15 Hidden Signs That Your Friendships Are Actually Toxic

Your friend did something that made you upset again. Now you feel mad, sad, frustrated, humiliated, or irritated. What’s wrong with them? You‘re supposed to be friends! Yes, but it may be a friendship full of toxicity. Check the signs.

1. They are overly critical

Don’t expect your friend to always tell you what you want to hear. That’s not authentic, and it’s not a sign of caring. But when your friend harshly criticizes you all the time, that’s not healthy, either.

2. They are jealous

It’s a sign of toxicity when your friend can’t be happy with your happiness. Perhaps they sulk, bring up their own problems, or offer an indifferent, “yeah, great,” and change the subject.

3. They rain on your parade

It’s not just that they can’t be happy with your happiness or success; they want to spoil it for you so that you can be as miserable as them. They are content to take you down, because that gives them the satisfaction that if they didn’t succeed or didn’t feel a certain way, you don’t either.

4. They try to keep your self-esteem low

They rarely compliment you or point out what you did right. They tend to focus on your faults and weakness and never tire of telling you what you did wrong. All this packaged in the disclaimer “But I’m your friend and I want to help you.”

5. They play “fortune teller”

Only they have just bad things to predict for your future. They don’t offer encouragement, support, or any optimism when you have difficulties. Rather, they commiserate with you, which may be what you need for a while, but they never lend a helping hand to give you that gentle push to get you unstuck.

6. They doubt you

For whatever you say, they have a counterargument. You liked this place? Well, they know a better one. You are thinking about wearing a certain outfit? They will tell you it doesn’t look as good on you. You like another person? They will tell you why you can’t have them. It never ends. From the petty to the more serious, they doubt your value and discredit you.

7. They are gossips

They gossip about others and have bad things to say about anyone they know. If they gossip about others when they aren’t present, assume they do the same when you are not present.

8. They are self-centered

Though not always obvious, toxic friends are almost always narcissists, believing that the universe, including you, must revolve around them. They take care of their needs, and if there’s time or it’s convenient, they may take care of your needs, too. But that’s the exception, not the rule.

9. They are entitled

They think that the world owes them. They think that you owe them. They believe they are so extraordinary that others need to treat them with special care

10. They are ungrateful

They never say “thank you,” because they never find it in their heart to appreciate anything you do for them. They don’t appreciate either small or big gestures, as they always think they deserve better or more.

11. They lack empathy

Living in their “me, me, me” world, they don’t get “you.” They don’t understand your needs and they have no clue about how you feel. Even worse, they don’t care and they don’t want to find out.

12. They are untrustworthy

They spread your secrets, they start rumors, they bad mouth you, and if you confront them about it, they act surprised and hurt; they don’t own they behavior. They always have a handy explanation why this is a misunderstanding and how they didn’t mean it. And of course they show up only when they want to, not when you need them to.

13. They are drama queens

Everything is about them and the drama in their lives. They will call you in the middle of the night to unload their dramas onto you. They will talk your ear off about what happened in their romantic life or work, with all the “he said, she said” detail. But when it’s your turn to complain about your issues, they tell you that your troubles are nothing compared to them and shut you off.

14. They are emotional bullies

They will use whatever you tell them, primarily your feelings, against you. They will find ways to attack you and stab you in the back when you think they are going to pat you on the back.

15. They are negative

They have more negative emotions that positive ones. They thrive on negativity. They may smile or present an upbeat front, but that’s the tip of the iceberg. Underneath, there’s a dangerous mass of negativity affecting everyone around them. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Psychologist & Psychotherapist. You have the power to change.

Keep up with Liza on Instagram, Twitter and varvogli.com