Bad friendships can be hard to spot. We get used to these people acting the way they do, and they usually have at least one quality we find lovable or interesting. After a while, you have a history with your poisonous buddy! So check this brief list of some common types of poisonous friends. Do they sound like anybody you know?
Keep an eye out for friends who use things that you have. Friends who need your resources are more focused on their own needs than on building the relationship. A good friend will have things to offer you as well, and you won’t feel like the one always stuck with the tab. This poisonous friend never seems to have the cash on hand to pay her share of shared adventures, and she may also steal your makeup, your spare change, or even your boyfriend. None of these actions are likely to feel very wrong to her, since she’s already using you for your things–the red flag of bad friendships.
The Spotlight Lover:
Does your friend need to be the center of attention every single time you’re out together? Everyone likes attention, but in healthy friendships, friends take turns being in the spotlight. In bad friendships, you can feel as if you’re a minor character in the story of her life. Your Spotlight Lover friend only wants to talk about herself; she won’t bother to ask how you’re doing, and she won’t worry if you seem sad or go missing. After all, it’s all about her. This kind of bad friendship is especially hard on your self image.
The Two-Headed Beast:
This poisonous friend seems to be two different people. She is so nice when you’re together, but you keep hearing from other people that she talks about you, laughs about you, or shares your secrets behind your back. These bad friendships can be hard to identify, since the friend involved seems so sweet–it’s hard to believe she’s not really on your side. But the Two-Headed Beast is also easy to spot: if she says nasty or private things about people you both know when she’s with you, she’s probably also talking about you when she’s with them.
If you’ve got a controlling friend, you might feel like you’re in an abusive relationship—because you are. This species of poisonous friend has a problem with you making other friends. She might resent the time you spend with your family or boyfriend, and she doesn’t mind making you feel guilty about it. She’s a manipulator. This kind of friend will have far too many opinions about your life. (After all, it’s YOUR life!) How can you tell if your friend is a Controller? Try standing up for your opinion when you disagree–or just stop answering her calls for a full day. If she can’t handle it, that might not be one of your healthy friendships.
The Wishy Washy Woman.
A flaky friend can be just as bad as a Two-Headed Beast. Your Wishy Washy friend might not be telling your secrets, but she’s not really there for you, either. You might have to help this friend out of a crisis—but when it’s your crisis, she’s nowhere to be found. In healthy friendships, friends have your back, just like you have theirs. This kind of friend doesn’t always remember to return your calls or texts, even if you leave a message saying it’s urgent. Don’t depend on her for anything. If you ignore her for a month and she doesn’t try to re-establish contact, you don’t need this one.