Friendship breakups can be even more heartbreaking than relationship breakups, which is why it makes it so hard to finally let go. Sometimes you’re so attached to the good memories of your friendship that you completely ignore that your season with your friend needs to come to a close. Here are some key examples of toxic behaviors and signs that the friendship has run its course.
1. They never apologize
It’s one thing if they are having recurring issues with your treatment of them. That scenario would require more effort on your end to empathize and see your friend’s point of view. However, if it seems to be that every argument that occurs between the two of you results in you apologizing when you are the one who had the issue, or if they just never apologize and tell you to get over it, then it is time to have a talk with your friend about how their actions are hurting you. An endless track of offcast or non-existant apologies only leads to more harbored resentment and an unhealthy relationship. If your friend has never uttered the words “I’m sorry” after an argument, then it may be time to just end the friendship.
2. 95% of the time you are the one asking to hang out
If it feels like you are constantly picking up the phone to communicate with your friend or schedule time to hang out, then it may be time to re-evaluate your relationship. A friendship should be a two-way street. Ask yourself, if you were to not call them in the next few weeks would you hear from them at all? Would you guys ever see each other outside of school or work?
3. They invalidate your feelings
When you are pouring out your thoughts and feelings to a trusted friend, is their response to tell you that it’s not a big deal, or that you are overreacting? A good friend will definitely try to help you think realistically, however, if it seems that every time something is bothering you and your friend says that you are upset or worrying over nothing, then it may be time to consider whether or not they care about your feelings at all. This is especially true if your friend avoids confrontation with you. If you are having an issue with your friend or want to convey to them how you are feeling about something, and they refuse to talk things out with you, then your friendship is probably toxic.
4. They are judgemental when it comes to things that you like
Whether it’s who you are romantically interested in, or your favorite food, no one likes a judgemental Judy. If the things that you like or enjoy doing are not harmful to you or anyone around you, then your friend needs to keep their opinion to themselves. You deserve to be friends with someone that appreciates and respects the unique aspects of your personality and whatever it is that you like/like to do. You should never feel as if you have to hide certain interests or activities from a good friend for fear of being judged. Your real friends love you for who you are.
5. It feels like all of your conversations revolve around them
If your friend drabbles on about their day and never asks you about your own, it may be time for an overview of your friendship. Does it feel as if you know everything going on in your friend’s life and they wouldn't be able to name two things going on in yours? Or maybe you know every single detail about their day, but when it comes to talking about you they seem to stare off into the distance? A real friend will want to know just as much about you as you know about them. They will take an interest in your life, ideas, and thoughts and you won't ever feel the need to question whether or not they care.
6. You are filled with dread in their presence
Imagine this. Your friend waves goodbye and gets into their car and you are filled with a sense of relief. Or maybe you think about your friend in passing and a feeling of distress or dread overcomes you. Your gut intuition is powerful. If it feels like you’re spending time with what is known as an energy vampire, and every sap of happy feelings that you have are sucked out whenever this person is around, then you need to consider letting go and surrounding yourself with people that inspire you and make you feel good.
7. Everything feels like a competition
If you constantly feel like your friendship is a race, then it is definitely time to bring out your pros and cons notebook. A sign of a toxic friend can be the constant presence of jealousy rather than support. If it feels like your friend never genuinely congratulates you or supports you in regard to your achievements and goals, then it is time to find some new friends. Your real friends will always encourage you to achieve your goals and celebrate your accomplishments, rather than downplay or compare them.
8. They are unreliable
A good friend will almost always have your back when it comes to external or internal issues in your life as well as simply meeting up to hang out. If you and your friend make plans and you are questioning whether or not they will show up, or how late they will be to an important event, then you need to have a serious discussion. If nothing changes then it is time to see the people in your life that are showing up for you versus those who are not. Reliability shows that your friend values your time and recognizes the areas of importance in your life. A genuine friend will be there for you in your times of need to the best of their ability, and not flake out on your birthday dinner.
True friends can be difficult to come by, but it is important to remember that they will come. No one deserves to settle when it comes to their friendships. If you have a so-called friend that is performing two or more of these signs of toxicity then, unfortunately, it may be time to have a serious conversation with them regarding your relationship, or end the friendship altogether.