How to Tell You’re in a Toxic Friendship
March 20th, 2017
Friendship is one of the most important and wonderful blessings we have in life, but they can also be some of the most trying relationships we have. We go through ups and downs with our friends because they’re the people we hold most dear. They know our inner most secrets, we share endless laughs and they’re often the people we turn to when we’re at our lowest.
No matter what, friendships come and go – there are new ones, friends you make when you’re older, the ones that last a lifetime and some that are merely fleeting. Some friendships are absolutely wonderful, you spend all of your time laughing and some can be pretty challenging, eventually starting to feel like they’re just not right. When you find yourself questioning a friendship, it can be tough. So how do you handle it? What do you do? And, how do you know if it’s a toxic friendship?
Are You In A Toxic Friendship? How to Tell
First things first, you ask yourself a few questions:
- What’s making you question the friendship in the first place?
- What’s happening in your friendship that’s making you feel less than comfortable?
- Are you feeling a lack of trust or a sense of jealousy?
- Can you pinpoint the situations that are making you feel this way?
Once you’re able to get a better understanding of what you’re feeling, you can start identifying what to do next.
If the friendship is filled with jealousy…that’s not a good feeling and, it’s a tough one to nip. Perhaps before deciding that the friendship is simply toxic, try understanding where the jealousy is stemming from. Is it an isolated instance or is the jealousy more of an all-encompassing situation? Is this a friend who would be open to having a discussion about the situation or is this a subject you’ve tried to breach and haven’t made any headway? No matter what, getting to the bottom of the problem is essential.
If you feel a lack of support…Sometimes friendships start to feel threatening rather than supportive and that’s not the type of environment you want to surround yourself with. When you’re involved in a friendship where there’s an extreme lack of support, it’s high time you figure out what’s going on. Friends are there to support one another – it’s what the whole premise of friendship is built on and when you feel it lacking, you cannot continue down that path. Just like any other issues your friendships might face, you need to approach your friend and have a heart to heart. Getting to the bottom of the matter is the one and only way to either get it to stop or give you the green light to move on and not look back.
If you’re struggling with trust…this is a big one, probably the biggest of all. The best friendships are built on a platform of trust and when that starts to waver, it’s time to take a good hard look at what’s going on. Sometimes trust can feel like it’s lacking because you simply have a feeling that you’re not getting the full truth or that you’re being left out of the loop. But sometimes, something specific happens leaving you with a complete lack of trust in your friend. If you’ve experienced an issue and it’s something you can forgive and move on from – that’s on you – to accept and apology and put it all behind you. But, if you’re feeling a lack of trust and you’re just not sure why, it’s time to sit down and talk to your friend. What’s going on behind-the-scenes that’s giving you that bad feeling inside? Why do you feel out of the loop? And, how do you make the needed changes to feel more secure in the friendship? If you’re able to have that conversation and it’s honest and open, your friendship is most likely salvageable and repair work should start asap. But, if you can’t be honest with one another, it’s probably time to move on.
Damaged friendships often bring up mixed emotions – you want to believe everything is for the best, but it can easily make you feel like you’re being taken for a ride. Weighing out the friendship is important – is this something worth taking the time to repair or are the toxic feelings enough to make you feel like moving on is the best option around? Whatever you do, don’t take friendships lightly – they can be the most wonderful gifts we have, even if they need a little work first.