Red flags to help you recognise a toxic friendship and tips to help you remedy the situation

Ulyana VinogradovaLife
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 this 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 recognise this and deal with an unpleasant 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 you find yourself behaving in ways that you regret later as a result of your friendship, then it would be better to end the friendship," advises Mahzad Hojjat, 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. Otherwise, it is better to isolate yourself from such a friend.

Hojjat listed questions to ask yourself if you feel overwhelmed:

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

Friendship as a business

Toxic friends don't hesitate to suck out everything emotional and financial from a person. They'll get angry if you don't buy their product or "forget your wallet" during a lunch together.

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

She also says that you will definitely feel used.

They don't keep secrets

Suzanne Degges-White, professor and chair of the Department of Counselling 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 own purposes, which are more important than the relationship and you.

You can't express your opinion

A poisonous friend may use manipulative tactics to get their way, including making you feel guilty about being a 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 ask yourself 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 Hojjat, trust is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. No relationship can survive without it. If this person has burned you, lied to you, turned their back on you in times of need, or spoken ill of you to mutual friends, and you've tried to keep the relationship alive, it's a sign of toxicity.

In order to save a friendship, experts recommend setting up a time to talk 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 that your friend understands that you are no longer driven to save the friendship.

Remember, the breakup should be about you and your needs, not about your ex-friend and their resentment. Be prepared for the fact that they may be upset.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL wrote about the toxicity in the relationship between mother and daughter. A woman's fate is shaped in early childhood and it directly depends on the communication of her closest people.

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