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5 signs your friendship has turned toxic

Maybe she's your best friend, the person you've trusted with your deepest, darket secrets for as long as you can remember. On the other hand, maybe she's someone that you sat next to in Bio and have been making the effort to form a fledgling friendship with ever since you complimented her kicks.

In either scenario, it can be difficult to tell when a gal pal that you respect and admire has crossed the line between just having a few off-days and harming you more than they help. Below are a few signs that maybe you should consider putting some distance between yourself and your friend, at least for a little while.

1. They don't make time for hanging out together anymore.
What are friends for other than to talk about the latest hot celebrity gossip, work on that impossible calc homework and experiment to find the best cookie recipes with? As you get older, between school, extracurriculars, family committments and more, your schedules can get insanely busy. True friends make the time for each other, whether it's a FaceTime check-in or a bonding sesh over pizza at your fave local joint. If you're always proposing plans and getting rejected with the same old excuses, it is a sign that your friendship has been relegated to the back-burner.

2. You don't feel like you're being heard when you confide in them.
The best kinds of friends are the ones that listen empathetically, taking in what you have to say before giving their unique take. These are the people you can share anything with and rest assured that they'll have your back. If your friend is jumping in headfirst and talking over you, try a few gentle reminders that you want to finish telling your side of the story first. If those don't work, it may be a sign that she's pushing a little too hard to impose her perspective on you or has her own agenda. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your friend looks totally unengaged as you regale them with tales of your drama fit for the halls of Riverdale that's also totally uncool.You deserve better than to have your bestie's eyes start to glaze over as you share your wins and woes.

3. They put you down to make themselves feel better.
Moments of insecurity tend to bring out the worst in people, but that's no excuse for a friend to air your dirty laundry in hopes of making themselves better. Hanging out with a group of friends when your bestie fills them in on that "friend-zone" reply you got from your crush? Is your friend trash-talking you behind your back? You have every right to be disappointed. Your trust has been broken, which is totally unfair. It's time to take a few deep breaths, step back and re-evaluate why you were friends with this person in the first place, if they can change, and if there's any hope for repairing your relationship going forward.

4. They go after that guy you've had dibs on forever.
You don't want your friendship to fall into the cliché of a guy getting between two BFFs, but if your friend chooses a guy over you, it can feel unavoidable. Your confidante pursuing a relationship with a cutie you've been eyeing since freshman year shows that they're no longer taking your feelings in account. You have every right to feel betrayed and hurt by their selfishness. You have to do what's best for you, even if it hurts to tell someone you're close with that you need a break from them for a while for the sake of self-care.

5. They refuse to take responsibility for their role in maintaining your friendship.
While some magical, seamless narratives of friendship onscreen make it seem like a breeze, friendship truly takes work. Both parties have to be willing to sacrifice time and energy to ensure that their bond is durable enough to survive any rough patch. Each person has to know when to simply go with the flow and make a compromise and when to stand up for themselves and what they want. It's unfair for a friend to placing all of the blame for any cracks in the surface of your friendship squarely on your shoulders; it takes two to tango and nobody is perfect.

Have you experienced a toxic friendship? How did you handle it? Tell us in the comments.

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by Katherine Logan | 10/21/2017
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