self love

5 Ways to Spot a Toxic Friendship

I recently ended a very toxic relationship with a life-long friend of mine… deep breath.

It is hard to walk away from any relationship after so much time spent together.  When it comes to friendships, I often feel a great sense of duty towards those I call friends, mainly because I do not throw that term around lightly and it takes a long time for friend status of deep meaning to be attained. That’s just how I roll.

Regardless, I ended it. The most shocking part about this relationship ending was not the end but perhaps the fact that I felt nothing during the process. I did not feel sad, or angry, resentful or depressed. I felt relieved? A sign to me that I should have walked away a long time ago.

But why didn’t I walk away? The signs were always there, all the signs that pointed to this person being a negative influence in my life. But I still stayed, duty bound to a relationship that took too much and gave so little in return.5Ways to Spot

Now that the clouds have parted and I feel free of that burdensome relationship I feel my heart is more open, less strained. I feel ready to receive new friendships in my life, it truly is a great feeling. Maybe if I sat and looked at just how toxic this person was to me in the first place I would have had the strength to walk away sooner. You live and you learn.

I have done the unfortunate legwork when it comes to this post.

I hope that if you identify with any of these warning signs then this may serve as the push you need to walk away from that relationship. Also read carefully, if you have some of these traits yourself, take accountability for them, be brave enough to grow and change, because like it or not everyone has been guilty of at least one of these actions in their life at some unfortunate point or another.

1. Their life is more important

When it comes to friendships and relationships there is a fine line between looking out for number one and placing your needs above those whom you care about. Each person’s life and time are as equally important to them as it is to you.

With that being said it is not fair or a sign of an equal healthy relationship to have the other person always placing their time, needs and life above yours. That is the line. Your life is important also. As a friend, it is a beautiful thing to care for another’s needs almost as much as your own.  If you have a friend who is always talking about themselves with the exclusion of you, dismissing your feelings or needs, then this is a sign that they may be crossing that line. You’re important too! Do not feel selfish for wanting to assert that! Any relationship should be equal.

2. They stunt your growth

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”
― Alice Walker

Do you feel smothered by your friend’s demands and expectations of you? Do you leave after your interactions with them feeling unmotivated and confused? That is no way to grow in life, or within a friendship.  When a friendship that was once supportive turns into a smothering fire then there is no real shock that the fire is burning out.

If you feel judged, unsupported, and stunted by the company you keep and their potential negativity towards your own personal growth… then yes. You should drop those people right away.

3. They have jealousy or resentment towards you

“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend”
― Albert Camus

Jealousy is a very real ugly thing in this world. The saddest truth about jealousy is that it often plagues many friendships, especially in women. Superficial things like appearance, your clothes, the amount of money you make, the car you drive, your boyfriend, family, you name it. All can cause jealousy in friendships.

The signs? Well, they seem to be unable to be happy for you or others unless it benefits them in some way. This is a tricky trait to pick up on sometimes so it may take some insight, but unfortunately, there are a lot more people like this out there then I myself originally believed. One-upping, petty gossip, and indirect insults are all signs that a friend may be more jealous than it appears on the surface. The easy thing to ignore right? Well maybe for you, not for them. Jealousy turns into resentment very quickly, resentment into anger. All the right ingredients for a very ugly relationship or situation in the future.

If you have a friend who may be jealous of you, perhaps addressing that situation right away might be your best option. Rather than enable unhealthy habits and feelings.

4. They do not appreciate who you truly are

Every single person has an equal amount of awesomeness and shittiness within. A maturity is a tool we use to assess which traits we will act on. Being confident enough to accept those uncomfortable personality traits in another is difficult but a beautiful part of friendship.

When you open up to friends and share with them your innermost insecurities and they exploit those insecurities as a weakness ( this has legit happened to me ) then that is a HUGE warning sign. Your failures in life do not make you less of a person. Your flaws do not make you any less complex and amazingly unique, and if you have someone in your life who feels the need to constantly remind you of the hard times in your life in an attempt to box you in and bring you down then walk away. Actually, run.

5. They insult rather than address

Fights happen, friction happens. But never in any relationship should anyone ever belittle you as a person, drag your personality or feelings through the mud. If you are exposed to a person who commits themselves to personal attacks and slander when the more negative parts of life are involved then you need to remove those people from your life. That type of behavior is abusive and disrespectful.


You are a beautiful soul who is always deserving of love, attention, and happiness. Do not be afraid to end something because it is comfortable. Once you remove negative people from your life I promise more beautiful people with like minds, interests, and aspirations will enter.

You will grow and be happy as the newest best version of yourself. Cheers!

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71 thoughts on “5 Ways to Spot a Toxic Friendship

  1. I can appreciate your situation. Years ago I had a toxic friend and when I finally ended the relationship I felt so much lighter. The stress and guilt I had struggled with disappeared. Such a great lesson in putting my needs in their proper place. Not every thing has to be about other people. What I needed and wanted in a relationship was also important.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think to many people have to go through this type of thing in life. But it is the best way to assert your own self worth and to learn to appreciate the true friends in your life. Thank you for commenting. It is nice to hear that others have gone through similar experiences. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been thinking a lot about these kinds of things with certain “friends” of mine, and I can relate to many of these with people in my life both past and present. #1 especially seems to be a problem with the people in my life. It’s hard for me to cut ties with someone, because if they’re in my life the first place, then I’m remembering a time when they did enrich my life somehow, and I’m hoping to get that back someday. But that’s not realistic… it’s often either based on fantasy or on a past that isn’t coming back. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I found your post via Afternoon of Sundries and OMG it spoke to me. Thank you!!

    I had to end a 20+ year friendship last year (the year before? I forget) because it had become toxic and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I started to write about it to post on my blog but couldn’t finish.
    While I don’t regret ending things, I still have my memories and sometimes I miss parts of that friendship. But then I remember the bad stuff…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to let go. And the memories will always be there to remind us of why they were out friends in the first place. But people and relationships change its a unfortunate part of growth sometimes. You are better for it and I hope you hang onto that feeling 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I sent a long detailed email with my reasons for ending the friendship to this now ex friend, then I blocked her on email, FB, Twitter… Last year in January she sent a DM to my wife on FB wishing me a happy new year and saying she didn’t know why I wasn’t talking to her anymore. Last year in September I got on Whatsapp and she sent me something, a memory from when we were in high school. I blocked her and didn’t reply… It’s hard. ❤

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  4. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I have always believed that one of the hardest things to do in life is to let someone go.
    I congratulate you on being able to do that and send in a warm hug.
    I myself went through something similar about four years back. It was extremely difficult.
    At the end of the day I needed to let her go because it was toxic and did more harm than good.
    Looking back it was a blessing in disguise.
    Thank you for this. Take care and have a great day 🙂

    Like

  5. There is a time and a place for everything, this includes friends. Remember the good times, but don’t forget the bad times. Surround yourself with uplifting people. If they don’t make you feel better, steer clear from them. My mother always said ‘if somebody has to cry, make sure it’s not you.’ This is helpful in any relationship. I would add to this ‘no regrets.’ Do what you want, but make sure you have no regrets. If it took you so long to get rid of this negative person in your life you probably got something out of it. Don’t bash your head about thinking it was too late, think positive! Make the most out of life :).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I fully agree, there are definitely lessons to be learned and I am excited to learn what those lessons are after some time. Perhaps I will share them here 🙂 You live and you learn! Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve had to let go of so many friendships that turned out to be toxic. Another way to spot a toxic friendship, in my experience, is that when I meet these friends, after the meeting, I always feel so negative and drained. At first, I thought it was just me but it later turned out that that wasn’t the case. Being around these toxic friends had an overall negative effect on me. They had ceased to be friends.

    When you didn’t have any feelings when the friendship ended, that is a sign that that friend had ceased to be your friend too. It takes courage to be the one to end things. Glad you had that courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog.
    I am hoping to check out the same high-grade content by you later on as well.

    In truth, your creative writing abilities has
    inspired me to get my own, personal blog now
    😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading! You should start one for sure. It is a wonderful outlet, it is great to share with readers and a perfect way to get your creative juices flowing.

      Like

  8. I agree with some of the statements you said above. I think I was honestly in a toxic friendship with my one friend we would always bash on one another and I don’t let things bother me or get the best of me and she is different so she comes harder at you, but we haven’t seen each other in months and I tend to keep it that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true! It is a weight that is lifted that sometimes you didn’t even know was there. Sometimes you just have to start fresh with new people in your life who love and support you!

      Like

  9. Sometimes it’s refreshing to know that others are able to handle similar situations. I think these five things also apply to toxic family members and work situations. You’re stronger and happier for making the choice. I’m sorry it was a situation you had to be in.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I had to do this a couple of years ago. It was painful for everyone because our husbands and kids were friends too. I tried and tried to make it work, but in the end, I had to let the friendship go. So sorry you’re going through this, but like you said, life is better on the other side.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a great post. I think we talk a lot about leaving bad relationships but there isn’t a lot of discussion out there about toxic friendships… which is unfortunate because it’s more common than we think. Thanks for starting the discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ending long term friendships is so hard. Good for you for recognizing the toxicity and getting out! I can definitely relate to seeing some of those signs in some previous friendships!
    Kyla
    Wanderlustkyla.com

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I just went through this earlier this year. I feel like it is one of those things that you don’t want to see. You want to try to keep the friendship, but you finally realize enough is enough. I had this friend who was constantly not a good friend to me, but because of how long we’ve been friends before problems arose, I wanted to ignore it. Finally at the beginning of this year, I said enough was enough, and I feel so much better now. I only wished I made the decision sooner instead of wasted my time trying to make the friendship work. Great post! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can relate %100, sometimes it is hard to see how a relationship has changed for the worse when you have known someone for so long. You hang onto the way things used to be in some ways and it fogs your reality. I am happy that you were able to cut ties and I hope you feel much lighter because of it. Cheers!

      Like

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