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Spotting A Toxic Friend

There are a number of signs you can look out for to tell if your closest friend is really your enemy.

We have learned to identify the signs of a toxic relationship and often associate them with lovers who end up causing us more harm than good. However, we tend to forget that the people closest to us and privy to every aspect of our lives, our friends, can often be incredibly toxic as well. Here are the signs to look out for:

1. Self-Absorbed

They make you feel unimportant and trivialize all your issues. Every time you tell them about yourself, they end up changing the entire conversation to revolve around them. They rarely empathize with you, and you emerge from conversations with them feeling more burdened instead.

2. Constantly Criticizing

They constantly criticize everything you do. It will eventually eat up your self-esteem and makes you start questioning your own abilities and worth. Such friends are extremely toxic because the longer you hang out with them, the greater the influence they have on you.

3. No respect for confidentiality

Such friends tell everyone the things you tell them in confidence. Some things are best kept to yourself, and a friend who is unable to respect the confidentiality of the things you say is not worth your secrets.

4. Housing bitterness for silliest things

They are unable to forgive you and nurse bitterness against you for the silliest things. They always bring up that time you forgot you were supposed to do something. It needs to be cut off.

5. Vengeful

They constantly punish you for past mistakes, no matter how many times you apologize or try to make amends. They may call you names or even go out of their way to sabotage you in revenge.

6. Controlling

These friends try to get in between you and the person you love. They spread false rumors about the two of you and even disparage your partner in front of you when they’re not around. You need to evaluate whether your friendship is more important than your love life.

7. Forceful

These people always have a tendency to decide where you go and what you do when making plans. You may not even be interested in the same things, but they make you skip something you wished to do and make you do what they love.

8. Resent your success

Resentment can manifest itself in little ways. Be it snarky comments about something you’re proud of, or hearing from other people that they were belittling your successes behind your back. If your friend isn’t cheering for you, then you’re better off without them.

9. Always need you care

Every relationship is not one of the equals. There will always be one person who is smarter, one person who is more practical, or one person who is more socially adept, and it usually balances out. However, if you find yourself constantly having to be the mature one and cleaning up after their messes, then you may need to reevaluate your friendship.

10. Always broke and irresponsible

To reiterate, friends are often on essentially equal terms. But if you’re picking up the tab after every time, or you’re always having to cover for them when you do things together, then you may need to have a conversation with them about being responsible for themselves.

11. Leave when needed

A sure sign of a toxic friendship is when you find that they’re never around when you need them. If they’re constantly canceling plans or completely unavailable in your deepest crisis, then they’re not a true friend.

12. Make you the center of their jokes

They make you the constant butt of your friend’s jokes. Often they aren’t harmless, and they can play on your insecurities or be degrading attacks on your personality, preferences, or even appearance. If you experience this more times and if it makes you uncomfortable, then you need to distance yourself.

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