Do you ever catch yourself feeling down after hanging out with friends? Do you feel like you’re not appreciated and never get what you give? Surprisingly, a lot of us end up getting stuck in relationships that are toxic and sadly, we don’t realize until damage is done. There has to be balance in all relationships for them to be healthy and true. Friendship is not about how you feel about certain friends–it’s about how your friends make you feel about yourself. Knowing the signs of a toxic person can help you get out of a bad relationship, and prevent developing another one in the future.
Friend Circle. A person’s friend circle can say a lot about them. Chances are, if they have little to no other friends, there’s probably a reason why, especially if they’ve lost friends int he past. This isn’t always true, as some people are just shy, but if they’re not exactly timid, you should be aware.
Little Jabs. If your friend puts you down or mocks you, they’re toxic–even if their comments follow up with “just kidding!” It’s one thing to joke, but it’s another to constantly insult someone. Those comments start to bury in your head and eventually get you believing that you’re worthless, stupid, annoying.
Gossip. We’re all guilty of it sometimes, but the truth is, if a friend is constantly gossiping about other people, there’s a good chance they’re talking about you behind your back.
Users. Toxic people befriend others purely to get something out of the relationship. These people are usually very fun and affectionate at first, and later, begin to ask for things. They can always be ladder-climbers, as in, they use you to get to someone else. These people are very clever, therefore, harder to figure out. If you start to notice that you only hear from these friend when they need something, or if they always play the victim, they’re users.
Actions Over Words. Does your friend constantly make promises they can’t keep? Do they never follow through with things? Are they rarely there for you when you need them? Good friends make an effort to help the ones they love–anytime, anywhere.
Time Spent Together. Think about the times you hang out with your so-called friend. Afterwards, do you feel defensive or upset? Do you sometimes feel straight-up awkward and force conversation? This is one relationship you need to end.
So, what do you do if all of your answers to the above questions are “yes”? The best option is to quit the friendship cold turkey. Cease staying in contact and see if the friendship will fade out on its own. If your friend asks why things have changed, let them know that the relationship must end, and explain why. Avoid insulting or blaming the person, but make it clear that you’re ending the relationship simply for your own feelings and your peace of mind.