A friend is supportive, loyal and always rooting for you to win. A friend is not envious, disloyal, or full of gossip.
When we think of a toxic relationship, we usually think romantic; but friendships can be toxic as well. Signs of a toxic friendship are usually clear as day, yet we choose to ignore them for whatever reason(s). Friendships can be a bit more complicated than romantic relationships, and often harder to let go of. A lot of times the signs of toxic friendships are overlooked as “character flaws,” when in reality you and your friend just secretly hate each other.
I’ve had my fare share of toxic friends and the red flags were there all along, I was just so pressed for friends at the time that I ignored them. Of course every situation is different, but here are some common red flags of a toxic friendship that you shouldn’t ignore….
Consistency. If you and your ‘friend’ fall out every other week, that’s a huge red flag. One minute you’re BFFs hanging out 24/7, and the next you’re telling your other friend how much you hate her. There’s no consistency in the friendship.
Time. We often think that because we’ve been friends with someone for years that we can’t NOT be friends… that’s hardly the case. You have every right to end any friendship you want, whether it’s someone you met last week or someone you met 5 years ago. Not everyone you form a friendship with will be in your life forever. It’s OK to outgrow people! It’s life, it happens.
Envy. If your friend gets bitter when you get better, not your friend. Your friends should be your #1 fans/supporters in whatever goal(s) you are trying to accomplish. When you get that promotion, when you finally get that ring on your finger, whatever the case may be, she should be JUST as excited as you! When my friends accomplish something, I feel like I accomplished it as well – that’s how it’s suppose to be. Watch out for those ‘friends’ who half-ass congratulate you.
Backhanded compliments. “That dress makes you look so much skinnier.” “I wasn’t expecting you to get the job, congrats.” etc etc. The purpose of any relationship whether it be romantic or platonic, is to uplift each other. So if your ‘friend’ is giving you any kind of criticism that isn’t constructive.. red flag.
Enemies. Some people don’t agree with this one but it hasn’t proven me wrong yet in my 22 years of living. ANY FRIEND WHO HANGS WITH YOUR ENEMIES, IS NOT YOUR FRIEND!!! Point blank. Period. I’m not even going to go into this one because 1) common sense, 2) LOYALTY.
Gossip. I’ll keep this one short and to the point.. if your friend tells you all of her other friends’ business, what the hell makes you think she’s not out here running your business too??? You know, the friend who can’t wait to call and give you the scoop on her other homegirls drama as soon as her and homegirl hang the phone up. I learned a long time ago if they’ll talk with you, they’ll talk about you.
Communication. You shouldn’t have to be the one to start a conversation every time.. aka if you don’t call/text them first then you would never hear from them. Not your friend. A real friend WANTS to call and see how you’re doing.
Overall, if a certain person came to mind while you were reading.. she’s your toxic friend! A friend is supportive, loyal and always rooting for you to win. A friend is not envious, disloyal, or full of gossip. Pick your friends wisely and remember, time is no measure of true friendship!