Symptoms of a Toxic FriendFriendships are very precious to us as, not only with people we love hanging out with but also when we need help. With time, some friendships get sour as you find out you didn’t know a person as well as you thought you did. With experience and bumps in the road, some may learn to differentiate between a good friend from a bad friend. But often this decision is not easy. So, here are some common signs to watch out for that can help you distinguish whether someone will be there for you when you need them.
Signs of Unequal Friendships
- Some people in your life may only show up at your doorstep or call you when they want something. One thing to keep in mind is that a friendship should be about equality. So, you should help someone if you at least expect to get reciprocated support in return. If you are helping out a person with favors and don’t get much help in return when needed, maybe it is time to question the relationship.
- In such friendships, the conversation is always one-sided. You only get to hear the other persons problems and point of view all the time. Friendships are meant to be about everybody and not about just one side.
- If you feel that your friendship is built on conditions and you don’t get help unless you help them first, you may need to talk these things out.
- If your friend is not reliable and often bails when you need them the most, you should look for new friends
- Some people may call you a friend, but exclude you from fun events, parties, and other mutual activities. They may also talk behind your back and share your secrets. Always remember, no one should undermine you even if they are good friends of yours.
- Bad friendships can make you feel down and unhappy. If a person spends most of their time complaining about their problems, you should take some steps to reduce the negativity around you.
Signs of Abusive Friendships
- If a friend makes fun of you in front of others and embarrasses you, you should pull them aside and talk it out immediately.
- If you feel that hanging out with someone makes you feel sad or negative all the time, it is time to draw the line.
- If one of your friends is exceptionally competitive with you on most things, an excess of anything is not good. A good friend will always support you and encourage your happiness when fortune comes your way. Unhealthy and consistent competition is not a sign of real friendship.
- If a friend of yours spreads rumors and lies about you, they are not a friend. A true friendship is all about respect and trust.
- Your friend should respect your privacy and never share your secrets. If they cross their boundaries, talk it out before it becomes an everyday affair.
- If your friend often gets into trouble or tries to be an accomplice of something which can get you into trouble, it’s time to leave.
How to mend a bad friendship?Many friendships end for different reasons. Some friendships degrade over time or due to negative feelings on either side. One thing to keep in mind is that friendships always have ups and downs. But no matter what happens, conflicts and arguments can be repaired. If the friendship breaks apart due to anger, hurt, conflict, or negative feelings, both sides can work together to mend it. It is going to take some time to repair the damage and rebuild the bond. If you and your friend shared a meaningful relationship, it is usually worth trying to fix it.
But in worst cases, it becomes impossible, or even detrimental to repair a broken friendship. In that case, both parties can choose to part ways, particularly if the friendship was never strong, to begin with.
If you are willing to mend a broken friendship, you can try a few things. Firstly, never be afraid or ashamed to take the first step. If you are feeling that your friendship is strained due to a reason mentioned above, instead of waiting for your friend to come to you and talk, you can take the initiative to sort things out. You should somehow reach out to your friend, even with the help of common associations if needed.
Once you meet your friend, you should express your thoughts and feelings clearly so that both can find a way to understand each other. At the same time, you should also listen to what the other person has to say. Many friendships break apart due to common misunderstandings. If all goes well, your friend will come clean about why they might be having issues with you. This can help to understand the reason behind any negative feelings.
Try to avoid any conflicts during this meeting. If you feel that a void has been left due to a previous event, you should learn to be forgiving. Clearing misunderstandings go a long way, but this is only possible if both parties are ready to reconcile.
If in any way your actions were responsible for breaking the friendship, you should be modest enough to offer apologies. If the reason your friendship went sour is because of something you did, you should think beforehand what you will say or how you will apologize. If you get into a dispute, you need to be reasonable to forgive or receive forgiveness. If both parties understand each other’s feelings and are ready to come to an agreement, there is a good chance that a friendship can recover and continue as it was before.