As we grow older, it’s more evident who our ride or die friends are. But, part of growing up is realizing that friends you’ve had for years, may actually be toxic friends. Just because you’ve been friends for a long time, doesn’t necessarily mean that relationship is healthy and that you should stay friends for the sake of staying friends. Friends can be toxic and bad for you, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. These toxic friend traits are one you may not have known about but are sure signs of a toxic friend.
1. They Can Only Talk About Themselves
We all know people who love to talk, some could talk for hours on end without even noticing whether or not you’re listening. And, it’s nice to have a friend that genuinely listens to you and cares enough to hear about your work stories, but, like any relationship, there should be equal levels of listening. I’m a fairly quiet person, so I usually can just sit back and listen to my friends talking, but I know that if I wanted to share something or I had a story to tell that they would respect me and listen. A friend who just dominates the conversation and barely gives you a chance to talk; doesn’t really care about your opinion. Often, when you do go to share it, they shut you down, making you not even want to talk.
2. They Want To Make Decisions For You
Big or small, they always seem to not only have an opinion but they are determined for you to agree with and make the same decision as them. I had a friend who always tried to get me to quit my job, always trying to manipulate my opinion of my job telling me that I actually didn’t like it, saying that they knew what was best for me. When in fact, I truly loved my job and didn’t understand why they were always trying to get me to leave. Whether its something as big as that or just always being the one to decide where you go to eat, if they are always trying to control your decisions, it’s because they want to control you. There is a difference in giving your opinion to a friend and trying to make that choice for them. They may even guilt you to try and choose what they want you to choose. Big or small, they always want to influence you in a way that will benefit them, thinking of themselves before you.
3. They Are Always In Control
Before going out my friends and I typically text each other to see what the other is wearing, usually just to make sure we are dressed appropriately. But if I texted a friends saying I was wearing sweatpants and she texted back she was wearing a dress, I wouldn’t make her change. It’s one thing to want to kind of be on the same page but insisting that a friend changes or wear something so “they don’t look better than you”, is them having major control issues. They will probably also guilt you into feeling bad if you don’t let them have control over the situation. Similar to making decisions for you, it’s about control and them having the final word on everything. They may also always be deciding what your weekend plans are, if you want a chill night in and they want to go out to bars, odds are they will manipulate the situation so that they get what they want.
4. They Are Mean
This may seem obvious, but with friends we can all joke around and sometimes poke fun at each other, but there is definitely a line between just being mean and joking with friends. This is the friend who tell you that your outfit is ugly, or that something you did was stupid. We all probably know someone who is more blunt than others, but its about finding the line between that and just being an unsupportive and mean person. This doesn’t extend to just you, if they are mean to other people, then at some point they will probably turn and be mean to you. Mean people are not someone who can foster a good relationship, they are going to be toxic friends who will only bring you down with their negativity.
They also show that they can never truly be happy for you. They want you for the benefit of themselves, not what’s best for you. So you may get a new job or boyfriend that takes up a bit more time than usual, so you don’t get to see them as often. Instead of being supportive of the changes in your life, they are always the one making you second guess yourself and feel guilty about personal growth. If they can’t truly be happy for you, than they are a toxic friend.
5. Jealous Of Other Friendships
This is a really bad toxic friend trait and probably my personal biggest pet peeve. You may have a friend or two that you are more close with than others, whether its because you’re both single so you have more free time, or you’ve even friends your whole life so they know everything about you. Your friendship with other people does not negate your friendships with other people. Now, you obviously don’t want to shut out your other friends but if a friend is using other friendships against you, that’s really unhealthy. They will probably also try to sabotage your relationship with those other friends because they see it as a threat. If they can’t say anything nice about your other friends, it’s most likely because they are jealous of your friendships with them.
6. They Always Have Gossip
Every now and then it’s nice to catch up with a friend and blow off some steam. But there’s a difference with talking through what Jessica said at your birthday party that made you mad, then moving on, and talking about Jessica and everything in her life for the entire conversation. If all they want to do is gossip with you, then they are probably gossiping about you when you aren’t there. I had a friend who all she wanted to do was talk about everyone else in our friend group, but never in a positive way. It was that Friend A’s boyfriend was a creep, Friend B was always flaking too much and Friend C was just too annoying sometimes. But, as soon as she saw them in person, it was as if none of that mattered and she was their best friend again. There’s a difference in blowing off steam, and just being mean and gossiping.
7. They’re Too Clingy
We all have some needy people in our lives, but like a romantic relationship, some friendships can draw the line. Having a friend that is constantly tracking your every move and needs your constant attention is a toxic friend. If they are texting you while they know you’re out to dinner with your family or at a work event, just wanting your attention, they are probably jealous that your attention isn’t on them. They may even make you feel bad for not spending time with them. They are someone who needs constant attention and cannot be alone, and if you want to hangout by yourself or do something without them, they will try to stay in constant communication with you even if they can’t physically be there.
8. They Want To Fix You
Your friend may see you as a “project” for themselves. They are constantly trying to make you into something that you’re not. This is toxic in the sense that they want to change you because they don’t value you the way you are and they want to be the one to fix you, for a sense of pride for themselves. They may also want to be your only confidant, when you have a problem they want you to only share it with them. This gives them a sense of power over you and they will use it against you when they need it.
There is a difference in genuinely wanting to help your friend out with their problems and being a good listener, but if your friend is always trying to pry and get you to talk about personal issues without respecting boundaries, they are probably doing it for themselves and not you.
8. They Use Your Insecurities Against You
This is a very malicious toxic friend trait, but it’s easy to not notice. This friend typically want to be your sole confidant, like the above toxic trait, they want to fix you. With this trait they will use what you told them in confidence against you. You may share that you get really nervous when people ignore you, and they will use that trait against you to make them feel more powerful in the friendship. They also may know that you’re insecure about your thighs, so they may point out that a dress looks too tight on your thighs. There are ways to be supportive of this but if you find that what you don’t like about yourself, your friend also doesn’t like, it’s probably because they know you are insecure in that aspect.
9. They Are A Hypocrite
This is best explained in the Mean Girls scene where Regina George tells another student that her outfit is “vintage” but as soon as she leaves she tells Kady how much she hates it. We all want to fit in to an extend, but this person goes out of their way to make sure that they fit in with any given group they are in. They may be with a group of friends who is very passionate about animal rights so they vow they never eat meat, but when they go out with their next group of friends they order a meat lovers pizza and the same friend says it’s her favorite pizza. This may seem small but if a friend can’t own up to her actual likes and dislikes its because she’s trying to fit in with every group of people by being dishonest.
Being honest in a friendship or any relationship for that matter is key to. trusting the other person. Even if they are lying about something as small as their favorite food, they will be more inclined to lie about other things. Your friend may not necessarily lie to you, but them hiding the truth and just not telling you can be just as bad.
10. They Don’t Reciprocate Your Friendship
Sure, they may always be the first to agree to getting tacos and margs with you but when you need a ride home from work they’re suddenly busy. If a friend asks you to do something a little out of the norm, like taking them to the airport or letting their dog out while they’re stuck in a meeting but you know they wouldn’t do the same for you, they are a toxic friend. Any good friend should want to help you out, even if its a little inconvenient waking up at 4am to drop them at the airport, if you would do it for them, but you find they are always making an excuse when you need a favor, it’s because they don’t value your friendship. These toxic friends see you as convenient for themselves, who they can call on for a favor but know they don’t have to return it; and if not some reason they do a favor for you, they’ll use that against you whenever they can to make you feel guilty.
What toxic traits have you experienced from friends? What toxic trait bothers you the most? Comment below and let us know!
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MARIA HEHMAN IS A GRADUATE OF THOMAS MORE COLLEGE, WHERE SHE OBTAINED A BACHELOR'S OF ARTS IN ENGLISH, WITH AN EMPHASIS IN CREATIVE WRITING. SHE WORKS AS A MANAGER IN RETAIL AND DOES FREELANCE WRITING IN HER SPARE TIME. HER WRITING TOPIC WITH SOCIETY19 VARY, BUT FASHION IS HER GREATEST INTEREST. YOU CAN FIND HER MOST DAYS DRINKING ENTIRELY TOO MUCH COFFEE WHILE WATCHING HER FAVORITE SHOW, FRIENDS.