Good friendships are very important for one’s mental welfare. They give the person a reliable support network in upsetting times and help in feeling understood. They help in the path to success. It’s also important to know when a friendship has become toxic. They can drain your energy and undermine your self-esteem. Sometimes, you may be able to improve it through honest conversation, but at other times you may need to let them go.
GYV spoke with Dr. Nishant Goel who is a psychologist at Central Institute of Psychiatry. He points out, “Friendship is a pious Institution which stands firm on the pillars of trust, respect, transparency, and togetherness. In this age where we are constantly under the pressure of growth in height and stature, it’s always important to have a friend who is standing beside you in your endeavors but pitting competition at times forces a friend to use their friendship to grow over the friend.”
According to him, if you have a friend who lies and disrespects you constantly, you need to get out.
Here are the 7 essential signs of a toxic friendship.
1. You constantly feel let down
You are your friend’s equal. Giving and receiving positive feedback is a part of friendship. However, a toxic friend may search for ways to make you feel like you’re less than they are. They might point attention to your insecurities regularly. They might even discourage you from trying to achieve your dreams.
2. The blame game
Everyone makes mistakes in relationships. Good friends can always say sorry for their part in such arguments. In contrast, toxic or manipulative friends never admit their mistakes. They will blame you for everything instead. You will be told that everything is your fault and that it’s you who needs to change or apologize.
3. Controlling behavior
Controlling behaviors can be as damaging in a relationship as in a friendship. The friend might always insist on being in control of what you do or where you go. They might even try to impose their thoughts on your life choices. Or, they could try to influence how you look and dress. Loving friends will always want you to be your own person.
Some controlling friends may constantly try to stop you from making new friends. They may even try to stand in the way of you finding a partner. This is because a toxic friend often wants to have all of your time and energy. Sometimes, you may not even notice this influence until suddenly you realize that other friends, or even family, have isolated you.
5. Public shaming
Teasing is a part of many good friendships, but being humiliated in public is terrible. If your friend makes fun of you in public, then they’re being abusive. If you try to talk about it to your friend and their behavior still doesn’t change, this person is not good for you. Healthy friendships should be about support and positivity.
6. Piling issues
A toxic friend can have issues like irregularity and blame it on you. If this is happening a lot, your friend is using you to solve their own issues. This is not always realized, but if it doesn’t change over time then the friendship can leave you confused and unhappy.
7. Moody behavior
You can’t expect all of your friends to constantly be in a good mood. But, if you have a Jekyll and Hyde friend who is happy one night and furious at you the next minute, you’re in an unhealthy friendship. You will never be able to relax around this person. You’ll spend too much time trying to work out how to consistently please them. This could be very exhausting.