Good friends are essential for making our lives so much better through emotional support. They can help us find purpose and meaning about things that we may have overlooked to help us as well as fill that needed gap for social connection that makes us happy instead of alone. Sometimes though, a person we considered a good friend may not be a healthy influence for our well-being. Therefore, it is better to recognize the signs of a toxic friendship that could be pulling you down to distort your sense of self-esteem and rethink if you really want that person as a friend.
Everyone has bad days where they could do or say the wrong thing. Good friends can argue or disagree, but real ones tend to apologize once they have time to cool down and ponder their words. However, a toxic friend is someone that may make a habit out of saying hurtful things to put you down unlike the rest of your friends and never regret it. In fact, such a “friend” may feel the remark was doing you a favor because of an inflated ego. Furthermore, if the person does apologize, it usually is not sincere.
When you start noticing that particular friend usually dominates the conversation to only talk about themselves and their problem is another of these signs of a toxic friendship. You are merely a listening post for them to sound off on when they need advice or help when experiencing a problem.
Then again, you could have a friend that is constantly trying to change you. Maybe they hate how you wear your hair or your fashion sense too just the fact that you prefer glasses to contacts. While their feedback can be helpful, it is you that make those choices for what you feel comfortable in. They have no right to impose their will on you.
Something else to think about when debating the value of that questionable friend is that person always has to have his or her way when going places or doing things together. Compromise about what you would prefer to do always seems to fall on deaf ears, which is another of these signs of a toxic friendship.
Equally disconcerting is a friend that has no regards for your personal boundaries. For example, this person could just go through your jewelry box or your closet and borrow a piece of jewelry or an outfit without asking your permission. The person simply assumes you would be fine with this without considering your feelings.
Of course, you could have a friend that always asks to borrow something like a set of glassware or food for their recipes and never seems to repay you. In fact, if the person does return a tangible thing such as glassware for their party, they may return only a few glasses and not the entire set that you originally sent over. This is not a good friend, but a person taking advantage and signs of a toxic friendship that you could do without.
Real friends also don’t gossip about each other or people in general. If that person is gossiping about someone else in your circle or social connections, then it is more than likely that this person also may talk about you in an unkind way.
Good friends should make you feel comfortable and happy just being in their company, but when you start feeling uneasy around a particular friend is time to question whether you want that person to remain in your life.