Friendship is an important aspect of our lives, but not all friendships are healthy or positive. Sometimes, we find ourselves in toxic friendships that can have a negative impact on our mental health and well-being. Toxic friendships can be difficult to identify, especially when we have been friends with someone for a long time. In this article, we will discuss 15 signs you’re in a toxic friendship and how to deal with it.

1. They are always negative:

If your friend is always negative and seems to bring down the mood whenever you spend time together, it could be a sign of a toxic friendship.

2. They are overly critical:

A toxic friend will often criticize you and point out your flaws, making you feel like you’re never good enough.

gray stone on brown sand-Toxic Friendship

3. They don’t respect your boundaries:

If your friend doesn’t respect your boundaries and constantly pushes you to do things you’re not comfortable with, it’s a sign of a toxic friendship.

4. They are possessive:

Toxic friends often become possessive and jealous, making it difficult for you to spend time with other people or pursue your own interests.

5. They gossip about you:

If your friend talks behind your back and shares personal information without your permission, it’s a clear sign of a toxic friendship.

6. They don’t support you:

A true friend will support you and encourage you to pursue your dreams, but a toxic friend will often discourage you and put you down.

7. They are emotionally draining:

Toxic friends can be emotionally draining, leaving you feeling exhausted and drained after spending time with them.

8. They only contact you when they need something:

If your friend only reaches out to you when they need something, it’s a sign of a one-sided, toxic friendship.

man and woman facing each other and standing on beach dock surrounded with bare trees under foggy season-Toxic Friendship

9. They are manipulative:

Toxic friends often manipulate situations to their advantage, making you feel guilty or obligated to do things for them.

10. They make you feel insecure:

If your friend makes you feel insecure or undermines your confidence, it’s a sign of a toxic friendship.

11. They are controlling:

Toxic friends often try to control your actions or make decisions for you, making it difficult for you to maintain your independence.

12. They are unreliable:

If your friend is consistently unreliable and frequently cancels plans or fails to show up, it’s a sign of a toxic friendship.

13. They are competitive:

Toxic friends can be overly competitive, constantly trying to one-up you and prove their superiority.

14. They are dismissive of your feelings:

If your friend dismisses your feelings or minimizes your concerns, it’s a sign of a toxic friendship.

brown wooden dock on lake during daytime-Toxic Friendship

15. They don’t apologize:

A true friend will apologize when they’ve hurt you, but a toxic friend will often refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

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How to deal with a toxic friendship:

Dealing with a toxic friendship can be challenging, but it’s important to prioritize your own well-being and mental health. Here are some steps you can take to deal with a toxic friendship:

  1. Set boundaries: Make it clear to your friend what your boundaries are and stick to them. If they continue to cross your boundaries, it may be time to end the friendship.
  2. Have an honest conversation: Talk to your friend about how their behavior is affecting you and how it needs to change. If they are willing to work on the friendship, set some clear expectations and see if they follow through.
  3. Distance yourself: If your friend is unwilling to change or continues to be toxic, it may be best to distance yourself from the friendship.
  4. Seek support: Reach out to other friends or a therapist for support during this difficult time.
  5. Practice self-care: Take care of yourself by engaging in activities that make you happy and healthy.
four black wooden wall decors-Toxic Friendship


In conclusion, toxic friendships can be detrimental to our mental health and well-being. It’s important to recognize the signs of a toxic friendship and take steps to deal with it. Setting boundaries, having an honest conversation, and distancing yourself from the friendship are all effective ways to deal with a toxic friendship. Remember to prioritize your own well-being and surround yourself with positive and supportive people. With these steps, you can move forward and cultivate healthy and positive relationships in your life.