Friends are great, they give us a sense of belonging, a place we can be our true selves away from work and family. In most cases, friends support and build us, however this is not the case with toxic friendships.
When the people around you do not emanate good vibes, you might start to change how you view and treat other people. If you have been told you are hanging with the wrong group or that your friends are toxic, here are some signs to check out:
- The friendship is one sided
When you find yourself always putting in all the effort to reach out to the bigger group to make plans, this could be a red flag. Friendships are supposed to be mutual, you don’t have to be the only one always making plans.
Another red flag could be that you probably get ignored in group conversations not unless one of them needs something specific from you. You are basically the group giver but none of them ever reciprocates, and they are hardly there for you when you need their help or someone to talk to late at night.
- Negative peer pressure
This is one of the biggest red flags in toxic friendships – constantly being forced to do things you are not comfortable with. Do your friends always coerce you into always settling bills during meet ups, or keeping up with expensive fashion? Could be anything but as long as you are feeling uncomfortable, then definitely you are in an unhealthy dynamic.
Also, when you constantly feel guilty or ashamed of the things you do with your friends, then there could also be a problem.
- Always make you feel bad about yourself
Your friends are supposed to be your support system, the people you turn to when you feel hopeless and beat. However, when you share your problems with your friends and end up feeling worse than you were before, then there you have it, a red flag.
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Criticism in friendships is okay but your friends should also help you find a solution or rise above your situation not criticize and make you feel bad about yourself and your decisions.
- You are walking on eggshells
Do you worry about your place in the group? If yes, then this is also another sign that you are in a toxic friendship. When you fear that your friends might drop you any time or you are always trying to please them in order to stay on their good side, you are stuck in an unhealthy dynamic.
Good friendships treat all members equally and everyone’s contribution is appreciated. When you are uncertain about where you stand, and it is stressing especially when you are always the one making compromises, then maybe you need to reconsider your group of friends.
- Gossip one another
When your social group often talks about individual members behind their backs, then that’s definitely a toxic group. Chances are you aren’t an exception. Good friends should be able to keep information you share with them and not judge you. When you don’t feel safe enough to share information with your friends, that’s a red flag.