The one thing I hate more than toxic relationships are toxic friendships. Toxic friends are similar to invisible parasites that you do not realize they are hurting you until it’s nearly impossible to get them off. I’ve had to get rid of some toxic friends in my day. I’ve also had to have the incredibly painful dialogue with myself to figure out if one of my very close friends were toxic for me. At the end of the day, here are some tips to figure it out. Your friend is toxic if:
If they are controlling who you hang out with, your plans, everything about you
If a significant other did this, everyone around you would tell you they were toxic. Same goes for friends. If they constantly control your life and every move, that’s not cool. Friendship isn’t a prison sentence. This person isn’t letting you grow and be yourself if they are constantly trying to mold you into something else. Let that person go.
Backing out of plans consistently
I remember I made plans with one of my friends a week in advance. I was supposed to come over his house and meet his important school friends. So, I worked my schedule around that day. I was working too. Then that day comes and on my break at work, my other close girl friend called me and was wondering if I wanted to hang out with her and my other best friend, people I haven’t seen in a while. I declined because I had other plans with my friend. Then during my shift, I get a text from my friend saying if I wanted to hang out the next day instead. Completely blowing me off. I was furious. I planned my entire week around these plans. It’s a respect thing. It’s disrespectful to my time and energy to make plans in advance and back out of them last minute.
If it’s not cool to call out of your shift at work, same thing applies to plans with friends. I’m more understanding if an emergency happened, or if something came up. However, it’s entirely different if you are constantly making plans with me and then backing out all the time. If I called out of work enough times I’d lose my job. Same applies to a friendship. Cut them off and hang out with the friends that value your time.
If they are constantly being disrespectful
As Lauren Jauregui once said, in her new song “Expectations,” “Respect for my time, respect for my space, Respect for my energy.”
If your friend doesn’t respect who you are as a person, or doesn’t respect your feelings and time, then they aren’t going to treat you with that respect. If they actually care about you they will respect you. Cut them out.
Constantly putting you down
Now, I know friends can be mean in a joking fashion. Most of my friends poke fun at me. I in turn poke fun at them. However, there’s a line between joking and being a bully. If you aren’t laughing anymore or leaving the friend’s house feeling more in a bad place than when you started, then that isn’t okay. Friends build you up, not tear you down. Cut them out
Putting romantic relationships before your friendship
It irks me when some of my friends do this. There’s always that one friend that views their romantic relationships a little bit more important than their friendships. But, that leads to friendships falling apart because that friend starts to act that way by putting you and your friendship on the back burner. It doesn’t feel good to be put on the back burner.
True friends will value friendship equally to their romantic relationships. If not, then cut them out. It’s not worth your time to try to get someone to value you when they aren’t going to.
Uses ultimatums to get you to listen to them
If ultimatums aren’t good for a romantic relationship, then they aren’t good for a friendship. Real friends are willing to compromise and listen to you genuinely. Ultimatums are just not necessary. You always lose when you give one. If your friend does it all the time then cut them off immediately. That isn’t acceptable behavior.
Emotional manipulation is really messed up to use against someone. It is when you use your issues to get your friend to stay with you and hang out with you instead. For example, I’ve been going to my friends a lot to just vent when I have had a bad day at work or if my anxiety is going. It’s nice to talk things out. However, it would be emotionally manipulative if I used my bad day at work to get my friend to just hang out with me, even though I could be feeling fine.
It’s gross and makes your friend question if you really needed them to be there for you at all in the first place. It’s not cool and it breaks people’s trust.
Lies to you constantly
This is quite obvious. Lying breaks trust in friendships just as much as they do in romantic relationships. If there isn’t trust, there isn’t friendship. Liars are toxic friends. Cut them out.
Makes you feel unimportant
This one is a huge indicator that your friend is a toxic friend. Friends are supposed to lift you up and help you grow. If they constantly make you feel like you aren’t worth their time, then they aren’t worth yours. Your time is important. You are important. If they can’t see that, why keep them in your life? Cut them out.
Putting all the responsibility on you; not meeting you halfway with the friendship
This is an important indicator that your friend is a toxic friend. Friendship is a two-way street. You guys both pull your weight in it. You meet each other half way and make compromises. It isn’t always fun but it shows how much you value and respect the friendship over the petty situation that is going on to make you guys compromise. However, if your friend can’t do that or seems to be lacking their part in the friendship, then they don’t view the friendship as important to pull their weight for. Friendship is a two-way street, not a one=way dead end. Cut that toxic friend out of your life.