How to Spot Toxic Friends?

The concept of friendship, instilled by fairy tales, films and books, is sometimes greatly exaggerated. We are taught from childhood that a friend should always give a helping hand, be disinterested and ready to sacrifice something of his own, listen, understand and forgive. With such a humane attitude, some especially nimble friends can abuse you as much as they possibly can. As a result, it will be difficult to understand whether you are a bad friend or your buddy is toxic. How do you figure this out and spot toxic friends?

You are often uncomfortable with your friend

If it happens more and more often that you do not want to spend time with your friend for some inexpressible reason, if you feel devastated after talking with him/her and rejoice when your joint plans have been canceled, do not rush to reproach yourself. This feeling arises quite rarely, so it must be for a reason. In your case, this may be a wake-up call to the fact that something is not going well between you and your friend.

Think about what exactly is causing the discomfort. Watch for other signs of toxicity. In the end, do not commit violence against yourself – try to communicate with such a person less often.

Your friend does not recognize personal boundaries

Surely, there are situations when you do not want to do anything: go to the movies to watch a horror movie, drink alcohol at a party, or tell the details of your personal life. A good friend will never push you and will respect the boundaries you set.

A toxic friend, on the other hand, tries to force you to compromise your principles and meet his desires. Try to recognize this behavior in time so as not to become a victim of manipulation.

Your friend is constantly jealous of you

Toxic friends are not used to sharing and giving in. They don’t like the rest of your friends, your partners, sometimes even your family members. They are mortally offended if you spend time with someone else except them, they can even put up a scene, and in the worst case, make you choose between them and all other friends.

Sometimes this happens because such people put on you unusual roles: you are their nanny, friend, and family member. They expect that you will also unforgettably distinguish them from other people close to you.

As a result, you are tormented by guilt if you do not spend time with your toxic friend, or even start hiding from him, as if you were an unfaithful husband. Of course, this should not happen, and you should clearly explain that you love your family equally.

You constantly feel guilty when you are with your friend

This is because toxic friends are skillful at manipulating you. Ignoring your capabilities, resources and desires, they are offended if you do the same, react aggressively to setting personal boundaries and will definitely remember something from the past to prove that you are not perfect either.

Saying “We are friends,” they are trying to pity you and make you feel bad. Such people are very dramatic, they can burst into tears, say that you do not support them, and claim that they would definitely do everything for you. Of course, you never ask for anything like that.

Toxic friends often belittle your problems by claiming that their lives are much more difficult, which means you have to support them. These scenes are acted out for you to feel guilty, give in, or even apologize, although you did nothing wrong. To stop this, stop reacting to them. It was not you who offended your friend, it was he who decided to take offense at you.

Your friend cannot accept your refusal

No matter how much we want to, we often cannot help our friends because we simply do not have such an opportunity. If a person is offended by the refusal to fulfill a certain request and accuses you of selfishness, this may mean that they are communicating with you only for personal gain. Good friends are sympathetic to these situations and do not require sacrifice from you.

Your friend sees everything in dark colors

A toxic friend not only cannot deal with his problems himself, he looks for them everywhere. Parents are bad, neighbors are bad, friends are just a nightmare, and there are only idiots around. If you listen to him, it really seems that life is a continuous horror, and only your toxic friend resembles an angel.

Everyone offends him, and his problems are the most difficult and most real. He tends to devalue or ignore the problems of others. Of course, it is not correct, and you cannot allow one person to distort your picture of the world so thoroughly and suck all the joy out of you.

You don’t feel friendly support from him

Toxic friends most often talk only about themselves, being indifferent to your life. When they feel bad, they expect help from you, but when you feel bad, they are in no hurry to provide support. Their problems are always more important than yours. If you feel that you are giving more than you are receiving, it is better to end the relationship.

In a normal friendship, friends support each other equally. Nobody tries to gain advantage over the other person. A true friend will always listen to you and try to help.

Your friend just cannot rejoice for you

Neither for you, nor for anyone else. Of course, friends can congratulate you on your achievements, but it sounds completely insincere. After congratulations, they will usually tell you something negative, and you will definitely feel it. You will feel that your joy is blown away and evaporates, and you feel guilty for your success because your poor friend could not achieve the same.

Such congratulations should be ignored or prevented. The person should know that, firstly, you understand he is not happy for you, and secondly, that you will not tolerate this behavior.

Remember that friendship should be non-toxic and selfless by default. A friend is a person who will help, support, and understand, but also a person who will not violate personal space and demand from you what you cannot give him. Toxic friends are harder to part with than even toxic partners, but doing so is important for your own peace of mind.

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