourself and prioritize your well-being. Remember, it's okay to outgrow friendships that no longer serve you, and it's better to be alone than in bad company.