Friendships can be complicated. People are inherently complicated. Some friends you’ve known since birth, and others you’ve made along the way. Over time, these friendships grow and change, oftentimes for the better, and sometimes for the worst. It’s important to recognize when to sever ties with a toxic friend.
1) You don’t want to share good news
A friend is someone you want to share parts of your life with, especially the good parts. When you are hesitant to express joy, it is a huge red flag. This communication barrier demonstrates your friend’s failure to receive your positive news with excitement and affirmation, as they should.
2) You are afraid to say “no”
Do you suddenly find yourself becoming a “yes” man around this friend? Are you unable to resist poor decisions, fearing confrontation? This is a tell tale sign of a toxic friend. Your friends should inspire you to be a better person, and accept your differences of opinion.
3) Your friendship is one-sided
If you are consistently the first to reach out, it’s time to realize your friend is not interested in your well being. They aren’t too “busy”; they just don’t care. It’s a hard truth to swallow, but quite liberating once you accept it.
4) You dread spending time with them
The major benefit of a healthy friendship is being able to spend time together , and enjoying one another’s company. If a pit of anxiety twists your stomach before every hangout, it’s time to re-evaluate the purpose of continuing this friendship.
Does your friend always cancel plans at the last minute ? Do you feel like the “backup” option? There’s no need to invest your energy in a friend who simply does not care about your time and happiness. Don’t waste your energy trying to justify their flaky behavior.
6) Constant criticism
“Are you really wearing that?” “You should have kept your hair long.” No. Do what you like with your life and appearance! As long as you aren’t being overtly self-destructive, your friend should be supportive of your decisions. After all, you are BEAUTIFUL.
Now that we’ve unpacked the markers of a toxic friendship, severing ties is a whole different story. It's true, there be a long history, family connections, or intertwined friend groups. You can’t just cut out a bad friend without any side effects. Just remember to trust your gut, and put your well being first. You deserve friends who lift you up, and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.