15 Warning Signs Your Friendship Has Turned Toxic

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Toxic friends.

The very phrase sends shivers of the Sads down my back because I've been on the receiving end of enough toxic friendships to last a lifetime. These friendships never start out as bad for us, but over time, it becomes apparent that that's exactly what they are. Luckily, I've learned a little about the whole phenomenon along the way.

Here are some warning signs that one of your friendships has turned toxic. And not in the Britney Spears song kind of way. 

1) She gives compliments that are actually - when you stop and think about it - insults.

2) She makes jokes around other people - often ones that are humiliating and embarrassing at your expense. If you dare look sad or angry, she laughs and says things like, "Well, it's true!" or "I was only joking."

3) Whenever things don't go her way, or if you've dared to say "no" to her, she'll stop talking to you until you acquiesce to her demands or desires.

4) You realize that you've begun to dread hearing from her via email, phone, or text, and will go to great lengths to avoid her, even if you can't pinpoint why.

5) You know she's talking trash about you - but if you confront her, she'll deny it or shift the blame onto you. "Well, if you weren't so..."

6) She's got a lot of time to moan about her problems, but should you dare bring up your own, it'll be met with a brush-off like, "At least... (insert statement like, "you're not on fire.")

7) You realize how many eggshells you have to tiptoe around simply to make sure she's not "angry" with you or your behavior.

8) She manipulates you. If you aren't able to make it out for a party because your kid is home sick or something, she'll reward you with a whopping guilt trip or refuse to speak to you at all.

9) She never follows through. She's promised to help you move, be your "shoulder to cry on," and be the one who will be your surrogate boyfriend while you're single, and when you actually need her, you don't bother trying to get a hold of her - she won't be there and you know it.

10) She's not afraid to hit on any guy you dig. Doesn't matter how many times you've told her you like the dude, she's all over him whenever you're around.

11) Her emotional maintenance makes the amount of time you put into your resume look like child's play. You have to cater to her emotions and plan for her reactions like it's your job. (Hint: it's totally not your job).

12) You realize that every time you talk about her, you have to defend her to the rest of your friends (and partner). Her bitch face may actually be her real face.

13) She's so self-absorbed that she thinks you should drop everything you're doing the moment she "needs" you for such crises as "I gained 2 pounds," or "So-and-so unfriended me on Facebook."

14) She's so competitive you've learned not to bother talking about your accomplishments. If you got a cell phone, she's got the latest smart phone. If you have a boyfriend, hers bought her an engagement ring.

15) She talks crap about everyone she's ever met, and can do so for hours. Doesn't matter one way or another whether it's true. Just don't be shocked when you find out she's doing it to you, too.

What are some other signs you have a toxic friend? Have you experienced a toxic friendship? How'd you end it?

Image via spoon/Flickr

relationships, resolutions, self esteem


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flood... flood1971

OMG how true! I brought my former best friend home to europe with me for my brothers wedding. Where she got smashed, tried to hang all over him and when he politely asked her to stop she started with my brother-in-law. Who was mortified. As was the rest of my family. So I left the wedding early to put her to bed. The next day at breakfast she asked me if I thought my brother had the hots for her. So gross and inappropriate! Oh, and she was also married at that time. She did everything you mentioned in your article and then some.I severed ties as soon as we got back here. Best decision of my life!

audri... audrinasmommy7

I've had 2 toxic friendships but I only saw 2 signs mentioned above. My ex-best friend could never really be depended on and I did begin do dread her texts/calls. We had been best friends since high school so I was hesitant to end the relationship but the final straw was when she rsvp'd to my daughters 1st birthday party and then never showed up. No call, no text explaining why & to top it all of my husband (who had to leave the party early to go to work) saw her at his job (he works at a grocery store) all dressed up buying alcohol. He asked her whether she had gone to the party and she said no and he just shook his head in disappointment to which she replied "what?! I didn't do it on purpose!" Yeah that was my breaking point. She called me about a month or two after that and I didn't answer and haven't had any contact with her since.

Taylo... TaylorFam02

This is a high school list, you need a mommy wars one lol!

flood... flood1971

This wasn't high school, we both were 35 yrs old! I think it can happen at any age; I'm not a Mom but I can imagine that those wars are equally bad!

Heather Johnson

What about the friends that never pay you back from lunch/tickets/presents?  Or obviously favor one kid over the over, though you question how well either are taken care of?  And who has a husband you can't stand but she's "prayed" about it and knows she's supposed to stay with him, even though she has to walk on eggshells or avoid some topics so he doesn't go off about something?  

tuffy... tuffymama

Try being married to a guy who does all those but number 10, but he did hit on my friends. It took me years to recover from that nonsense. It's a big reason why I have two kids from two different husbands, 15 years apart. Not the way I had imagined my life, but I just couldn't stay with that douchebag.

Laurlev Laurlev

I has two very "good" friends who were toxic. It was so bad that I go out of my way to avoid getting close to other women.

mnm3boys mnm3boys

No matter how old you get you will always be stuck in high school drama.  I had a pretty toxic friend our kids go to the same school and we see eachother at the bus stop but I really can't be around her.  Not only does she talk bad about all her so called friends constantly complaining about all the drama in her life to the point she unfriends everyone on facebook for no reason.  The nail in coffin for me was when she took back a friend in her life that she not only poisoned me against but vice versa and is so confused why none of friends get along.  I got to the point I was tired of walking on eggshells and had emotional breakdown because of the so called friendship.  I blame myself because I allowed to be involved in a toxic friendship because the sad truth is I don't have any close friends and I wanted to belong.  I've learned my lesson and I'm done with toxic people that make me feel worse just by being around them.

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