7 Alarming Signs That You Have A Toxic Friend Who Is Draining You Emotionally

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Senior Editor of Branded Content at Wild Sky Media. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Woman's World. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law & Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

Best friends are supposed to support you when you’re down, celebrate your successes, and be there through all the challenges and joys life has to bring.

Most of us feel like we would be nowhere without our friends — they’re the ones who throw us surprise birthday parties, the ones with whom we reminisce about old times, and the ones that recreate photos with us throughout the years.

Many friendships have their ups and downs, but in the end, we’re glad to have the other person by our side.

What happens when a friendship gets a little beyond rocky, though?

If you find yourself dreading your time together, wishing you could be anywhere else, or coming up with excuses for why you can’t hang out, you might be in a toxic friendship.

Unfortunately, even wonderful people can end up being toxic friends. It’s important to know the signs of a toxic friendship so you can remedy the situation.

Thumbnail Photo: Pexels / Alexander Dummer

What Is A Toxic Friendship?

what is a toxic friendship
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

A toxic friendship may be different in every relationship, but generally, a toxic friendship is one-sided or abusive.

These kinds of friendships can cause physical symptoms of stress, like higher blood pressure, depression, and anxiety.

Toxic friendships are draining, both physically and emotionally, but how do you know if you’re in one of these relationships? Read on to find out seven signs of toxic friendships.

Signs Of A Toxic Friendship
Sign #1: It's Always About Her

toxic friendship sign 1
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

One definite sign of a toxic friendship is if it’s always about her — she talks, you listen.

Think about this scenario: she calls you to complain about her day, but as soon as you start to talk about what’s going on in your own life, she suddenly has to go. Does that sound familiar?

If you’re always the listener and she’s always the talker, you’re going to end up feeling like you can’t talk to her about the problems in your own life.

Sign #2: She Compares You To Her Other Friends

toxic friendship sign 2
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

When you’re hanging out, does she constantly talk about how her other friends would do things or how her other friends are better than you?

If she’s constantly comparing you to her other friends, you’ll eventually feel like you’re not living up to her standards. Chances are, even if you try to change a particular behavior for her, you still won’t feel “good enough.”

Sign #3: She's A Little Too "Honest"

toxic friendship sign 3
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Does your friend tell you she’s just “being honest” when she tells you what she really thinks about your clothes, your looks, or your partner?

She might try to pass it off as “honesty,” but what she’s really doing is giving herself a pass for insulting you.

Sign #4: Spending Time Together Stresses You Out

toxic friendship sign 4
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

When you do spend time together, are you always trying to find a way to politely leave? Do you feel stressed out when you’re together?

Hanging out with her is a delicate art, and you have to walk on eggshells because you’re never sure when she might snap and get mad at you.

If you find yourself constantly dreading hanging out with your friend, that’s a pretty good sign that your friendship might be toxic.

Sign #5: She Ignores You For Long Stretches Of Time

toxic friendship sign 5
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Do you feel like you’re always the one who is trying to set up times to hang out or talk on the phone? Do you feel like she never gets in touch with you until she needs you?

If you’re putting way more effort into the relationship, you’re going to get burnt out pretty quickly.

Friendships are no fun when they’re one-sided, so if you always feel like your friend is ignoring you, it’s not a successful relationship.

Sign #6: She's Constantly Jealous Of You

toxic friendship sign 6
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Another sign of a toxic friendship is if your friend always acts jealous of you.

Does your friend always act like your successes are her failures? It’s difficult to deal with this because you end up feeling like you can’t tell her about the good things in your life, since she’ll just compare herself to you and start pouting.

Sign #7: She's Full Of Negative Energy

toxic friendship sign 7
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you have a toxic friend, you might notice that she’s a real Debbie Downer — not just during rough patches, but all the time.

She somehow manages to turn every positive into a negative and is always cynical about her life, your life, and everything.

It might seem like no big deal, but her negative energy will start to rub off on you.

What Can You Do?

toxic friendship fix
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do if you think you’re in a toxic friendship.

First, try to talk to her about her behavior and the ways in which it bothers you. Try encouraging her to change in ways that will benefit both of you.

Second, if nothing changes, you might eventually need to “break up” with her. If it’s going to be better for your emotional and mental health, it might be time to distance yourself from the relationship.

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