Let’s be super honest. It isn’t easy to make friends, and it’s even more difficult to make friends who stay by your side, no matter what. More often than not, the people around you turn out to be mean friends or toxic friends who are only there for a good time. Finding support when you are down is difficult, but it is more important to identify the toxic friendship that only drains your emotional energy.
Making friends is inevitable. We, as humans, are social animals and need a healthy amount of human interaction to lead a healthy life. But at the same time, we must be careful with picking the company we choose to spend time with. Here are seven signs of a toxic friend or mean friend that you can look for in an early friendship:
What a Toxic Friend Does – 7 Traits of Mean Friends!
1. The Green-Eyed Monster
Jealousy is a disease, and it affects all of us once in a while. While it is completely normal to feel the pinpricks of jealousy now and then, turning it into a regular pattern is an easy way of identifying a toxic friend. If you notice this friend, in particular, getting more jealous than it is healthy to be, it is one of the amplest red flags for a friendship. Whether it’s a friend you’ve only recently made or someone you’ve had in your life for a long time, if you notice them constantly getting jealous every time you make it big, chances are they are a toxic friend and need to be cut off.
2. Enable Bad Habits
Peer pressure can make us do a lot many things we wouldn’t usually end up doing. Social compulsion can lead to developing a number of bad habits that can be encouraged by the company we keep around us. Our friends around us may push us into consuming various substances or activities that we wouldn’t want to do on a regular basis. Such kind of pressure is a sure-shot sign of a mean friend who is looking for a company to support their own misdeeds. In any case, pressuring somebody for your own benefit is toxic, and when you do it to a friend, then it is time to question whether they are truly your friends to begin with.
3. Unreliability And Lies
One of the first things we find in a friendship is trust, and the easiest way to break that trust is by being an unreliable friend or lying your way through that friendship. If you find that you cannot trust a certain friend of yours, then it may be the biggest reason you may have a mean friend. Even if you believe your reasons for this mistrust may be unfounded, the general feeling in itself may be an indication enough that your friendship is getting toxic. Unreliability can become a massive chink in a friendship and can escalate the longer it is sustained.
4. Rude Or Demeaning
Friendships usually demand total honesty, true. But many friends can overstep boundaries by being too honest, too soon. Usually, these bouts of honesty are thinly concealed attempts at attacking you. Even though these “genuine” comments may seem like an actual attempt to tell you where you’re going wrong, the timing is a huge determining factor. If these comments come in public and are aimed at embarrassing you, then you are most likely dealing with a toxic mean friend. In such cases, it is important to talk to them about this and figure out what makes you feel like you are being disrespected. At the same time, it is crucial to understand whether these comments come from a genuine place of wanting to tell you where you are going wrong and whether you’re in denial.
5. All You Talk Is Gossip
A little bit of healthy gossip here and there is not a problem. But if you feel like discussing others and their issues are all you seem to talk about, then you may have a mean friend. In such cases, you must sit this friend down and talk to them about their habit of gossip. If they seem dismissive of their habits and refuse to understand what’s wrong, then you must begin to distance yourself from this friend.
6. Conversation Leveler
We all have problems, and we all want someone we can discuss them with. Usually, in friendships, a conversation is a two-way street. However, in some friendships, only one member ends up talking most of the time, and then the space can quickly get toxic. If your friend uses you like an unpaid therapist, you must understand that you may have a toxic friend. Try to make yourself heard, and if they still refuse to listen, it’s best to cut them off.
7. Aggressive Competition
This ties in with the first point as well: unnatural jealousy. Along with that, if your friend is fiercely competitive and tries to show you up every time you set out to do something, then they may be toxic. A friendship is built on healthy competition here, and there is no sign of worry, but if this competition begins to interfere with your relationship as friends, then your friend may be toxic. Such friends will never be happy about your successes and will want to chase their own achievements rather than stop and celebrate your occasional wins.
So, What Do You Do If You Have A Toxic Or Mean Friend?
The first thing you must do is confront them about their behaviour and explain how they can be a better friend to you. If this doesn’t work, a little distance can go a long way. You still like many things about this friend, and you can try and overlook certain toxic traits to help maintain your friendship. Putting a certain amount of distance between you and your friend can help establish certain boundaries. If everything you try doesn’t seem to work, and this friend continues to flout boundaries, then it may be best to cut them out of your life once and for all. A friend breakup may be hurtful and emotionally taxing for both of you, but it is for the best in the long run. And if you think you are prone to any of these traits, then it may be time for some self-reflection and analysis on how you can be a better friend and, consequently, a better person.
Also Read: Here are some tips on to deal with them to maintain a healthy friendship.