We all need friends in our lives. They can inspire, motivate, support, and bring out the best in us. Friends have a significant influence on your life as they affect how you behave, feel, and think of yourself. Throughout your life, you learn how to make and keep friends. But what happens if your so-called friends aren’t there for you, make your life difficult, or aren’t rooting for you? Should you still keep them?
You make different types of friends in your life’s journey, and unfortunately, not all of them are good for you. A toxic friend is one that influences your life negatively by using you, making you feel bad about yourself, or encouraging you to make bad decisions. When choosing the types of friends to surround yourself with, you should evaluate what they mean to you and the value they add to your life. If you realize that you have any of the types of toxic friends discussed below, it might be time to break up with them because not everyone deserves to be in your life.
So, what is a toxic friend? How can you know if your friend is toxic? Are there any signs of a toxic friend? How do you deal with toxic friends? Let’s see…
11 Types of Toxic Friends: Signs and How to Deal with Them
- The disappearing act
Do you have a friend who shows up only when they need something from you? They come to you when they need a favor, but when you need the same support from them, they are nowhere to be found.
Here are some signs of these types of toxic friends; They ditch you when things are going well for them, for instance, if they have a new job or relationship, or after getting what they wanted from you. They also won’t make an effort to meet up or stay in touch until they need another favor. Another sign of these types of toxic friends is that they use you just when they are sad or need to vent about something but never when they are happy.
Friendship is a two-way street, and one person should not be making all the effort to maintain it. The best way to deal with these types of toxic friends is to stay away from them as they are obviously using you. You could also stop granting them favors when they come around.
- The self-centered friend
There is always that friend who likes to monopolize conversations, and you can never get a word in. If you do manage to start a conversation about yourself, these types of toxic friends somehow find a way to make it about themselves. They talk about their lives non-stop and aren’t interested to hear about what is going on in yours.
A self-centered friend acts in their best interests, with no consideration for how their actions will affect other people. They always think about how you can help them achieve their goals but nothing about how they can do the same for you.
Clearly, only one person is benefiting from this friendship, and you don’t need to be part of it. The best thing you can do to deal with these types of toxic friends is to end that toxic friendship if they don’t change.
- The overly critical friend
Who needs enemies if you can get criticism from people who are supposed to be your friends? The overly critical types of toxic friends will always find something to disapprove of about your life. Whether it is your body, job, appearance, style, the foods you eat, decisions you make, or even the other people in your life. This toxic friend can be more destructive than the rest because they could hit you where it hurts the most as they know you and your insecurities well.
You can count on friends to be brutally honest with you when you are doing something wrong or to tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it. However, if their honesty is tipping over to criticism and they are being judgmental, it could lead to you developing insecurities and self-esteem issues, hence why you need to get rid of these types of toxic friendships.
To deal with these toxic friends, inform them of the impact their words have on you and let them go if they don’t change.
- The pessimistic friend
Your attitude and mood are affected by those you surround yourself with. If you are always hanging out with a friend who focuses on the negative side of everything, they might bring you down with them. Some other signs of these types of toxic friends are that they complain about everything, are always unhappy, and they expect the worst in every situation.
Pessimistic friends are similar to energy vampires because they suck the positivity and happiness out of you, and you might also start to view life through the same lens. You could be a happier person if you limit your interactions with the pessimistic friend and avoiding them could be the best way to deal with this type of toxic friend.
However, if the friend has mental health issues or they recently had something bad happen to them, such as losing a family member, heartbreak, or losing a job, you can be understanding and try to help them. Be there for them and where possible, show them the positive side of things or encourage them to do things they are good at as a way of trying to override their negative thoughts and attitude. Don’t overdo it though because it might then slip into toxic positivity which could make them feel worse.
If you are unable to change the negative attitude of these types of toxic friends, advise them to seek professional help from a therapist as they could be suffering from depression or other mental health issues.
- The nagging friend
Everyone has habits that get on other people’s nerves, and nagging is among the most annoying. Despite their thinking that they are helping you, the nagging types of toxic friends can be irritating. If you disagree on something, they will pester you until you give in and say yes.
If you have a different opinion, they will try to convince you to see things their way. They will keep reminding you to do something that you already know you should do or insist that you do something you don’t want to.
So, how do you deal with a nagging friend? Learn to say no to their demands and mean it. Remind such types of toxic friends that your probability of doing what they want you to do decreases even more if they keep pushing you to do it. And if you do give in eventually, you will likely not commit to doing it well.
- The drama magnets
There is always some conflict happening when you are around these ones. You can know the drama magnet types of toxic friends by these signs; they take things personally even when they are not meant to be, and they always jump at the chance to start arguments with others. You go out with them, and the next thing you know, you are being thrown out of the club because your friend started a fight with someone.
Other signs of these types of toxic friends are that they always blame others for their mistakes and play the victim. They also thrive in a crisis because it makes them feel important. But you don’t have to be part of their drama.
To deal with this toxic friend, evaluate what they mean to you and if you are willing to put up with their drama and the emotional stress that accompanies it. If you are not, avoid the drama queens to reduce conflict and lead a happier life.
READ ALSO: 7 Ways to Avoid Drama in Your Life
- The gossips
Friends who talk negatively or complain about you behind your back are not your friends. This is the disadvantage of having gossipers for friends. If your friend usually talks to you about other people, be sure they also discuss you with others.
Anyone who violates your trust and talks about things you shared with them privately with others shouldn’t be your friend. Some of the ways to deal with these types of toxic friends include breaking ties with them completely or never confiding in them about your personal life.
- The attention seekers
These are the friends who always want to be the center of attention. Some signs that you have an attention seeker type of toxic friend include; fishing for compliments and seeking validation; They make their problems everyone’s problems; They show off and brag about their achievements: They play the victim and are overly emotional; They are controversial to get people talking about them and try to stir trouble and cause scenes wherever they go.
The best way to deal with these types of toxic friends is to avoid them at all costs or ignore their attempts to get you to be in their personal business.
- The needy friend
The needy types of toxic friends always require some sort of support from you, whether financially or emotionally. You begin to dread their calls and texts because you know they just need something from you.
The signs of a toxic friendship with a needy person include that they can’t make any decisions without consulting you, feel threatened if you spend time with other friends, have no respect for boundaries, and could drop by your house uninvited at any time because they want to hang out all the time.
These types of toxic friends can turn you into an unwilling therapist by offloading all their problems on you. Even though this is a sign of trust, it can be overwhelming and draining, both mentally and emotionally. If they need to talk to someone, recommend an actual therapist or support group for them.
Setting boundaries, or not picking their calls and texting back immediately can also help to deal with this toxic friend. If they do not follow your advice, inform them that you have to stay away from them for a while to protect your mental health.
- The envious friend
It is not unusual to feel a little jealous if a friend seems to be achieving many of their goals in life when nothing is happening in yours. However, a true friend will get over this feeling quickly and be happy for you, knowing it is just not their turn yet.
Some signs you are in a toxic friendship with a jealous person include them; copying your style and other things you do a lot, downplaying your achievements, always trying to one-up or outdo you, and trying to make you feel bad about yourself. Additionally, they are jealous of your relationships, looks, and career.
You should be careful when dealing with these types of toxic friends as they might be your worst enemy disguised as a friend.
- The bad influence
If you notice that you always get into trouble whenever you are around a particular person, that is a sign of a toxic friendship, and it might be wise to stay away from them. These are the types of toxic friends that encourage you to make bad decisions such as; engaging in substance abuse, overindulging in alcohol, immoral behavior, bullying or making fun of others and gossiping, and wasting money.
They also pressure you into doing things you are not comfortable doing or that you will regret later. This type of friend is good for when you want to have fun, but you can’t count on them when things get serious. The best way to deal with this toxic friend is by staying away from them.
Friends are essential in life. They influence your decisions and help shape your future. At the end of the day, however, you are the one who chooses the people you allow into your life. True friends are hard to come by, but if you do find someone who is trustworthy and supportive, hold on to them. If you have any of the above 11 types of toxic friends, you should consider cutting some of them off to lead a happier, more fulfilling life.
Are you good at choosing friends? Do you have any of these types of toxic friends? How do you deal with toxic friends?