Signs of a Toxic Friendship


When someone cringes at seeing a certain name pop up on the call display of a ringing phone and then escapes to the bathroom, she likely is running from a toxic relationship. Friends are a wonderful asset to each other when the parties help each other feel better about themselves. Some relationships, however, are unequal, unsupportive, emotionally and financially draining, stifling and unsatisfying. There are signs that you can look for that will expose the toxicity of some relationships.


  • Toxic friends take advantage of good friends when these friends do not enforce personal boundaries on the poisonous relationships. Toxic people know that good friends probably won't say no, even when these friends are asked to do something they do not want to do, such as going out. Toxic friends feel entitled to criticize, belittle and ridicule their good friends and other people, especially in front of others. Toxic people exploit their friend's goodwill by being mean and critical, knowing that good friends probably won't confront them.

Emotional Manipulation

  • When a good friend refuses to do something that the toxic friend has asked him to do, such as accompanying him on a night out, the toxic friend resorts to emotional manipulation to get his way. Suddenly, toxic friends stop talking to their good friends and cut off contact by phone or email. Other tactics are to pick a fight or try to impose a guilt trip.


  • When toxic friends want to talk about a problem, they expect their good friends to drop everything to meet their needs, but when their good friends need them, they are too busy. Good friends sometimes find themselves constantly catering to the emotional needs of high-maintenance toxic people and denying their own needs. Promises are frequently broken by unhealthy friends. A toxic friend has issues and revolving-door friendships with other people in her life.

Feeling Trapped

  • Good friends feel trapped, exploited and stuck in a state of inertia that makes them feel unable to resolve the problems in the relationship with their toxic friends. The sense of entrapment can be caused by a long history of the friendship, a lack of other close friendships or a sense of loyalty that prompts the good friend to stick with the toxic relationship through thick and thin.

Negative Feedback from Other Friends

  • Nontoxic friends who are not involved in the toxic relationship could express objective opinions that a friendship is unhealthy. Healthy people can detect poisonous elements, alert the good friend to the signs, recommend ways to neutralize the toxic friendship or recommend the ending of the relationship.


  • Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to End a Toxic Friendship

    End a toxic friendship by taking a hard stand and cutting the relationship cold. ... Signs of a Toxic Friendship. How to...

  • How to Remove Toxic Friends from Your Life

    How to Remove Toxic Friends from Your Life. You may not get to pick your family but at least you can pick...

  • How to Identify Toxic Relationships

    Signs of a Toxic Friendship. ... Nontoxic friends who are not involved in the toxic relationship could express objective opinions that a......

  • Signs of Manipulative Personalities

    If you have ever felt like your partner, co-worker or friend was trying to make you feel sorry for them, you may...

  • Signs of Manipulation

    Learn warning signs of a manipulative partner and when to get and outside view with relationship ... Ask a friend whose judgment...

  • Signs of a Clingy Friend

    There are several types of toxic friendships. One common type of negative friendship is the clingy, needy friend. You may otherwise get...

  • Signs of Jealousy in Friendship

    Signs of a Toxic Friendship. Signs of a Toxic Friendship. ... Signs of Jealousy in Friendship. Jealousy occurs between two friends when...

  • Warning Signs of a Toxic Boss

    Spending time with toxic people can drain your energy and your spirit. If the toxic person happens to be your boss and...

  • How to Get Out of the Friend Zone With a Guy

    Detail the aching feeling you get when he spends time with other girls. ... Finding yourself trapped in the friend zone with...

  • How to End a Toxic Friendship

    Often, a friendship ends naturally through loss of contact or friends simply grow apart... Signs of a Toxic Friendship. ... How to...

  • How to Detect Emotional Manipulation

    Emotional manipulation usually starts out subtle, so much so that many people don't detect a problem. ... Manipulation in relationships is a...

  • Warning Signs of a Controlling Relationship

    One main warning sign of a controlling relationship is not feeling safe or good about yourself around the controlling partner. Talk to...

  • How to Tell If You Are Being Manipulated

    ... identify subversive signs of being ... How to Know If You Should Fix a Broken Friendship? ... Manipulation ranges all the...

  • How to Deal With a Manipulator

    Manipulators seek one thing: control. Anyone can be manipulative or manipulated: parents, lovers, spouses, friends, children, employers or employees. Because any ...

  • Signs of a Broken Friendship

    Signs of a Clingy Friend. There are several types of toxic friendships. ... Signs a Friendship Is Turning Into Love. She's always...

Related Searches

Read Article

What is Motherhood? 12 Women Lay Their Hearts on Their Sleeves

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!