Friendship is something we all need at one point or another. Throughout life we can see how making friends can become a bit more challenging throughout the years. One misconception we tend to have is that we have to be friends with anyone who shares a commonality with us. Sometimes that friendship may work out but other times we might find ourselves in a bad relationship. Some friendships can start great and later become toxic.
Many of us may be able to identify at least one friendship that we could easily consider toxic, but yet have no idea how we can snap ourselves to that reality that they are toxic to us. It is important to understand and identify signs that we are involved in a toxic friendship. Below are 5 Tips:
Five of the Most Common Warning Signs of a Toxic Friendship:
1. You’re Being Manipulated: What is manipulation in the sense of friendship exactly? Well speaking from a general perspective when we want to manipulative someone, we want them to do things our way. The foot in the door strategy of persuasion is a very common form of manipulation where someone makes a smaller request and eventually, that smaller request over time becomes something much bigger than the initial request. Sound familiar? You’ve probably had someone like this in your life before. Most of us have.
2. You’re Being Lied To: We all know those people that are lying straight through their teeth to make themselves appear more captivating to individuals. Most of the time we just keep our mouths shut to avoid any conflict between ourselves and the individual, it just seems easier that way. However, if we are subjecting ourselves to people that are generally lying to others, maybe it’s time we ditch those that aren’t satisfied enough with themselves to be honest and truthful friends. Like they say, honesty is the best policy.
3. They’re Self Centered: It is not hard to tell when someone just simply cares about themselves, but just in case you missed the signs, they show very little concern for others and plenty of concern for themselves. They never ask about others and just simply go on and on about themselves. They may pretend to care for all of 10 seconds by asking how you are and what not, but very soon after they’re telling story after story about themselves. It’s more concerning to them that you know about their lives than for them to know about yours.
4. The Relationship is One-sided: When you find yourself doing most of the work in a relationship, that’s a huge negative no matter what. We are only disappointing ourselves by setting these unrealistic expectations for someone. We personally provide them with something we know they can’t return. So as human beings, why do we keep these kinds of friends? Maybe we should reflect on our own confidence and try to understand that we are worth more than a friend that can’t provide us with the love and support we need from them.
5. You’re Almost Always in Constant Conflict: Being in a toxic friendship doesn’t always mean that someone in the relationship is a bad human being. It just so happens that sometimes our lives are headed in completely different directions so the friendship itself becomes toxic. We fight with our friends here and there, but there’s way more to conflict than just simply fighting with each other. Schedules become an issue, relationships with others become an issue, work becomes an issue, basically anything in life that you both have becomes an issue. A healthy relationship will work around these situations in order to maintain the friendship, otherwise it’s not a healthy relationship. It’s important for us to remember that it’s okay to let go of friendships that just simply aren’t working, forcing these relationships only makes it intolerable for both parties.
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Author: Mayeling Angelastro, MA, LMHC is an Orlando Winter Park Bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor providing help to couples, families, couples, children and teenagers with offices in Winter Park and East Orlando. (407) 248-0030
Co-Author: Leah Broderick (UCF Student Psychology Student)