Friendships can be even more complicated than relationships, especially when your friend is secretly putting you down. The red flags are there, just a lot harder to spot. You might even convince yourself that this friendship is working, but let me tell you a secret; friendship is a two-way street, there needs to be some equalities in there.
Here are some signs that you may be caught in a toxic friendship…
You can never ever, ever get a word in.
This one is sneaky, as it can be hidden under the famous ‘gift of the gab’. “Oh yeah my friend could talk the hind legs off a donkey”, but not being able to speak during a conversation is different from having a chatty friend. You need to be heard too. Usually you only notice it when you get back from seeing them and you realise you didn’t say two words the whole time you were together.
And, when you do get a word in, they’re not listening.
Blame it on phones and social media all you want, but the hard truth is that if your friend can’t pay attention when you are speaking it’s because they just don’t care enough. And they don’t care enough because they’re not the focus of the conversation.
Your problems aren’t problems.
Their lives are always full of drama. Always. They will make your problems out to be minuscule; less important or not important at all. They’ll toss them aside a lot. Sometimes they’ll even weigh up the issues against each other, theirs ultimately always winning.
Their opinion is always right.
On the off-chance they do listen to you, their opinion is always the best way to go, according to them. It doesn’t matter about context, people, feelings or the part of the conversation they missed out on because they were too busy with something else, the opinion they give might as well be a God send.
The green-eyed monster is real.
When you have something they don’t, when you achieve something they don’t, when you accomplish anything they don’t – they turn sour. It can be as small as not smiling at you, but because it’s not them, they’re not happy. They can’t ever just be happy for you. There is always some other reason you got what you did. You were lucky, you just knew the right people. These things could be true, yet they will only say them to make themselves feel better.
You do the reaching, unless of course they need something.
You don’t know how but you always find yourself texting first, planning things, asking to meet up. Until they need to vent or borrow a jacket you own.
Their “jokes” aren’t funny.
Again this can be a serious trait being hidden in plain sight. Having playful banter between friends is always good, but there is actually a fine line between banter and just plain mean. And if you listen closely their comments are over that line. They can be these small snide comments, but they chip away at your confidence.
They aren’t there for you.
They say you find out who your true friends are when you are going through a tough time. It’s true. You will notice a sudden lack of them as soon as you need them.
These mini red pins can be tricky to see, but when you spot them you know it is time to get out of the bad friendship, for your sake.