Three Traits of a Toxic Friend

Not all friends are created equal. No one is perfect, but there are some traits you shouldn’t put up with from a friend no matter how long you’ve known them.

Getty Image

This article outlines three typical characteristics of a toxic friend.

1. She’s self-centered

Most people enjoy talking about themselves to some extent,
but if you find your friend only wants to discuss herself, this could be an issue. Sometimes one friend is more dominant and demands more attention than the other. Are her problems more pressing than yours? Does she always have a story to one-up you? These are signs of a self-centered friend. Before you cut off the friendship, try being more assertive. Don’t allow her to brush past any mention of you. She may get the hint when you continue with your story. If she doesn’t, try being straightforward with her and telling her what you’re observing in your friendship. Sometimes people are used to their behavior and no one calling them out that they genuinely don’t see what they’re doing wrong. If neither of these tactics works, it may be time to distance yourself from this friend.

Getty Image

2. She’s a habitual gossip

Everyone gossips now and then, but a friend who thrives on it might not be the best person with whom to keep company on a regular basis. Not only is gossip a waste of time, but it can also be draining. Hearing someone talk badly about others might be entertaining for a short time, but won’t leave you feeling happy. Someone who wants to spend their time talking negatively about others is probably doing the same about you with others. Some people thrive on the drama in other people’s lives. It’s important to remember that someone who gossips about others will also talk about you behind your back.

3. She takes advantage of you

Someone who takes advantage of you in any way is a toxic friend. She may accept your monetary generosity but never offer to treat for a meal or drink. She will happily talk on the phone with you for three hours, but only if you’re discussing her. This type of toxic friend may manipulate your feelings so that you feel guilty if you don’t do what she wants. She will act as though you are never there for her when you always are. You will feel as though you need to prove you’re a good friend and do what she wants. Anyone who only contacts you when she wants something but isn’t around when you need her is a toxic friend. It’s best to distance yourself from a toxic friend than to feel as though you don’t hold any value in the friendship besides what you can offer. If you allow toxic people to, they will drain your time, energy, and resources.