A real best friend can bring you joy, comfort and happiness into your life. They are there for you during the good times to celebrate, and offer you support and love during the bad.

Someone who is poisonous though will drain the life right out of you.

Toxic friendships can have a terrible effect on your mental health. They can leave you feeling stress and anxiety by crushing your glowing spirit. These people are not true friends because they actively choose to hurt you. If you have people around you that are constantly tearing you down, only care for themselves, or make you feel uneasy, then they might not be “friends” at all.

Here are ways you can tell if your friendships are poisonous. Kick these people out of your life before they ruin who you are.

Imbalance in Conversations

A toxic friend will call you whenever something is wrong with them and expect you to listen to all of their problems, but will not ever do the same for you. Instead, they only ever want to talk about themselves and ignore your attempts at discussing anything going on in your life. When they do ask you about your life, they seem like they don’t care, aren’t listening, or are trying to find ways to turn the conversation back to them. If you feel like your feelings aren’t important to them, then they are not someone you want to keep around.

Competing With Other Friends

A bad friend will make you feel that you are in constant competition with their other friends. They may say things like “X person does this for me, why don’t you?” or “X friend gave me a necklace on my birthday, but you only got me this crap.” Those things are not OK for someone to say to you. Your relationship with your friend should always remain separate from other relationships they have. Friends should love you for who you are, not what they want to change you into being.

Unwarranted Criticism

A poisonous or toxic friend will make you feel that you are never good enough and they will be quick to point out your flaws. This person crosses the line of being an honest friend to being a ruthless critic. Do they judge you for things like what you wear or how you do your hair? Do they tell you that you are the one who is always in the wrong? You might find yourself afraid to talk to your friend because you are afraid that they will point out everything you did wrong instead of offering you their support. Someone this brutal is only bringing you down.

Walking on Eggshells

It’s normal for friends to experience friction in their relationship and to have the occasional argument. However, poisonous friends tend to get mad at you for the smallest things and are unreasonable. All arguments will leave you feeling guilty and apologetic, even if you did nothing wrong. They do not work out problems in a mature way, so instead you constantly feel like you are walking around on eggshells. You are trying to constantly keep them happy for fear of what they will say and do. That is not what a true friend should do. You should feel free to be yourself and have a good, open line of communication with a friend.

Lack of Effort and Respect

The easiest way to tell someone is a bad friend is by the lack of respect they have for you. Are you putting in all the effort to keep the friendship going? Do they ever call to initiate times to hang out together? Do they frequently bail on you altogether? If this is the case, it’s time to kick them out! You should not be making time for people that do not make time for you. It’s easy to tell if you are a priority in someone’s life by the way they respect you. Simply put, they do not care enough about you to keep in touch and spend time together. Life may be complicated, but being busy is not an excuse.

Instead of keeping these poisonous people around let them go for good. Friends that act like this should not be called your friends at all. If you realize you are surrounding yourself with people that tear you down, make changes so that you can have a brighter and more positive future.

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