The Quick Report

Could You Tell if Your Relationship Was Toxic?

Healthy friendships provide support and stability and hopefully leave you feeling energized and inspired. Toxic friendships can become burdensome and draining, and you may not see that coming. Here are 10 signs to watch out for.

10. They Guilt You for Spending Time With Other People

Man and woman arguing

One indicator of a toxic friend is someone who gets jealous and possessive when you spend time hanging out with other friends. They may make statements like they don’t feel you’re there for them. They may dismiss all the times you’ve been there and the efforts you’ve put into the relationship.

9. The Friendship Feels Needy or One-Sided

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A major sign of a toxic friend is one who always seems to need something from you. At the same time, they’ll make you feel guilty if you’re not readily available. Are the focus of your conversations primarily about them and their life? Is there a balance of give and take in your friendship?

8. They Tell You Other People’s Secrets

Woman explaining something to two men.

Don’t read this as a sign that this friend trusts you. This is a sign your friend may be untrustworthy. If your friend is sharing things others have shared with them in confidence, they’re likely doing the same with secrets you tell them. Now you’ll have to be cautious with what you share with this friend.

7. They Talk Badly About Others to You

Two women in a dramatic conversation.

How your friend talks about others can be a good picture of who they are. If your friend is talking judgmentally or badly about people in their life or other friends, you have to question whether they’re doing the same with you. Do they seem dissatisfied with most people in their life? What will happen when they’re unhappy with you?

6. You Can’t Be Yourself Around Them

Woman yelling and covering her ears.

An authentic connection is when someone accepts you exactly as you are. But if you can’t be your true self around your friend it’s a sign of a toxic relationship. Do you have to constantly keep your guard up? Do you say or do things you normally wouldn’t to appease your friend?

5. You Walk on Eggshells Around Them

A man and woman arguing.

In a healthy relationship, you should be able to freely express your thoughts on any subject. Likewise, you shouldn’t have to guard your actions to avoid triggering your friend. If you have to tiptoe around what you say and do it’s a sign this friendship may not be a good fit for you.

4. They Leave You Feeling Drained 

Woman crying.

Do you find yourself feeling frustrated or exhausted after spending time with this particular friend? Compare how you feel after spending time with other people or friends. Listen to your mind and body. A healthy friendship leaves you feeling good, safe, and inspired. If your friend is leaving you feeling drained, this friendship may not be right for you.

3. They Dismiss or Belittle You

Two women arguing.

Good friends offer supportive criticism to prevent us from making poor choices. Does your friend frequently give backhanded compliments or non-constructive criticism? Question their motives. Do they share your values? Do they pressure you into saying or doing things you don’t want because it benefits them? If their comments continually feel hurtful, this friendship may be more harmful than beneficial. 

2. They Don’t Take Accountability

Two women arguing.

A toxic friend won’t take accountability for the way they treat you. They may do something as a form of apology, like buying you lunch. However, they won’t verbally apologize in a way where they acknowledge and take responsibility for their behaviors or words that caused you hurt. They also may not promise to change their actions.

1. They Violate Your Boundaries

Woman holding up her hand to a man.

All relationships have preferences and boundaries, even friendships. In a toxic friendship, a person may ignore and cross these boundaries. They may pressure you to do things, expect you to prioritize them over other friends and commitments, or bring up topics you don’t wish to discuss. They may judge or belittle you when you decline to bend to their wishes.

Read More: 10 Magnetic Traits for Happy Long-Term Relationships