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Toxic Friend Signs

10 Signs of a Toxic Friend

The give and take between friends may not be equal every day, but it should be close over time. Friends should make you feel better and not worse about yourself. One who drains you emotionally, mentally, or even financially is a toxic friend. There are so many toxic behaviors that 100 warning signs wouldn't be enough, but here are 10 big ones to look out for.

  1. Critical: She makes jokes, especially in front of others, at your expense.
  2. Emotional manipulation: She'll stop talking to you (or not respond to texts, emails, IMs) when she doesn't get her way.
  3. Disrespectful of boundaries: She may pick a fight or guilt-trip you if you say no to something small like not going out one night.
  4. Self-absorbed: When you want to talk about a problem, she's busy; yet when she has a problem, you're expected to drop everything.
  5. Breaks promises: Of course even the most well-intentioned friends have to break promises and plans occasionally, but if it's a pattern, then it's a problem.

To see the rest,


  1. Trash talker: If she's constantly talking about others, then she's probably talking about you.
  2. Competitive: Sometimes competition is unavoidable, but if you feel like you're competing over everything — attention, grades, relationships — then it's probably not your imagination.
  3. Emotionally high-maintenance: You're constantly catering to her emotions and planning for her reactions. You may even deny your own wants because it's not worth her drama.
  4. Revolving door of friends: If she has issues and drama with multiple other friends (or previous ones), then it's probably not them.
  5. You defend her: If you defend her with arguments like "I've known her forever" or "she's so nice," then you might want to take a closer look at her not-so-nice side.

How have you handled toxic friends?

trinitycc trinitycc 6 years
What do you do if the toxic person is your husband of 21 years?
Lia-Rose Lia-Rose 6 years
When it comes to discussing problems, one of my friendships is way off balance, but I understand this cause she needs the extra support right now. Otherwise, I have a few toxic friends that I know about, and I just keep them at arms length, cause no matter how toxic, I can't ever get rid of a friend.
vabeachbum vabeachbum 6 years
Anyone had a toxic friend that was male? I kind of ended a really close friendship a few years ago for various reasons one of them being it seemed like this person could just never be happy for me. After reading this list I can definitely say it was a toxic friendship.
TheBestRedDress TheBestRedDress 6 years
Never be afraid to push out of your life someone that doesn't need to be there. Life is too short to waste on those that don't deserve your time.
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 6 years
Whoa! I feel like I have had more than one of these and have even been one of these at some point. A lot of this boils down to maturity and some people are not mature enough to be real friends. What an eye opener!!! Good post!
Girly-in-pink Girly-in-pink 6 years
Hypnotic mix I feel so bad for you things have not been the best for you. The only good advice I can tell you is to look at this website
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 6 years
I mostly end up separating myself from them & associating w/ people I feel that are more reciprocal in terms of kindness, respect, loyalty, etc. Although, I can think of one friend that I've had since grade school. I keep thinking she'll mature one day. I remember her family was always so full of drama; it may be in her genes! I just keep trying to be a positive light in her life. You never know what impact you may have on someone's life. Somewhere you have to draw boundaries, though.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
I dumped a friend at the end of August for all of those issues. Granted if my family abandoned me, sister placed all of my life belongings and means of making $ out on the sidewalk for anyone to take while I was laid up in the hospital, my aunt jumped off the golden gate bridge, I was beaten, raped, contracted hiv, homeless and attempted suicide I may be a bit screwed up too but still no excuse. I'm not your punching bag or your puppet to manipulate because life has you face down in the gutter. Most people who act out in these manor of behaviors I find are they themselves emotionally distraught over one thing or another in their life. Standing by to help is one thing but standing by to be abused is out of the question.
rinerlt rinerlt 6 years
i have had multiple people tell me that my childhood friend is toxic. but its hard to cut someone like that out. i have known her for more than half my life and she has always had my back. on the other hand, she does make jokes at my expense and i know (via random comments) that she has talked about me behind my back. we have very different personalities, which has always kept us from being in competition. but at the same time, it's what she comments on more than anything else. she is the partyer and i am the homebody. she can also be very confrontational, while i despise it. i have cut "friends" out of my life before, but it's easier said than done sometimes.
gingirl gingirl 7 years
Oh boy. I have experience with this type of friend. The main reason I held on to it so long was because she was the only friend I had left from high school (my first one, I moved in between grades). She just drained me. It was always about her and if I had a problem, she would just circle it back to herself. She was big into the emotional manipulation - she could lay the best guilt trip on me if I didn't want to go out to a club (where I would be left behind by her so she could go grind with some random guy, and it'd be hard as all hell to find her at the end of the night for a ride) or, when we were younger, cover for her with her mom so she could go out. She was always super competitive, from guys to jobs to clothing. And I always fell short, and she was eager to point it out. She would do it under the guise of helping me "Maybe guys would look at you more if you dressed this way or worked on your arms," but she wasn't. It wasn't all bad, which is why I held on, but it was for the majority. I was done when she told me how much she disapproved of me dating a Jewish boy (whom I now live with). If that had been her honest opinion, I guess I could have understood it more. But she was dating an ultra-Catholic boy at the time, and she just picked up all his views.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
Thanks for the article, I hope it opens some people's eyes. I try to stay away from people with these character traits from the beginning, but a couple of times in my life it has taken me longer to realize I had a toxic friend.. Or sometimes I stuck around because there was something that made me feel bad for them. Either way, it is entirely possible and not very hard to just stop communicating slowly. Delete and block them from all internet pages and messengers, and don't call. Assign a different ringtone to them on your phone, so you can control how often you answer their calls. Chances are, they're not the ones calling most of the time, anyway.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I have one right now. She's a drama queen, an emotional drain, randomly gets all kinds of b*tchy, has alienated several friends, etc. etc. The hard part is that we have a lot of mutual friends. I'd love to tell her in no uncertain terms to f*ck off, but I don't want to make it uncomfortable when we're all together. For now I'm just keeping my distance. Polite, but I'm not going out of my way to make any contact with her.
secondstar secondstar 7 years
I'm starting to think my best friend falls into this category. While we can have a good time together, I've always considered her a drama queen and very sensitive (see #8). Lately I've been noticing that more often than not, she's the big downer when we're out. I've even heard about and witnessed her revolving door of friends, which I had questioned to myself. Despite this, I'd never considered her a "toxic friend" until seeing that she matches 8/10 of these qualities. I love her to death and we have a lot of history together, but I'm not sure that the stress of tip-toeing around her and catering to her self-absorbed needs.
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