How To Recognize A Toxic Friend

upset couple back to back

Breaking up sucks, but it isn’t just for significant others and lovers. Sometimes you outgrow your friendships. Many times we outgrow these relationships long before we even start seeing the signs. Breaking up with your friend is just as hard sometimes as breaking up with your mate. It’s tough, but more than likely necessary.

Keeping a good, supportive circle of people around you is not only important for your happiness, it’s crucial to your health. According to a 10 year Australian study published in The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, participants that had a solid circle of supportive friends were 22% more likely to live longer than those without. It may be time to make sure the people in your life are adding to it, instead of taking it away.

Take a look at the signs below and evaluate!

1. They are needy.

We all have come across that one person in life that you realize needs you for absolutely EVERYTHING. It’s like you birthed a grown child and didn’t even know. Dependence can come in many forms, and oftentimes we overlook this as an issue because we want to be there for our friends. The issue is when it becomes apparent that they always need you. Emotional sustenance is a common one. Are you constantly helping your friend make decisions no matter the size? Are you talking through every single issue that arises in their life, so much that you could possibly call yourself their freelance consultant?  This could be an issue. “Friendships should be mutually beneficial,” says Asha Tarry, CEO of Behavioral Health Consulting Services. And what about financial assistance? Does your friend run to you every time they are in a bind and can’t pay their rent? It may seem harmless at first, but after awhile it has to be draining. If this friend is always in need of you, when it comes to your time of need who would you be able to turn to?

2. You avoid them. 

Have you ever felt obligated to be someone’s friend, but truly had no interest? Do you alway find a reason to cancel your plans with them? Do you feel a bit relieved when they leave? It may be time to re-visit this friendship. Friendships should be a mutually-desired relationship.