30 Signs Of A Toxic Friend
And What Next

Many of the signs of a toxic friend are often justified away initially because of the friendship.

  • I don't like when she does that but she is my friend
  • Nobody is perfect
  • I've known him for years, that's just the way he is
  • There has to be compromise in friendships and she has been good to me in other ways
  • He is basically a good person

These are some of the more common reasons people give to explain bad behavior on the part of so-called friends. This is normal behavior for humans. We like to have reasons and justifications as to why unexpected things happen. However, this pattern often gets us into trouble. We come up with the excuse, then act as if that excuse is true, even when it is not. This means that in the above situations, a person tolerates bad behavior from a friend, often for years, thinking there is nothing that can be done about it.

Most people do not fully understand mind control, or psychopathy, or narcissism. If they did have these frameworks, they would probably come up with different explanations for their toxic friends' bad behavior.

So, for example, when the toxic friend criticizes your brother, instead of thinking, "Oh, he is insecure again and criticizing somebody helps him feel more confident," you think, "He is trying to isolate me from my support networks," which is much closer to the truth.

So if creating reasons for the bad behavior gets people into trouble, how can we get around this?

A great tip is to pay attention to the behavior itself and not so much to the justification.

Another example, your so called friend says things that makes you feel stupid or inferior in some way. It's possible to come up with all sorts of reasons and justifications for why he does this. It makes him feel better, he says he is trying to help you, he things he is making a joke and you are too sensitive and on and on. However, what is actually happening? What is happening is that he says things that make you feel stupid and inferior. That is what is going on. You don't do that to other people, do you? You would consider it rude and unpleasant. But your friend is doing it to you. Over and over again.

This is what you need to pay attention to so that you can deal with the actual behaviors and not put up with all sorts of abuses because somehow you are made to feel that the behaviors are acceptable.

With this in mind, let's examine other behaviors that indicate signs of toxicity in friendships.


Signs of a toxic friend

Your friend was fantastic at the start but over time you have seen another side to them, a selfish, cold, demanding side.

They insult you regularly, or say things that make you feel bad about yourself.

They want to be the center of attention most of the time.

They lie to you. Or they withhold information from you.

They say one thing and do another. This is a major sign. If you find yourself frequently accepting their excuses for not keeping their word, beware!

They take up more of your time than you are really comfortable with.

They seem to have one crisis after another, and you are expected to deal with the fallout of these crises.

They can say things that make you feel fantastic and at other times they say things that make you feel dreadful.

They insist on having things their way all the time. They can do this in various ways. They are ok about guilting you into doing what they want, they will promise to compromise later (and never do!), make you the problem for not going along with their plans and they will even use threats.

They criticize you and when you get upset they claim that they were joking or they didn't really mean it and it's you who take things too seriously.

Even if you tell them that what they did was hurtful, they will keep up this unpleasant behavior.

They will take your stuff, your clothes etc and not give it back for ages, or not at all.

Do you feel that you are giving way more than you get? Does your friend make you feel like you owe him or her?

They are quite happy for you to spend money on them. They do not reciprocate.

They are fantastic at playing the victim. Even if they have offended you, they make out that they were even more offended by how you responded.

They will often make you feel bad about things you didn't actually do, claiming that you should have done them.

Boundaries and limits... They are forever pushing these, getting you to do things or tolerate things that you would not have done in the past. And if you try and put a boundary in place, they see this as a challenge and immediately set about destroying it.

You are expected to forgive them for anything and everything. If you bring up something from the past you are accused of living in the past. They, however, do not forgive anything. Nor do they forget. In fact, they will bring up 'bad' things you have said and done over and over again to make you feel bad.

A toxic friend is doing all these things on purpose. This is one of those ideas that victims have difficulty accepting. Normal, healthy people don't treat others badly on purpose and can't imagine that others might do so on purpose. If you think about it, there are too many things going on for it to be random, or accidental. The only thing that makes sense is that the toxic friend is doing these things deliberately.

For example, if anything goes wrong, it's always your fault. It's not 50:50 or sometimes their fault. It's your fault in one way or another. That's not normal. They just do not accept responsibility. They blame you each and every time, on purpose.

A toxic friend rarely, if ever, apologizes. And even if they do apologize, if you listen carefully, it's not really an apology. "I am sorry you feel that way about what I said," is not the same as, "I am sorry I upset you."

And no matter how convincing they may sound with an apology, they don't mean a word of it. An hour later they are doing the same upsetting behavior again. Remember that thing about being liars? They can be amazing at it!

Have you got to the stage where you no longer trust this friend? Or you are happy when there is a reason not to spend time with them because you feel so uncomfortable around them? If you cannot rely on someone, then they don't really fit into the definition of friend, do they?

Are you afraid of this person? Do you know why? Again, the definition of friend does not include people that you are actually afraid of.

Does this person speak badly about others behind their back? Do you suspect that they do the same to you?

Does this person actually have your best interests at heart? Or is that something you have assumed is true?

Have you lied to protect this friend? Have you defended their nasty behavior to others? More than once? If yes, this is not a good sign!

Is this person competitive? Do they always have to be one up on others? Someone tells a story and they tell one that is supposedly better? One person buys an item and this friend explains how the one they themselves have is far superior?

When you are enjoying yourself, does this friend do something to ruin it? You buy new clothes, this friend criticizes them. You have a success at work and the friend minimizes your achievement...

When your friend criticizes you, do they do it at the level of identity? Instead of, "That was a dumb thing to do," it's, "There you go again. That's you all over, doing dumb stuff!" or straight out, "You are so dumb for doing that!" This criticism of who you are is very significant. It destroys your sense of self, ruins your self esteem and makes you doubt yourself. It is the first step in changing your personality and imposing the pseudopersonality. This idea is very significant. You can read more here about what manipulators do.


Signs of a toxic friend - What to do

If you see many of the signs of a toxic friend listed here, then you have to consider that you are in an abusive relationship. You are being used, abused and taken advantage of.

Stopping the abuse is up to you. Your friend is not going to stop. It's what they do, not just to you but to everyone around them.

The only way to stop the abuse is to get out of the relationship, to have zero contact with the abuser. That idea will cause literal terror for many of you reading this. And sure, getting away from an abuser is indeed a big deal. I am not going to go into it here, you can read more about leaving abusive relationships here.

A major undertaking is learning about not only what is being done to you using mind control, but who is doing it. What kind of people do this to others on purpose? The short answer is psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists. If you are dealing with such a person, it is prudent to not just know it, but you really need to learn about them, too. What are their motivations, their tactics? What are they taking from you? What do you need to do to protect yourself?


Signs of a toxic friend - more reading

You can read more here about what an abusive relationship is all about, how to spot a psychopath, what does manipulation look like, dealing with narcissism, undoing mind control and narcissistic abuse recovery.

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