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How Do I Know If My Friendship Has Become Toxic?

How Do I Know If My Friendship Has Become Toxic?

Caoimhe Mahon

Recently on our Listen Here Missy episode about Friendship, we got a dilemma from a listener who was worried that their friendship may have become toxic.

We try to see the best in people, particularly people we call friends. But it’s a horrible feeling to start to have doubts creep into your mind about a friendship.



When you are with your friends it should be fun, conformable and you should feel like you can always be yourself. A friendship has turned toxic though when this no longer exists. Instead, you are feeling insecure, agitated and sad.

So, what are the signs of a toxic friendship and when is it time to move on?

They are selfish

This is a major red flag and can manifest itself in many different ways.

If you are having a moment they feel the need to redirect attention on to them. Perhaps you need someone to listen and they make judgements rather than support you? Or they turn your problem into their drama? They might make everything about them.

A sign of a selfish friend is one that never is willing to compromise, doesn’t seem to understand your needs and never puts you first.

Everything is a competition

This one is particularly toxic because it suggests they can never be happy for you.

A true friend will celebrate your successes, they will hype you up and be your fan girl.

However, if someone is constantly in competition with you then this is another toxic trait. They always feel the need to outdo you, put down your success and exhibit signs of jealousy.

Lies make a lack of trust

Another sign of a toxic friend is someone who cannot stop lying. And worse is when they are called out on it but deny it. We all tell white lies sometimes but when reality starts to become distorted, you feel uncomfortable and manipulated even.

It can be hard to rationalise a person like this. Perhaps it’s for attention or to get sympathy but a constant stream of lies can lead to distrust. Either way, they quickly becoming a tiring person to be around.

Things are one sided

Things should never just be one-sided. Relationships and friendships are about give and take. There should always be a balance in a friendship.

Ask yourself.

See Also

  • Are you the one always suggesting to meet and do things?
  • Do you have to text first all the time?
  • Do they make the same effort you do?

A friendship like any relationship is a two way street and so should be fair.

What To Do If You Think You’re Friendship Has Become Toxic

If you’re starting to feel comfortable in a friendship the first thing you should do is speak to your friend. You never know what’s going on with someone and there may be a reason why the are suddenly acting different. Tell them how you feel in an assertive, non-aggressive way.

If they don’t react well to this, or continue to make you feel badly it may be time to take a step back from the friendship. We know friendship breakups are hard but you should never allow anyone else to make you feel bad about yourself.

It’s never easy to admit that things have turned toxic and it’s even harder to make that cut out of your life but it is so important that you do so for your sake.

Have you any experience ealing with a toxic friend?

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