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"Red flags to help recognize a toxic friendship and tips to help remedy the situation

Ulyana VynogradovaLife
Relationships require investment on both sides

Toxic relationships are not only about love but also about friendship. Sometimes people feel depressed when it comes to a certain friend. This is a clear sign that something has gone wrong, and it's probably best to cut ties with that person.

NuffPost interviewed experts who identified the most common and accurate signs that a friendship has become toxic. Below are some tips on how to recognize this and deal with an unpleasant situation.

''Red flags to help recognize a toxic friendship and tips to help remedy the situation

You act like the worst version of yourself around them

Friends are supposed to improve our lives and push us to grow. When a friend brings out the worst in you, it can be a sign that the relationship is toxic.

"If, as a result of your friendship, you find yourself behaving in ways that you later regret, then it would be better to end the friendship," advises Mahzad Hojat, a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and author of The Psychology of Friendship.

A person emotionally drains you

A healthy friendship brings a sense of balance and reciprocity. That is, everyone gets back what they put into it. If not, it's better to isolate yourself from such a friend.

Hojat listed questions to ask yourself if you feel depressed:

Do you feel like you are helping your friend more than he is helping himself? Do you feel like their therapist when emotional support goes only one way? Does this friend support you?

''Red flags to help recognize a toxic friendship and tips to help remedy the situation

Friendship as a business

Toxic friends don't hesitate to suck you dry emotionally and financially. They'll get angry if you don't buy their product or "forget your wallet" when you're having lunch together.

"Red flags include repeatedly trying to sell you products, making you feel like an ATM, constantly begging for money, or closely monitoring your services. For example, they say: 'You have to sit my dog because you borrowed my car,'" said Ellen Hendricksen, a clinical psychologist at Boston University and author of How to Be Yourself: Calm Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety.

She also says that you will definitely feel used.

They don't keep secrets

Suzanne Deggess-White, professor and chair of the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University, says that when a friend discloses information that is meant for your ears only, it's a sign that they either don't fully understand the confidential nature of the information, don't respect you, or are sharing the secret for their purposes, which are more important than the relationship and you.

''Red flags to help recognize a toxic friendship and tips to help remedy the situation

You cannot express your opinion

A poisonous friend may use manipulative tactics to get their way, including making you feel guilty about being the victim.

Hendriksen says it's very difficult to pinpoint exactly what's going on when you're being manipulated, but she does give some clues:

Your friendships may seem overly complicated. You often doubt yourself and wonder if you are crazy or overreacting. You have to thread the needle around your friend's emotions or arguments.

You don't trust them anymore

According to Hojat, trust is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. No relationship can survive without it. If this person has burned you, lied to you, turned away from you in difficult times, or spoken ill of you to mutual friends, and you still tried to keep the relationship going, it's a sign of toxicity.

''Red flags to help recognize a toxic friendship and tips to help remedy the situation

In order to save a friendship, experts recommend setting up a time to speak frankly about your concerns.

It is important to use "I" statements that focus on your feelings: "I feel hurt and confused when I don't hear from you for a while." Do not use accusatory "you" statements: "You never contact me first. You clearly don't care about me." This will make them defensive.

Also, be prepared to listen to what they have to say and make sure your friend understands that you are no longer trying to save the friendship.

Remember, a breakup should be about you and your needs, not about your former friend and their resentment. Be prepared for them to be upset.

''Red flags to help recognize a toxic friendship and tips to help remedy the situation

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