Knowing the signs of a toxic friend can really save you a lot of time and energy from jumping in or continuing relationships that are not worthy of your efforts. It can be pretty painful to realize that a friend you really love and care about doesn’t have your best interest at heart, but it’s definitely a necessary thing in life we all have to go through in life. Spotting the signs of a toxic friend can be a bit tricky. The person may not always come across as all bad, and may even be really sweet. However, you know when someone’s vibe is just off, it shows in the little things they do or don’t.
Before we get into this one, I just want to make it clear that we all have toxic ways and no one is perfect! This post isn’t meant to be mean or bash anyone, in anyway. This post is meant for people that are constantly giving their time, energy and attention to friends that don’t really deserve it. It’s meant for people that aren’t clear on whether a friend in their lives is actually toxic or not.
As someone who used to allow toxic friendships to continue for years and years on end throughout my life, and then finally finding the courage to cut people off, its really changed my life for the better and attracted way better friends who actually care and love me for me. With that being said, I’ve also had to take a look at myself and my behavior in the past and realize that a lot of the times I was the toxic friend. So don’t be offended by anything you notice you probably do on this list too. We’re growing together!
1. Their Personality Changes Around Other People
Often times with a toxic friend, you will notice their personality changes a lot the moment you two are around other people. You’d both probably be getting along just fine when you’re alone but the moment you’re in the presence of others again, their behavior all of a sudden takes a turn or perhaps they almost even forget you exist. It sort of makes you feel as if you’re all of a sudden looked down upon, compared to everyone else around them.
When this happens you have to remember that you are not the problem. People who change their personalities to compensate others, and make themselves more likeable are usually just insecure as a person. They feel like they have to overcompensate to fit in with others. In fact, if they don’t do this with you they probably feel secure around you enough to just be themselves for a while. However, when other people are around they can often unconsciously act out. This is still no excuse for their behavior though, and sometimes you just have to call it out (in private) for them to realize what they’re doing.
2. They Are Dismissive Towards Your Feelings
A toxic friend will often be dismissive towards how you feel. If you’re going through something, they often will make you feel like its not that relevant, or important. Yes, sometimes we all are guilty of overlooking a friend in need sometimes because we may not realize the importance of what someone is telling us or perhaps we simply forget. However, if your friend is constantly doing this to you then that is not okay.
A toxic friend will always change the subject when you bring up something that bothers you, and not even care to ask how you feel. Their focus is always on themselves, their lives and what they want. This behavior can be really frustrating to deal with because it’s an act of someone bluntly dismissing your feelings. Again, this is wrong and you should never have to deal with this. The next time anyone does this to you, simply acknowledge it and realize that your feelings and opinions are not valuable to this person, so they are not worth sharing it with.
3. They’re Always Lying To You
One of the biggest signs of a toxic friend, is that they’re always lying to you. It’s often in the little lies people tell us that make us feel like they’re being really sly and sketchy with us. We’re all guilty of telling a little white lie here and there, but when it comes down to a toxic friend, its almost like you can tell they have a need to lie to you even about the most irrelevant things.
I always questioned why people would do this and you have to understand again, there are very few people out there who choose to actively work on themselves and their personal growth. Therefore, there are many people walking around feeling insecure in how they are perceived. Sometimes to these people a lie just feels easier when they feel threatened by someone who’s presence feels much more stronger compared to theirs. So if anything, find friends that actually match your confident energy.
4. They’re Always Trying To One Up You
A toxic friend will always downplay your success and make you feel irrelevant and unimportant. They act like what you think and say doesn’t even matter. Again, this is dismissive behavior and can feel really frustrating to deal with. You’ll probably also notice with a toxic friend that whenever you have an achievement or even win at something as little as knowing something they perhaps didn’t – they will always try and one up you. It will almost feel as if everything is a competition.
This is one of the worst signs of a toxic friend. It makes you feel like you have to be guarded around this person at all times. A true friendship should never have to feel like you have to keep things from someone or downplay yourself so that they don’t get jealous. That is not what friendship is, a real friend will always be happy for your successes and uplift you to achieve even more.
5. Good Gestures Are Never Reciprocated
The worst feeling is when you do good things for a person you care about and it never gets reciprocated back. You’re always the one calling to make plans and hang out, you’re always the one who’s paying for dinner, or you’re always the one that’s getting them a birthday present but come your big day, and you receive nothing. This is called a one sided friendship and you should never feel like your doing all the work just to keep a friendship going.
If your friend is doing this to you, please recognize that they do not care for you as much. You should always be met halfway and feel like the efforts you put in are being reciprocated in any relationship. If not, then it’s time to either communicate this or leave.
6. They’re Not Themselves When They’re Around You
Toxic friends often feel the need to put on an act and not be themselves around around of you. Sometimes you may get the feeling that a person is being fake around you. This behavior, it is inauthentic. It’s definitely a sign of someone who is not only insecure around you, but toxic and untrusting too.
7. They’re Oblivious To How They Make You Feel
Sometimes it can feel ridiculous to have to tell a person how they’re obviously making you feel. However, it’s your responsibility to communicate to your feelings to your friend when they do these things. Thereafter, the onus is on them to decide whether they’re willing to change their toxic ways or not. If they aren’t willing to acknowledge the behaviors that bother you, then it is fair to say that they simply don’t care about how they make you feel. At some point you have to realize that you are being disrespected. Understand that a friend who values you would never be deliberately hurt you.
8. Only Call Or Text You When They Want Something
Toxic friends always seem to have a hidden agenda when they call you. It’s never just them checking how you’re doing, or wanting to hang out just for the sake of your company. There’s just always something they’re wanting to gain from you. Not to mention when you need to something from this person, they’re most likely to never be available to you. Unless it’s on their terms of course, a toxic friend is only available when they want something from you.
9. They Feel They Always Need To Be Right
Nothing is more annoying than someone who feels they always need to be right. However, this is especially true when it comes to toxic friends. They also need to know more than you. Nothing you talk about can ever be a simple conversation without them feeling the need to be right. As frustrating as this is, sometimes you just have to ignore this behavior pattern and let it go. No amount of justification in a conversation will ever make someone who wants to be right, that they’re actually wrong.
10. They Seek Attention and Approval
You’ll notice that with most toxic friends, a lot of the things they do is because they’ve been neglected of love, approval and validation. This is the reason they unintentionally act out. People that want attention and validation often don’t realize how their behavior effects those around them. They don’t care about whether it insults you or not because all that’s important to them in that moment is being seen as ‘above’ you. It has very little to do with you and has more to do with the internal power struggle they have that stems from their insecurities.
11. They’re Always On Their Phone
Everyone has had that one friend that literally just wants to hang out with you just to show people they’re having fun. This is often why you’ll see this friend on the phone, texting, taking unsolicited photos and just calling up random people when they’re supposed to be hanging out with you. This is really frustrating and can feel like you’re just being used.
Not only is this wrong, but it’s one of the signs of a toxic friend. They can never be around you without feeling the need to show other people what they’re doing. They do this to make themselves look like they’re having fun or look important. Naturally, that can make you feel like you’re just being used.
12. They Take Credit For Everything You Do
Toxic friends always take credit for things that you do. It doesn’t matter how big or small, but this can make you feel like you can’t trust them or their character. It’s not even about the credit you deserve, it has more to do with the attention they seek that they will choose to step on you to get it. You can’t have a moment to yourself with them without them taking all the credit for it and that can be really annoying to deal with, especially when you’re a secure person that doesn’t seek validation from others.
That’s it for this one! Please remember that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes and we all go through things in our personal lives that make us act out sometimes. Your friends may not be able to you everything that goes on in their personal lives and that’s okay. What’s not okay is when they continuously treat you badly because of it. No one deserves that kind of treatment.
These signs of a toxic friend are simply for you to acknowledge that these toxic behaviors are unacceptable. Remember that communication in friendships is just as important as it is in relationships. It should go both ways too. Be open and honest with your friends about what you want from your relationship and how they make you feel. Sometimes people simply aren’t aware of how their behavior effects others in the moment. So don’t be afraid to speak up, its the only way others can learn about themselves too. No one is perfect, but once we acknowledge where we go wrong, we can choose to change and do something about it.
Alana – Mae