Maybe they’ve been in your life since the first day of primary school, or maybe they’re someone you met recently through other friends and felt an immediate connection. But something about them leaves you feeling tired and depleted instead of revitalised and fulfilled.
We will all come across toxic people in our lives; it’s part of life. The tricky thing is knowing when one of our friends has become toxic for us. A bad friend can have detrimental impacts on our health and well-being, so keep an eye out for these signs to see whether your friend could be causing you more harm than good.
You find yourself always in competition with them
While a small dose of competition can sometimes encourage us to go that little bit further and even help us achieve a better outcome, if you’re in competition with your friend all the time and feel distraught when they come out on top, something isn’t right.
You’re even in competition with their other friends
Have you ever got the feeling that you’re not good enough when stacked up against their other peers? That’s a sign of a toxic friendship. Ask yourself – do you really want to be compared to other people every day?
It’s already about them
If there is a large imbalance in the relationship dynamic, you might notice that there seems to be all the time in the world to talk about their problems, but none to talk about yours. You remember what’s happening in their life, but when was the last time they showed an interest in yours?
They tell you that you should change
Instead of appreciating you for who you are, they will point out your shortcomings and failures. Sometimes we all need a kick up the backside, but if they have a self-righteous attitude more often than not, it’s time to say goodbye to this friendship.
The stress of the friendship manifests in your body
You begin to dread seeing them, or talking to them. Maybe you’ve broken out in hives once or twice, and when you leave them you’re completely depleted. That’s a tell-tale sign that this friendship has run its course and it’s time to put yourself first.
To learn more about your relationship patterns and behaviours, individual relationship counselling provides an outlet to explore your friendships in a safe space.