Friendships are beautiful things. They can fill your heart with happiness and keep you sane when you feel stressed. But, not all friendships are created equal. There are some friends who love you unconditionally and will always be there for you no matter what. And then there are friends who take everything you have to offer and give back nothing in return. This latter category can be defined as toxic friendship.
It can be hard to identify a toxic friendship. Sometimes, when you have known a person for a long time, you can be blind to their negative qualities. Toxic friendships are not just a waste of your precious time, but they can be incredibly psychologically damaging. Thus, it is vital that you know how to spot a toxic friendship so you can sort it out. It might be tough to cut a long-term friend out of your life, but it is worth it for the sake of your mental wellbeing.
She Relies Heavily on You
Of course, one of the main duties of a friend is to comfort you in your time of need. However, there is a difference between going to a friend with the occasional issue and constantly demanding their attention and support. If your friend relies of you for everything and gets annoyed if you don’t have time for them, this could be a big red flag.
She’s Never There When You Need Her
You have given up hours of your life listening to her problems, but when you need a shoulder to cry on she is suddenly incommunicado. This is a textbook toxic friendship and can really hamper your wellbeing. If she is taking your support but not willing to offer any back then you should consider ending the friendship. Friendship is a two-way street and anyone who is not pulling their weight is not being a good friend.
She Does Not Treat Your Trust With Respect
It is thoroughly cathartic to pour your heart out to your friends. You tell them intimate details about your life that you hope will remain their own private knowledge. If your friend betrays your trust by discussing your issues with other people then she is not worth having around. It only takes one instance of this for a relationship to completely crumble. If you don’t feel like you can trust her, you should not carry on this friendship.
She Criticises You
We want our friends to boost our self-esteem in any way they can. If we get a promotion, get a good grade or even just get a new haircut, we want our friends to be cheerleaders telling us how happy and proud they are. If your friend is only ever filled with criticism then this could be a sign of a toxic friendship. Obviously, we expect our friends to be critical when it is necessary. If we are dating someone they think is awful or our outfit isn’t flattering, our friends should tell us. But, the positive comments should always outweigh the negatives.
You Make All the Effort
If you are the one who always initiates conversations and organises meet-ups then your friend may be toxic. Your mental wellbeing can really take a hit if you are always making an effort for your friend and they never reciprocate. It can make you feel undervalued and unloved – two feelings that can have devastating long-term effects. Stop organising things and see how long it takes for them to make a plan with you. If it never happens then you know you two were never real friends.