10 signs your friendship is toxic



Friendships are seriously good for you. A 10-year long Australian study showed that participants with solid friend groups were 22% more likely to live longer, and researchers at Harvard concluded that happiness was “infectious” among friends who lived within a mile of each other. So why am I writing about ties that were cut and friendships that ended instead of celebrating how awesome it is to have friends?


Because it’s damn important to remember that not every person in your inner circle deserves to be there.


Friends are the support system you need when life gives you a proper kick the gonads. They’ll get drunk with you and talk shit about your bastard of an ex and they will celebrate with you when things are amazing. Friendships often outlive your romantic relationships (case and point: one of my best friends and I met when we were only 3 years old and I’ve only known hubby for 7 years and counting) but these two can be equally demanding.


Every relationship needs work and every relationship sometimes hits a hard patch but here’s the thing: if you’re mostly feeling stressed and overworked by your relationship you need to cut the source out of your life. Even if that person was your best friend.


No one would ever tell you that you should stay with a romantic partner who actually makes you fucking miserable. And if anyone tells you that you should stay friends with someone who drives you insane with their unreasonable behaviour, you should probably cut both of these wastes of space out of your life.


Life is too short for shit relationships. I know this because I’ve cut people out of my life when I’ve realised just how much of a drain these people have been to my sanity, patience and above all, my happiness. Friendships are a two way road and if anyone treats you like an emotional cashpoint you should get the hell out of there as soon as you can. Here’s what to keep an eye out for.


1. You’re not allowed to have a different opinion

You need to agree with them at all times. You need to agree with their questionable life choices and you need to agree with their even more questionable choices in partners and god help you if you voice a different opinion. They expect you to be “100% supportive” which basically means you can’t tell them anything they don’t want to hear. If you do, there’ll be words. Lots of them. Which you will listen.


2. You should inherit their grudges

If it just so happens you’re not on the receiving end of these words then whoever is should now be your worst enemy. Were you friends with their ex? You need to hate them now. That girl in the pub looked at them funny this one time? You should spend your night talking about what a bitch that hoe is. Basically, if your friend doesn’t like someone for whatever reason you’re also expected to not like them. You need to be an echo chamber of feelings or you end up on the receiving end like the other poor bastards.


3. Your problems aren’t really that important

Just so you’re clear, your relationship problems, money worries, work stress or even crippling anxiety are just one of those things. Talking about them is such a massive bore that they don’t really even warrant a conversation, because your “friend” has better things to do with their time. Like, I don’t know, watching paint dry.


4 …But their problems take over your every waking hour

Oh hell no girl you did not just try and sleep at 2am when your friend is going through such a hard time right now. Who cares you have your own shit to deal with or that you have work in the morning, it’s convenient for them and if you’re a good friend it should be convenient for you as well.


5. If you had plans you should probably cancel them right now

If you thought about spending a night in with your significant other on the one night your “friend” can go out you are a terrible friend. If you were going out with some other people at any given time, you are a terrible friend. Basically if you have a life that doesn’t revolve around them you’re a terrible friend.


6. The centre of the universe

This is because your “friend” is the centre of the universe and everything is about them. There is a massive difference in practicing self-care and being downright selfish and people like those we’re discussing in this post tend to confuse these two – but if you keep putting yourself first on the expense of others or your are choosing to consistently only think of your own needs and wants, you are a nasty, selfish person and you need to have a word with yourself.


7. Your accomplishments become communal property

Got a promotion? Hit a milestone in your life? It is totally because of them. Everything good in your life in any way is because they somehow influenced it, even when they didn’t. These folks will re-write history to make it look like they had a massive impact on everything positive that ever happened in the world, ever, and you need to be grateful for it.


8. Anything you can do I can do better

… even when it’s when something terrible that happened. Broke up with your significant other? They broke up with the love of their life (again). Having money trouble? They were born broke and their life is infinitely harder than yours. Trouble at work? At least you have a job. You get the gist. Your grief or upset has zero worth compared to how much they have suffered, but you need to be grateful they can still be such a good friend to you regardless of all the hardships they have had to endure.


9. The professional victim

If you ever end up on the wrong side of this “friend” you’ll quickly realise that it’s all your fault. Did they say something incredibly hurtful to you? You deserved it and the fact that you didn’t just take it is your fault and you need apologise. Did you disagree with their questionable life choices? You not being 100% behind them hurt their feelings and it doesn’t matter what they said or did, the whole mess is your fault and you need to apologise. Whatever happened, it’s everyone else’s fault and everyone else needs to apologise. Only, apologising will not cut it. They will milk this victimhood until there is nothing left. They will try and pick anything you say, even your apology apart and make themselves even more of a victim. You’ll never win this one – not even by finally apologising.


10. Sorry seems to be the hardest word

And finally, no matter what they say, what they do, however they behave, they will never ever apologise to you. Remember, it’s everyone else’s fault and everyone else needs to apologise. They will try and somehow justify their behaviour and place the blame on someone else because they have zero self-awareness. They just don’t understand anything they do could ever be, you know, not OK. And even if they do, it’s not because they are responsible for their own actions but because it’s someone else’s fault.


Look. No one is saying that friendships are always plain sailing or that you’ll never go through moments when you want to actually strangle each other but if your friendship is toxic it will seriously impact your own happiness and wellbeing. You are allowed to cut toxic people of your life and no one should ever make you feel bad if you walk away from someone who is cashing in on your friendship but giving nothing back.


“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
― Oprah Winfrey

  • Nicole Caudle

    All of these are so true! I have had to let a few go recently after figuring out the same thing.

  • Rebecca Swenor

    These is great information for those wonder if their in a toxic relationship. It is so important to remember that you matter as well as your friends. If they are not there for you than end the relationship and it is the same for you with your friends too. Thanks for sharing the information.

  • ohmummymia

    I’ve never have such a toxic friendship. I have only one true friend and 3 very good friend. And one of them had such a bad relations with her ex boyfriend ;/

  • fashion-mommy

    True friends are very special and important. But I think your point about not all friends deserving to be there is true as well.

  • Kaitlynn Charalambopoulos

    Hmmm I think I’m lucky that I never seemed to have a friendship like this. It’s hard to let go of people, bur sometimes that is what you need to do

  • Shannon Graham

    I have seen this too many times. It sucks but we have to learn from it.

  • David Elliott

    What’s scary is that this seems to be the outline of my whole marriage. I just think that some people are toxic like this and they drag everyone down with them. They can be very appealing and gregarious at the beginning and draw you in. But before long you are in the middle of a totally toxic situation of which there seems to be no way out. When you realize you are in this relationship, get out, if at all costs.

  • The Earth Below Girls

    sometimes it is so hard to see that you are in a toxic relationship when you are in it ! This list those outlines a lot of toxic traits that we should look at.

  • Helene Dsouza

    I had a “friend” as a kid who was what you mentioned above. Actually I felt bad for her in high school because nobody wanted to be around her. She was rich on top of that… Anyway, it turned into a sour relationship at some point because of her behavior. It came to a point where she made me to carry her expensive designer clothes in a bag, so to show her mum that she hadn’t bought it. I went along with it once and then it came to her mum’s attention, who got super furious with her. lol Her own mum hated her daughters spoiled child behavior. That girl went on a witch hunt later on, she literally tried to make everybody around believe that I was a “witch”. Of course this totally backfired. lol

  • Muna Kenny

    I had an issue with my friend because she wanted me to hate everyone she hated and talk rubbish about them. How can I have hatred towards someone who did nothing wrong to me?! Bottom line is, people should respect each other and stop forcing stuff on them.

  • Gideon Akachukwu Okorie

    Any relationship that profits you nothing is not worth being in, thanks for sharing this.

  • This is really well written. I’ve had such a friendship since kindergarten and because I was so used to it I didn’t even notice it was toxic. Took me 10 years to realize and when I cut the ties with her I felt so liberated. It was crazy how much she was weighing me down without me actually seeing what she was doing. Some people are just toxic by nature. It’s sad.

  • Reading this made me realize that I might have few toxic friendships. And one in particular that is being hurtful. Thanks for this, it will help to change things

  • Chloe

    Unfortunately I think there comes a time where we are all exposed to these types of toxic friendships. I’ve tried to stick them out but they become extremely draining. I try to move on from people like this as much as possible.

  • Ophelia Tang

    This happened in the past with my bff and we had to go take a break. It’s never been the same since, but it’s really a lesson in life needed.

    XOXO //
    SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

  • Crystal Carder

    Having a healthy relationship is very important. I’ve had those bad friendships before and it was such a terrible feeling, I felt so relived when I finally got rid of those kinds of friends.

  • Oh man, I had a friendship like this. I didn’t realize it was toxic for the longest time. I was so glad when I finally was able to break ties

  • Shannon Patterson

    It’s so important to have healthy relationships with friends.Sometimes you have to say goodbye to toxic relationships, and all of these are great things to look out for.

  • Ashley @irishred02

    I’m lucky I guess I learned a long time ago about toxic friends. Now I am more particular about who I let into the inner circle.

  • Jessica Hughes

    Unfortunately, I think we all run into at least one toxic friendship in our lives. It’s important to recognize the signs and have the strength to walk away from these people. I value my friendships deeply, but I don’t have the room in my life for relationships like this.

  • Toxic relationships of any kind are truly a tragedy. Get rid of those toxic people in your life no matter who they are.

  • Sorry you have gone thru this. Yes Good relationships take hard work but not forever. Early stages are where the real work begins, Its all about committed listening, letting go out of control, being honest etc. After that it becomes better.

  • These sound familiar. But, if folks are still acting like this in their adult years, obviously they didn’t grow past high school. Thanks for the share. I have a similar recent blog yet opposite of yours.

  • I would say, everybody had been in situations where they had to ‘abandon’ a friend because 1 or more reasons you write about. Really nice post!

  • I’ve definitely had to deal with friends like this before and it sucks. These are definitely the telling signs of a failed friendship!

  • I have only a few close friends and we all live in different cities so when we meet we don’t have free time to act unfriendly. But in the past i think i have met frequently number 6 and number 9. They are everywhere! Thanks for sharing Katja!

  • Honestly everyone has had one of these at some point in their lives, but most people really can’t draw the line. I actually had a friend who had a significantly negative impact on my life, and though we had a falling out due to other reasons than her toxicity, I look back and realize how much of a bullet I dodged and how much greater my life is without her in it. Really well made points! I think people tend to feel guilty for cutting out people they once really cared about, but when that person no longer cares about you, then what’s the point?

  • Thankfully I’ve not had any of these “friends” but I do know some of my friends have known people like this and usually after a few bitching sessions their friendships fizzle out

  • These can be such hard decisions but sometimes so necessary. Well done you, I’ve been there too and I’m happy with the decisions I’ve made.

  • Jasmin N

    I had this one friend who really thought she was the centre of the universe and that was pretty effin’ annoying. That friendship lasted for a one year and I’m glad we’re not friends anymore. Or well, we chat and say hi to each other when we pass by, but nothing more 😀

    ♥ Jasmin N
    Little Things With Jassy

  • I struggled so hard to deal with this at uni! My best friend endlessly cancelled on me, didn’t turn up to things and wouldn’t listen if I disagreed with him, but expected me to do all the things he wasn’t doing. It’s really hard to cut someone out, but necessary if they’re draining you!

    Steph – http://www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

    • It is hard but it’s the right thing to do. I’m glad you did and I am sure you’re better off for it. All the power to you ❤️❤️ xx