10 Signs You Are In A Toxic Friendship
"Rather than bringing your happiness or comfort, a toxic friendship tends to frustrate and exhaust you. If you are beginning to feel like your best friend is no longer the best thing for you, it is time to sit back and reconsider the friendship and evaluate if it’s toxic. To understand this better, here are the A –J of toxic friendships," says Dr Jai Madaan, astrologer, motivational speaker and life coach.
A - Anxiety
Have you ever felt an impending sense of dread or overpowering anxiety before you meet or talk to a friend? If yes, then it is a clear-cut sign of toxicity in the friendship. Apart from this, even if you feel anxious or uncomfortable before discussing or sharing something with them, it means that the friendship is toxic. When having a healthy conversation with your friend becomes challenging, it can take a toll on your mental health.
B - Bad Behaviour
Everyone needs kindness in their lives. Although, if your friend behaves badly with you and doesn’t appreciate your efforts and actions even when you go the extra mile to do something for them, it indicates that your friendship is toxic. Even treating you badly by being rude and using a harsh tone or hurtful words, then without a doubt, revaluation of your friendship is a must since it classifies as toxic.
C - Criticism
Some people tend to be critics with a cynical outlook on almost every aspect of life regardless of what you do for them. When your friend constantly criticizes your actions, it naturally dampens your spirits. If interactions with your friend consistently weigh you down, then it is time to reconsider your friendship as constant criticism is toxic.
D - Domination
Equality is one of the most important aspects of any relationship in your life – be it family or friends. If your friend always appears to have the upper hand in any scenario, suppresses your opinions and feelings, and is in general dominating, you may be in the middle of a toxic friendship. One person constantly calling the shots and overruling your say without room for any discussion will only make you feel subdued, frustrated, and emotionally exhausted. Domination is a clear indication of a toxic friendship and ensuring you either put forth your feelings strongly or walking away from the person is necessary to safeguard your peace of mind.
Open communication is one of the foundations of friendships. Moreover, even misunderstandings and arguments can be resolved in simple ways such as apologizing or giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. However, some people tend to avoid giving in or apologizing even if the mistake is theirs due to ego. If your friend displays egoistic behaviour, it is a sign that the friendship will only become more toxic over time.
F - Fear
Fear can be your biggest enemy. Particularly in friendships, if one person is afraid to speak their mind and holds back for fear of being judged, overpowered, misunderstood, laughed at, or even fear of the other person starting an argument, then it is likely that the friendship the people in question share is highly toxic. Fear is certainly not ideal in a friendship where both individuals are considered to be equal and if you find yourself steering clear of voicing your thoughts, then your friendship is most certainly toxic.
One of the most subtle yet dangerous parts of a toxic friendship is greed. If you find that your friend only seems to maintain contact with you for their benefit or because they need something from you, then the friendship is toxic. No person should feel like they are being used to fulfil the other person’s greed. An agenda-based friendship is a major red flag.
Friends should be someone we can rely on for support. Although, any form of humiliation including embarrassing you in front of other people, cracking bad/offensive jokes directed at you, or even simply making fun of you constantly to make you feel inferior is extremely toxic in a friendship. While friends can have fun, there must always exist a sense of respect between two friends. When this is lacking, ensure you stop and give your friendship a thought as it is toxic.
I - Insecurity
Every person has his or her insecurities that stem from their own state-of-mind. However, some individuals end up being too insecure in friendships and try to blame you for feeling those negative feelings. In case someone becomes insecure of things you achieve, chances are that the friendship has entered the toxic territory. The next level of insecurity brings us to the final point, jealousy.
J - Jealousy
The phrase ‘green with envy’, although not literal, is quite real. Friends naturally tend to be possessive, especially if you have been friends for a long time. However, the line between possessiveness and jealousy is surprisingly fine. If your friend is jealous of you in any way – be it your romantic relationship, success, other friendships, etc., then there is a chance that your friendship is toxic and it’s time to step back and reconsider your friendship.