When a romantic relationship ends, it can be heart-breaking, but when you are questioning a friendship that has been in your life for much longer, it can bring up a lot inside because well, there is a lot at stake.
Some friendships simply fizzle over the course of time, but then there are other ones that may teeter on the edge of unhealthy but for whatever reason, you’re afraid to cut them loose.
Am I just being too needy?
Am I expecting too much?
Am I just freaking out about nothing?
These are some of the questions that can run through your head and it can be really hard to sift through those thoughts and determine whether you’ve just hit a bump in the road or it’s a friendship turned toxic.
Here are 5 signs to know for sure. Read each of them and pay attention to your body’s first response. If you have a particular reaction, take note!
5 signs you’re in a toxic friendship
- You feel worse about yourself or physically drained or “off” within the first 5 minutes of them leaving your space or you leaving theirs.
- You hide parts of yourself because you know you will be judged.
- You have shared something intimate with them that you asked to be kept in confidence and they betrayed that trust
- You only hear from them when there’s something catastrophic or dramatic going on in their lives (with you in the starring role as unpaid therapist).
- You only hang out with them because you are worried that if you break up with them, they will feel so terrible (putting their needs above your own)
Once you’ve assessed your friendship, the next step is to consider how you want to address it.
If you’ve determined you have a toxic friendship, one option is to distance yourself from that person. Another is to have a conversation with them and set some boundaries or in some cases, have the “friend breakup” talk.
Need help with knowing what to say? Check out one of my most popular posts: 4 Steps to Having an Uncomfortable Conversation
The bottom line is this: We teach the people in our lives how to treat us. The more you can spot red flags early on, the more space you create in your life for awesome friends who treat you right!
Your turn: Have you ever been in a toxic friendship? What did you do to come out of it or what is one thing you learned about yourself through that? Share with us in the comments (down below and to the right!)