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Five signs that your friends are toxic

Lady Speak
  A toxic friend lacks empathy and will leave you feeling worse about a bad situation (Photo: Shutterstock)

Friendships are very important. For many people, good friends become family especially when your actual family is far away. They cheer you on as you journey through life and are a shoulder to cry on when things get too touch. 

Nevertheless, some friendships leave a lot to be desired and as you get older, you suddenly feel like perhaps you should let them go. 

Below are signs that your friends are toxic.

1. They bring out the worst in you

If being around these friends makes you indulge in activities that you would ordinarily not be doing like drinking too much, gossiping or ditching work, then they are not worth keeping. Friends should be a reflection of who you are on the inside and you shouldn’t feel compelled to forget that just because you want to give a good impression. Should you feel like these friends won’t accept you if you’re different, then you shouldn’t keep them.

2. You give more than you receive

You’ve probably been there: you’re always the one calling to check up on them, you make time to see them, you listen when they want to vent but when it comes their time to reciprocate, they are too busy. Like we said above, friends need to support one another. However, there will be times when your friends needs more support because they are going through a tough time. Then and only then are you allowed to give and give and give. But they should do the same should you need them more than usual.

 Toxic friends pretend to care and then gossip about you (Photo: Shutterstock)

3. They talk about you behind your back

Nothing hurts like knowing that your trusted friend often gossips about you or mocks your decisions behind your back. Instead of pointing out their problem with you face to face, they go and talk about it with others. These types of friends are toxic and don’t have your wellbeing at heart.

4. You don’t trust their advice

I have a friend whose advice I stopped seeking because speaking to her about a problem left me feeling worse. Every time I went to her with a problem, she wasn’t empathetic at all and would instead point out my flaws or tell me how they would have handled the situation instead of addressing my issues. Good friends advise one another and should they lack something constructive to say, they listen intently and direct you to someone who can help.

5. You’re constantly making excuses for them

One time a friend asked me about another friend’s behaviour and I found myself coming up with all sorts of excuses and explanations to make him look good. I doubt the first friend bought any of it but once I was able to look at this toxic friendship with a clear mind, I realised that I shouldn’t have to explain anyone’s behaviour. 

Sometimes we are blind to others’ toxic behaviour and we need an outsider to help us see it. Instead of berating the messenger, take a minute to evaluate this toxic friendship and then, should you need to, remove the person from your life.

If you could choose any age, to stay in for the rest of your life, which would it be?

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