Did anyone else’s mom tell you perhaps, a million times, that friends are always temporary… or was it just mine? While I’d have to agree with my mom on some level, I’d have to also challenge her advice and say that it is possible to have true friends forever. Throughout my life, I have definitely lost a good amount of friends, whether it be us cordially growing apart or ending due to some sort of drama. Instead of delving into the stories of my lost friendships, I want to touch on the lessons I have learned throughout my life on how to spot a toxic friend. We all have them, had them or will encounter them for the rest of our lives. It is normal for someone you think is your friend forever to completely show their true colors or change. No one person is the same, and here are the red flags I always keep in mind when it comes to realizing a friendship just is not worth it anymore.
- It’s all about them: Have you ever gone on a lunch date or girls night out where the entire conversation revolves around your friend? Have you ever noticed you have not had the chance to talk about yourself? While this isn’t a giant red flag, it definitely is. The more I have hung out with friends like this, the more I would ask myself if they even know me at all, let alone care to know me in general. Selfish friends only want one thing, to get themselves to the top and they simply don’t care who they take down. I remember an old friend of mine cared more about gaining popularity and a boyfriend, and sought to tarnish my reputation just to get there. It was a mean girl act, and while it took me a long time to realize how toxic it was to fight for our friendship; I decided to let her go.
- They constantly put you down, both in public and private: There is a huge difference between having your best interest in heart, or being plain rude. If your friend constantly belittles you or bashes your choices in life (whether it be fashion, dating, school, job, etc) then know this is a major red flag. Friendship should radiate positivity, love and support; regardless if your friend approves of it or not.
- They talk behind your back: This seems pretty obvious, but hearing things you have confided in to a close friend about should never come out from another mouth. When hearing that, it always ends up being a huge hit in the gut and a lack of trust starts to form. It is perfectly normal that we all confide in our close friends for just about everything, but we trust one another like a locked diary. It is absolutely no one’s business to have your personal life out in the open, and if this has happened once, it will continually keep happening.
- They have lost many friends in the past: Like I said before, it is normal to lose friends throughout your life. However, I definitely have had a handful of friends who continuously had a new best friend like a new boyfriend. At the time, I never realized how big of a red flag it was, until I was “replaced.” If a friend of yours, whether new or old, constantly has to change their friend circle, or has people continuously letting them go, realize that their personal friend drama may just steam from herself… so I say, run girl! That is a toxic friendship.
- Constantly making excuses: You should never have to beg for a friend’s attention, whether it be on the phone or making plans in person. If your friend is going through a hard time, then that is a legitimate excuse. However, there is no reason for a friend to ignore you and make up reasons as to why they cannot see you time and time again. A true friend would go out of their way to work out ways to meet in the middle, rather than constantly defend themselves and make up excuses.
While I could go on and on about red flags within a friendship, I will just leave it at my top five. These are the types of flags I have found in friends I have let go of throughout my life, and they have taught me what kind of friends I want going into my future. I am proud to say that I am still learning about the friends I want, the true friends I have now, and the friends that no longer serve me.
What are red flags you have noticed in friendships that no longer serve you?