The give and take between friends may not be equal every day, but it should be close over time. Friends should make you feel better and not worse about yourself. One who drains you emotionally, mentally, or even financially is a toxic friend. There are so many toxic behaviors that 100 warning signs wouldn't be enough, but here are 10 big ones to look out for.
- Critical: She makes jokes, especially in front of others, at your expense.
- Emotional manipulation: She'll stop talking to you (or not respond to texts, emails, IMs) when she doesn't get her way.
- Disrespectful of boundaries: She may pick a fight or guilt-trip you if you say no to something small like not going out one night.
- Self-absorbed: When you want to talk about a problem, she's busy; yet when she has a problem, you're expected to drop everything.
- Breaks promises: Of course even the most well-intentioned friends have to break promises and plans occasionally, but if it's a pattern, then it's a problem.
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- Trash talker: If she's constantly talking about others, then she's probably talking about you.
- Competitive: Sometimes competition is unavoidable, but if you feel like you're competing over everything — attention, grades, relationships — then it's probably not your imagination.
- Emotionally high-maintenance: You're constantly catering to her emotions and planning for her reactions. You may even deny your own wants because it's not worth her drama.
- Revolving door of friends: If she has issues and drama with multiple other friends (or previous ones), then it's probably not them.
- You defend her: If you defend her with arguments like "I've known her forever" or "she's so nice," then you might want to take a closer look at her not-so-nice side.
How have you handled toxic friends?