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Ways to Tell if a Friendship is Toxic by Megan Flint

Image from HauntingVisionsStock at DeviantArt

A piece of advice that I often see around the internet is to stop being friends with toxic people. People tell us to drop the people who are toxic from our lives. But if you don’t know whether a friendship is toxic, you might feel a little lost. Here are some questions to help you figure out if you’re dealing with someone toxic in your life. This is about a platonic relationship, but you can adapt it for any kind of relationship you need to.

1. Does this person put you down? Some people have playful relationships where they tease and make fun of each other, but the difference between that situation and this situation is how people feel about everything. If your friend makes fun of you and you take it to heart and believe that they mean it, that’s a sign that it’s not a good relationship.

2. Do you feel bad about yourself around this person? This ties in to the previous question, but how you feel about yourself around different people can give clues about whether the relationship you have with those people is good. If you constantly feel bad about yourself while you’re around a certain friend, it may be time to let that friend go. If a person makes you feel bad about yourself when you’re around them, the friendship there is likely not healthy.

3. Does this person try to dictate your life? By this, I mean do they try to tell you who you’re allowed to hang out with? There are exceptions when this is appropriate, of course, such as when they’re worried about your safety with someone, or they were abused by someone, et cetera, but in general if a friend is telling you who you’re allowed to hang out with, it’s usually not a good sign. This question can also mean do they try to make you do things that you don’t want to do? Do they boss you around and act like they can do that, because they’re better than you?

4. How do you act around this person? If you’re usually pretty confident, but when you’re around this person you feel like you just can’t speak your mind, that’s a bad sign. If you find yourself doing and saying things that you’re not proud of when you’re around this person, that’s not a great sign either. In figuring out that a friend is toxic, you might figure out that you’re just as toxic for them. That’s not wonderful, of course, but it is good to be self-aware. If you know yourself enough to admit that you are bad for them, that’s a sign that you’re mature, because you can admit it.

These are just a few questions to help figure out if a friendship or person is toxic. Not all of these questions will relate to all situations. But hopefully this will help anyone who needs it.

Have you ever dealt with a toxic friend? Share your story in the comments!

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