How To Identify Toxic FriendsHow To Identify Toxic Friends

Toxic friendships are emotionally, and mentally draining. Sadly, we usually miss out on signs of toxic friendships because of the love and care we have for our friends.

Friendship is a pure and beautiful bond. Good friends help you grow, support you in difficult times, and cheer for you in your good times. Nonetheless, toxic friends rob us of the experience of happiness.

We must look out for signs of toxic friendships because they can cause many mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, etc.

Toxic Friendship Signs

Here are some signs of toxic friendships, if most of these resonate with you, chances are you need to cut your ties.

1) They Often “Forget” About You

An underrated sign of a toxic friendship is that they don’t bother inviting you when they make plans. For example, you see they posted a group selfie on social media, and you were not invited. This makes you feel hurt, alone and isolated. When you ask them about it, they often dodge the question or make excuses such as “‘it slipped my mind”, “it was a very sudden plan”, etc.

2) They Do Not Put In Equal Efforts

If your friend circle does not reciprocate your efforts, it is often because they don’t value you enough. A true friend will always appreciate you and put equal effort into the friendship.

3) They Hurt Your Feelings

Toxic friends will often hurt your feelings. It may be intentional or unintentional. Nonetheless, they do not care about your feelings and even if you confront them, you are not happy with their answer. They may often provide you with vague answers, or manipulate you.

4) They Often Criticise You

One of the biggest signs of a toxic person is that they try to manipulate you into thinking they are always right. They do so by subtly criticising you, it may be regarding your looks or certain behaviour. Their criticism will make you feel underconfident, which they will take advantage of.

5) They Don’t Listen To You & Often Cut You Off

Tell me if this sounds familiar– you are sharing your feelings with friends and they disregard it, and somehow make the conversation about themself. If it does, it indicates that they don’t listen to you and don’t value your emotions because a true friend would always listen to you and empathise with you.

6) They Are Often Self-Centred

A toxic person does not care about people around them. They often make themselves the centre of every conversation. You often start to feel that everything is about them, and you don’t get a chance to express yourself.

7) They Are Not Reliable

Toxic friends will treat you as they wish, and they will use you at their convenience. You can’t rely on them for emotional support. On the other hand, with true friends, you often feel comfort and ease.

Additionally, if you ever find yourself in a difficult situation, you know you won’t be able to rely on your toxic friends, they will make excuses. However, a true friend will always be there.

Why Is It So Hard To See The Signs Of Toxic Friendships?

When toxic friends surround us, we often doubt ourselves, and make excuses for them. But have you ever wondered why? There is no one definitive answer, but some common reasons are:

a) You Have Put In Effort

Imagine you created an art project, and you worked hard on it for months, but it had some flaws. Would you discard it? Probably not. Similarly, when you make friends, you put in a lot of effort. That is why you may often tend to ignore the toxic behaviour they portray because you don’t want your efforts to go to waste.

b) You Feel Comfortable Around Them

Even though they may make you uncomfortable at times, you know them as a person and may have a lot of memories with them. Hence, you don’t want to let go of the good memories.

c) You Care For Them

We tend to care about people close to us, be it friends, family, partners, or colleagues. Hence, when we care about someone, we find it difficult to let them go.

d) You Fear Being Alone

There are instances when your whole friend circle is toxic. In such situations, you may fear being alone. On the other hand, even if it is just a single person, they may make you feel like you are not good enough, and won’t be able to make other friends.

However, you must understand that toxic friendships are like slow poison, they will keep killing you from the inside. Hence, you must cut off from them, as the famous saying goes “ Don’t associate yourself with toxic people. It’s better to be alone and love yourself than be surrounded by people that make you hate yourself.”

e) You Have Hope They Will Change

In the beginning, everyone is kind, and when they change their colours, you may hope it’s a phase, and things will get better. Instead, things get worse and you find yourself being drained out emotionally and physically.

Effects Of Toxic Friendships

Sometimes, even when you are surrounded by your friends, you may feel alone. This feeling tends to make you feel low, upset and isolated. Additionally, you will often feel anxious around toxic people. 

Studies show that, when you are surrounded by toxic people, you are likely to lose your self-esteem, and you may even start criticising yourself.
Remember that, toxic friends don’t care about you, they use you as they please. Such friendships negatively impact your mental health hence, you must know how to end a friendship without hurting feelings.

If you enjoyed this blog, you may also like: 5 Benefits You’ll Gain From Cutting Off Toxic ‘Friends’

By Shreya Bhatt

I am Shreya Bhatt, a content writer and creator, I enjoy answering audiences' curiosity with my blogs. I graduated in 2023 with a bachelor's in mass communication. I have always taken an immense interest in writing, and creating content. My first workshop about SEO is what piqued my interest in content writing, and I have been pursuing it ever since. I love to write about diverse topics and enjoy researching and gathering information about something that is new to me. Although I graduated in 2023, I have over a year's experience in content writing. Personally, I love to travel, listen to music, and follow an active lifestyle. As a child, I often looked at Google to answer all my questions, and today as an adult I look to answer the questions of others.

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