Friendships are important. In fact, studies have proven connections with others provide a positive impact on our health. But not every friendship is a delightful experience; some can be stressful and altogether toxic. Friends are supposed to pick you up, not drag you down. It's important to notice the following red flags in a friendship.
1. It’s The “Me” Show
An important aspect of a friendship is how much they value your time and thoughts. It includes listening to love, drama, goals and more. Though you may not always have all the answers or advice, simply hearing someone out can uplift them. Therefore, if your friend suffers from a severe case of egocentrism, you may want to watch out. People with egotistical personality seem to believe the world revolves around them. It may be time to give them a reality check or let them go. There should always be a balance in communication.
2. Negative Mindset
Hanging out with a close friend should always be a joyful experience. And sometimes we befriend people whose personalities are completely different from our own. But there’s a difference between a realist and pessimist, amiga. We get it. Everyone is different, pero most people would agree that the pessimist in the group is always negative. If your friend, repeatedly finds a way to put you down even in the smallest way, you should reconsider them. If the negativity cloud constantly follows them everywhere, you may want to review them. It can be difficult to be a positive person around someone who is always complaining. Having a “Negative Nancy” in the crowd is always a buzz kill. If this person means a lot to you, but you're a little drained by the negativity, you can suggest they seek out professional help. When you come from a place of genuine consern, it can change one's outlook on matters.
3. Silent Competition
Now, to be clear, being competitive ties into self-esteem and can be a dynamic and resourceful trait if used correctly. According to Psychology Today, "Studies suggest that there are different kinds of self-esteem. Some people may have a secure sense of self, regardless of the situation, whereas others may have unstable or fragile self-esteem that varies depending on their last accomplishment or whom they can impress." Therefore, that silent competitor in your friend is a reflection of him or her not feeling "good enough," so they are always looking for approval from the outside. Do you find yourself second guessing if you should tell them about a job promotion? Not sure if it’s a good idea to tell them about your new fling? Find yourself hiding any successes or achievements? Chances are you may have a frenemy. These aren't always the healthiest friendships.
The truth of the matter is everyone lies, and there are different types of lies. There are white lies, omission lies, and motivated lies. That being said, trust is essential in a friendship. Without certainty in a bond, it creates obstacles between each other that make it harder to understand one another. True friendship is all about compassion and trust. Once trust is broken, it is extremely hard to recover from that.
5. Feels Like a Romantic Relationship
Does your friend need too much attention, asks for money or crashes at your place too much? Chances are you're probably feeling a little drained from having to bear the weight of their responsibilities. When you are in a romantic relationship with someone, providing undivided attention and resources makes sense. It comes with the luxurious of having a partner in your life, but even romantic partnerships have boundaries. There's a difference between being there for a chica versus taking on her life battles. Dealing with a needy friend can be extremely toxic and harmful without you realizing. You are forming a dependence that you may not be able to upkeep. When you have a strong bond with a person, you may naturally begin to spend a lot of time together, but setting boundaries are necessary to create a healthy relationship.
6. Lack of Connection
Nothing kills a friendship faster than a forced connection. Once it becomes a chore or task to be around someone you once called a friend, it may be time to reflect on the relationship. Sometimes people grow apart, and that's okay -- being real about the disconnect can be a liberating feeling. If you feel it's a friendship worth fighting for acknowledging the weird feeling in the air can help improve the situation, but if it's someone you've outgrown then you'll have to simply let it go.
The truth is, in the end, you should be a friend to yourself first and foremost. Therefore, if you believe cutting off a toxic friend is needed, you are sending a major message. It says: "I value myself enough to remove a person out of my life who no longer serves me.” You’re prioritizing your happiness over someone else’s dysfunction and setting healthy boundaries. Once you recognize how toxic people can destroy your basic sense of self-worth, it becomes harder and harder to allow them in your life. We don't get to pick our family, but we do get to choose our friends.