13 Signs of a Toxic Friendship That’ll Do You More Harm Than Good
The longer a relationship is, the more valuable it is. It’s difficult to stop communicating with old friends but sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary. A good friendship can become weaker over the years and may even prove useless for both parties involved.
Bright Side has collected the most popular signs of a toxic friend for our female readers. If you notice that your close friend has at least some of these qualities, it may be time to think about whether you need to keep communicating with this person or not.
1. She is not happy when you’re successful.
If you tell a toxic friend about your success and her immediate reaction is to change the subject by complaining about her failures and says things like, “See! You have a boyfriend and I have nothing!” or “You’ve won the competition and I will never be able to,” she doesn’t care about the good things happening in your life, but she loves it when you’re in trouble.
- This leads to: Receiving a negative reaction from your friend about your successes can make you feel guilty. You may want to help her find a boyfriend or win a competition but when you offer her help, she’ll reject it which can make the situation even worse.
2. She acts jealous as if she were your boyfriend.
Your friend won’t be happy to see you if she finds out you saw someone else before her. She might get angry, requiring you to invite her everywhere. The worst case scenario is if she tracks all your social media activity and gets angry when you go somewhere with your other friends.
- What this leads to: You may start to act like a teacher and will try to make your friend understand that she is wrong. But according to psychologists, this idea is doomed: you will often have problems and arguments, and the relationship won’t last long.
3. You feel exhausted after talking to her.
We often don’t notice that after talking to a friend, we can feel tired or may even get a headache. Psychologist Susan Heitler thinks that the reasons for this are psychosomatic. That’s because all the body systems are connected and emotional discomfort makes us feel physically bad.
- What this leads to: If you notice that you feel bad after talking to your friend, try to remember if it has happened before. If it has, maybe it’s not worth it and you should take a break and not communicate for some time.
4. Sometimes you feel like you want to hide something from her.
A change in interests, previous negative experiences, or some other unclear feelings can make you not want to tell your friend about certain things even though you used to share everything with them.
- What this leads to: If you stop telling your friend about your feelings, problems, and personal events, you’ll soon realize you have nothing to talk about.
5. She calls you at any time of day asking you to listen to her.
There are some moments that require support from a friend more than others, but a toxic friend abuses this. She might call you late at night asking you to listen to her and will get offended if you say no. Support is really important for a close relationship but you shouldn’t serve as a psychotherapist or a pillow to cry into.
- What this leads to: By succumbing to your friend’s annoying persistence, you give it a green light. She will call you more often and her stories will take even longer.
6. She highlights her advantages using your disadvantages.
She looks strong and confident, she wears cool clothes and criticizes everyone around her, including you. In fact, she probably has low self-esteem and is trying to hide it.
- What this leads to: You may feel less confident and less decisive when she’s around.
7. She copies your behavior, haircut, nails, and even your boyfriend.
She may do this on purpose or subconsciously. Most of the time she doesn’t mean anything bad by it, she just likes you a lot and wants to be like you. She may copy different things like the way you walk, talk, dress, do your makeup and so on. She might even have the same nail design as you or find a similar boyfriend. And when you talk to her, you might hear your own words and ideas.
- What this leads to: You are a source of energy and inspiration for her and she can’t make up something new by herself. Maybe it’s because she lacks imagination. If you are okay with this, you can keep this relationship.
8. She’s too dramatic and only talks about her own problems.
She always talks about how bad her life is. She likes the thought of how much pain she has inside. Psychologists think that being easily offended and seeing only the negative sides of life can be symptoms of neurosis.
- What this leads to: By trying to support your friend and choosing the topics she can talk about, you might get in the same habit of seeing only the bad stuff and ignoring the good.
9. She tries to be better than you at everything, making your friendship feel like a constant race.
Just as soon as you say, “Look at the shoes I got on sale! They were just $20,” she will respond with something like, “And I got these expensive shoes! But yours are okay, too...” Your friend always manages to have better news than you have.
- What this leads to: This constant race where someone always wins and someone loses, never allows either of you to feel that you are equal.
10. She uses you.
If she regularly asks you to give her a lift, lend her money, let her make a phone call, or for you to help redecorate her apartment, this is a really bad sign. Such people see others only as a means to reach their own goals.
- What this leads to: The more you help, the more often she will ask for it. In order to avoid this, learn to say no.
11. She criticizes you and is too honest.
You might ask your friend, “Do I look bad?” hoping for a negative answer, and she will say something like, “Yes, there is something wrong with you. You have dark circles under your eyes and your dress is too small...” If this happens just once or twice, it can be explained by a bad mood, but if she criticizes you all the time, it is a worrying sign. Psychologists believe that this is a way for people to compensate for their own flaws.
- What this leads to: Reasonable criticism helps us become better. But if someone is using you to make themselves feel better, it’s time to end the relationship.
12. She gives you obviously wrong advice.
“Leave him! You don’t need him!” This is the way a toxic friend reacts when you decide to tell her about a minor problem with your boyfriend. This type of “care” shows that she is jealous of your relationship with him.
- What this leads to: Someday, her piece of advice will come at a really bad moment (for example, when you are filled with too much emotion) and you might even follow it.
13. She leaves you as soon as she has a new boyfriend.
Your friend forgets about everyone as soon as she finds a new boyfriend. She doesn’t return your calls and texts and finds excuses not to meet up with you. But after she breaks up with the boyfriend, she calls you and tells you a long, boring story of her failed love.
- What this leads to: If you try to have a direct conversation with her, she will probably think that you’re jealous. The only thing you can do in this situation is wait — but your patience should be limited.
Have you ever had friends like this? Share your story in the comment section below.