Watch Out for These 6 Red Flags to Avoid Potentially Toxic Friendship
Most of us can agree that we have that one friend that is always getting on our nerves, or that we know someone who is toxic and brings stress and pressure into our lives, and yet we befriend them for some reason. However, when confronted with an uncomfortable scenario, red flags are those who exhibit a pattern that may be easily recognized and identified by others.
1. Understanding the two sides is almost non-existent.
If you know someone who is constantly gone when you need them and only appears when they need you, that could be a warning sign. Having one-sided feelings or concerns is more prevalent than you believe, but this does not mean that everyone who is like this is a red flag. As long as that person is unconcerned about your needs, it is best to take action.
Not because they like you or anything, but because they want to obtain something from you. In a typical life scenario, your female friend has a problem and has invited you to dine outside; it has been like this for a couple of months, only to tell you their issues, and when it is your chance to release something they have vanished into thin air.
A healthy relationship should be working in both ways. This applies to every kind, and it’s not supposed to be just one person working or making a way to make it happen. It should be balanced so that men and women can have a harmonious journey.
2. Not even boundaries could stop them.
We are all aware that boundaries are something that individuals should respect, not just because of a relationship, but also to demonstrate to others that you recognize their areas. On the other hand, people who are truly toxic don’t know any private spaces. If that individual is aware that doing so will bother or harm you in some way and still continues to do, they are someone who doesn’t care in the first place.
That person could be doing it for a variety of reasons, such as believing they are in competition with you and thus need to do something that will absolutely catch you off guard, or they simply want to hurt your feelings. If you tell them that is incorrect, they may even make you appear to be a bad person.
For example, a group of women is your friends, and they are really competitive in every way, but it has become a habit of theirs to trash talk to everyone, including you. Even though you are friends, that group of women still continues to talk down to you and disrespect your privacy, which is a big red sign, and it’s too obvious to ignore.
3. It’s all about them and only them.
People that exhibit symptoms are constantly in the spotlight. They make everything about them and tell stories about their lives, but what about you? These people even pick on people about their lives and how they should live them, making comments about their bodies and lifestyles without considering your sentiments.
They kept telling you to do this and that, to eat this and that, but after a while, it gets tiring since talking to them is like the reverse effect of drinking coffee in that they sap your vitality. Not only do you feel horrible about your newly purchased purse, jewelry, or a new lifestyle, but you also feel bad and upset about yourself.
Now it’s hard to open up, and we become insecure, which affects us in our daily lives. This is a sign to walk away as soon as possible to protect your inner peace and to learn to love yourself even before. In a group of women with whom your buddies kept bragging about themselves all day and all night, all of their stories are solely about them, and they never invited you to share anything.
4. It’s like being on a rollercoaster, but you’re stuck at the bottom.
As previously stated, this insensitive person makes everything about them so that they are always on top of their game. On the other hand, you’re stranded at the bottom, unable to move. Sometimes people adjust so that those around them will accept them, but it can be difficult to be just yourself.
As you progress with this person, your mental and physical health deteriorates; everything about you seems off when you’re around them. It will hurt, and some people are lucky enough to be able to walk away from this person, but others are not; some will develop a new personality against their will, but they do it to impress others.
These new habits are bad if you are doing something that you are not comfortable with, and you know that it’s wrong. But still, because of the judgments and insensitive comments, it’s hard to be yourself, especially if you are surrounded by people that don’t care about what they are saying. As an example, you are with a few women who are your friends, but because you dress differently, they make comments about it until it became a habit to please them, which is unhealthy.
5. You are their personal diary.
Being toxic does not discriminate between men and women, some friendships are diverse, and it could be anyone. These are the types of people who maintain you as their own personal diary, where they talk about their lives and troubles and complain about you or them. It could be because you aren’t enough for them or aren’t listening to them, but one thing is certain: everything about you is questionable in their eyes.
It’s all about your flaws, despite the fact that you’ve done so much that they either don’t care or are just that insensitive. They treat you as if you were their private therapist, and you are just allowed to listen to them. You act like a journal, knowing exactly what they are experiencing but unable to say anything because they would attack you if you said anything.
Your role is to act like a mime, mute but present. It’s just a cruel thing to do, especially when you consider them a friend, but they don’t treat you like one, making the pain one-sided as well.
6. Their responsibility is not actually theirs.
These people despise accepting responsibility for their actions unless they are caught red-handed, in which case they will most likely talk you out of it. They will do anything to evade accountability because they lack self-awareness and hence are unaware that what they are doing is actually detrimental to others.
As a result, this will lead to a very unhealthy friendship with them, and it’s difficult if someone can accept their faults because you’ll keep adjusting for them until you are effected, which can all come crashing down in one snap.
Bonus: Walk away or talk with them.
These toxic people won’t stop until you do something. They will break and hurt you until they are satisfied. That’s how competitive and selfish they are, it’s all about their lives and never yours to begin with. People like this would do whatever, even if it negatively impacts you, to maintain their positive reputation and image in the eyes of others.
You can either leave or talk to them about their situation and your feelings. It’s never too late to say something to a friend, even if that buddy is someone everyone should avoid, but that doesn’t imply it will always be that way. To some extent, be a friend to them; if it becomes too much, break and walk away from them. Some friendships are meant to be broken in the end, to learn how to grow and love oneself.
A Reddit user also gave useful advice on a question about red flags that most people brush aside:
- Friends that always say, “I miss you.” But when you try to plan something with them, they never actually seem to want to. Teddylina / Reddit
And we stumble upon a Redditor who shared their toxic friendship story and broke free of that relationship:
- I was best friends with someone for 12 years, and we did everything together. Well, everything that she wanted. It was always about her and her schedule; she never compromised for me. I went to every event she had, even her parents anniversary dinner.
One year, my mother had just passed away, and I was home alone. I asked her to come over, and she said she was going to a friend’s house to party because she broke up with her boyfriend. We haven’t spoken to each other in probably 2 years, and I’ve never been happier. oskatuna / Reddit
The type of friendship mentioned above can be counted as a toxic relationship as they only see other people as a means to reach their goals.