Six Signs of a Toxic Friendship

Having friends is an important aspect of a person’s social environment. Unfortunately, some friends are more trouble than they’re worth. If you find that a friend is causing you anguish, you may want to take time to assess your own emotional well-being, and seek guidance.

 

Signs you are involved in a toxic friendship:

●      Stress - Positive friendships boost your emotional and mental health; negative friendships do the opposite. Meeting with a negative person can leave you feeling anxious, which may provoke some physical reactions. Resulting stress may manifest as high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, or lowered immunity.

●      Negativity - Positive friendships can alleviate negative situations and inspire healthy changes. Negative friends likely resist any possibility of positive outcomes or solutions. It can be difficult having a positive outlook when negative people keep pulling you down.

●      Over-dependence - Toxic friends can make huge demands of your time and emotions. They can require affirmation for every decision made, and expect consistent financial assistance. Negative friends want constant attention, which can escalate to possessiveness.

●      Inconsistency - Toxic friendships may seem beneficial and then change to terrible on a weekly rotation, which makes them hard to identify. This problematic “Jekyll and Hyde” situation can take a toll on self-esteem. You never know when something you do or say can set off your toxic friend.

●      Isolation - Controlling friends will often stop you from making new friends. They want to monopolize your time and can’t stand the thought of losing your attention. Toxic friends are jealous of other people and may create competition between you and other friends, further isolating you.

●      Hypocrisy - Negative friends rarely feel bad for letting you down. When you can’t make time for them, they lash out. In addition, they frequently point out your flaws but don’t recognize their own. Drawing attention to your shortcomings is one way they manipulate and control you.

Friends should inspire positivity in your life, not detract from it. Consult a professional if you think that you are involved in a toxic relationship with a friend.

At Living Well by Design, we offer counselling services in St. Albert and Edmonton, AB, that help you deal with problematic situations, giving you the skills to inspire positive change in your life. Reach us at (780) 246-8100 to book your appointment today.

Wendy Hart