toxic friendships
Life, Opinions

5 Ways to Determine When a “Friend” is Toxic For Your Life

If you’re someone who has great empathy and compassion you may find yourself in compromising friendships because you’re overlooking the signs. Here are 5 signs to determine if you’re in toxic friendships.


1. They Only Tell You What You Want To Hear

Friends who always tell you what you want to hear are either comfortable with their own mediocrity, afraid to hurt your feelings or intimidated by you in some fashion. No matter the reason, you must surround yourself with those who are willing to hold you accountable. Friends who give you constructive criticism typically want to see you grow. The feedback should be reciprocated, so you are creating honest relationships that foster personal growth for you both. Do not consistently keep company that does not challenge your thinking or teach you new things. You will never reach your next level of potential or you’ll delay the process.

2. They’re Always Criticizing You

On the contrary, do you have a friend or friends that are always speaking negative? No matter what you do, they only give you negative feedback. They refuse to celebrate your successes and often deflect when you share an accomplishment? These are friends who typically reach out to you for help and you’re there without hesitation, but when you are in need, they are ghost. These are friends who do not want to see you prosper or do not want to see you surpass them. They only celebrate you if they feel they’re doing better. Your friends should not be in competition with you, but there should be a mutual desire to push each other to your greatest potential. A win for one is a win for all.

3. They Lack Consistency in Your Friendship

So you don’t have to be attached to your friends 24/7. That’s not necessary. But you don’t want friends who only show up when it is beneficial to them or when it is convenient– they may show up every blue moon, l go above and beyond to make you feel accepted and give the allusion that everything is okay. And then they disappear when their purpose is served (sounds violating huh?). You may not hear from them or if you attempt to hang out or need them–somehow they’re never available. Relationships that empty you out, but do not fill you up are a waste of time. Cut them off.


4. They’re Consistently Speaking Negative Of Others

If you have someone or someones in your circle who speak negative consistently about others–especially others who they call friends, be careful. What makes you believe they aren’t doing the same when you’re not around? Trust is important in any relationship, if you can’t trust the people around you– you must reconsider your friendships.

5. They’re Controlling & Manipulative

If you notice friends or even family who disappear along your journey of growth and evolution, it’s okay. Friends and family who had even a little control over you (emotions, life decisions) become disappointed when they lose that power. They will attempt to guilt trip you or convince you that your growth is somehow wrong or they’ll simply stop talking to you. It’s all apart of the process. If you have people around you who are influential, evaluate if the influence is positive or controlling. Take your power back and find out who is really in your corner.

Toxic friendships are an oxymoron. Friendships should not be hard, we discuss toxic relationships often, but you can have friendships that are toxic and abusive. Always love yourself first in any situation and never be afraid to get out of a friendship (includes family too) that doesn’t serve your highest self.

You may also like Why Love Languages Matter In Building Healthy Relationships.