True friendship should be valued and cherished. But there are also friendships that actually harm a person and are best terminated. We show you which warning signs to look out for to recognize a toxic friendship.
Signs of a toxic friendship
A friendship is called toxic when it does you more harm than good. A classic example is friends who encourage you to drink large amounts of alcohol, smoke, take drugs, or participate in illegal activities.
- It is a little more difficult to recognize a toxic friendship when it manifests itself only on a psychological level.
- But if you feel drained after talking to the person or even avoid meeting and conversing with them, you should consider putting an end to the friendship.
- Think about whether you find yourself in the points we list here. If you could put a check mark on many of them, then it is a toxic friendship.
- Should you still be unsure, further signs of a toxic relationship are described in the next paragraphs.
Everything revolves around the toxic person
People who would be called “toxic” are selfish and everything must revolve around them. Accordingly, you will notice the following:
- You always listen to your toxic friend. But as soon as you want to talk about your own problems, they again hijack the conversation. Sometimes with supposedly emphatic phrases like “I understand that very well. Back when I was…” they turn the conversation back in their direction.
- The person shows no interest in your life at all. They do not ask how you are doing, what your interests and desires are, etc.
- Your relationship is not mutual. You give much more than you get back. The other person expects you to always be there for them and do everything for them – but would not do the same for you.
- Your supposed friend is not happy for you when you celebrate a success because they are far too busy with their own life.
- Every little thing could turn into a huge drama and you feel like you always have to apologize. Conversely, you should not expect apologies: toxic people do not admit that they are wrong. Not even when they make major mistakes.
- The person keeps asking for favors of some kind. However, they do not realize all the things you do for them. And if you fail to help them just once, they react so badly that you feel guilty.
- A toxic person expects you to always have time for them. But as soon as they have the opportunity to do something else, they postpone your appointment at short notice. If several people are present at a meeting, you suddenly become unimportant to the toxic person.
Dependence, jealousy, lack of boundaries are also signs of a toxic friendship
The behavior of a toxic person is often noticeable because they cannot maintain the boundaries of a “normal” friendship.
- Some toxic people are only focused on themselves – while others may be downright dependent on you. Such individuals make their own decisions with difficulty, and they call you at every opportunity to ask what they should best do.
- Friends of this type would prefer to spend as much time as possible with you. If you ever don’t have time, the friend either keeps you on the phone for a very long time telling you about their own problems. Or they are so offended that you feel remorse.
- They know no boundaries and, for example, interfere in your family life. Maybe even when you have had a conversation about this and clearly explained to them what the limits are.
- The person is very possessive and has a problem with you wanting to spend time with other friends. Maybe even when they themselves are present at the meeting, but no longer have your full attention.
The toxic person always drags you down
If you have friends like this, you don’t need enemies. A toxic person is often very frustrated with and envious of you – which is why they then always try to put you down.
- As already mentioned, it happens that a toxic person is not happy about your successes because they are too busy with themselves. But it can also be that they simply envy you and therefore your success.
- The person keeps putting you down. Your blouse is ugly, you can’t get anything going, your children are badly brought up – simply everything you do is bad in this person’s eyes.
- Especially in the absence of others, pejorative comments and insults fall. Also, this person has no problem talking about you behind your back.
- This person does not see you as a friend, but as a competitor. No matter what you do, they must do better. For example, if you have a nice new smartphone, they absolutely must buy a more expensive model.
- The friend treats you badly. In some cases, this can even make you doubt yourself and suffer from an inferiority complex.
- You feel completely exhausted after meeting them. For example, because they only talk about negative things or because you always have to watch what you say. Another reason could be that this person blasphemes about shared acquaintances all the time.