Whilst most of our friends are there for us through thick and thin and can always be relied on for a good time, we’ve all encountered the toxic friend.
Indeed, the toxic friend is the one who’s more interested in your misfortunes, doesn’t share your joy when you have good news and leaves you feeling utterly drained with their negativity.
But how do you know whether they’re worth the energy? A social scientist has shared the secret to establishing whether your friendship is truly toxic.
Anjula Mutanda, a relationship psychologist and mental health expert, reveals the red flags to look out for if you’re worried about how healthy your friendships are – and even shares the signs that you could be the toxic one in the friendship.
1. You feel drained after meeting them: ‘A toxic friendship is when you feel drained after spending time with someone – you feel worse than you did before. There’s this underlying feeling that something’s not quite gone well.
2. They make you feel negative about yourself: ‘You feel very negative about yourself. You feel used, you feel dumped on. These are the kinds of things people have when they’re engaged in a toxic relationship. If you feel worse than you did before you met with that person then you may be engaged in a toxic friendship.’
3. They expect you to drop everything for them, but they won’t do the same for you: If your friend expects you to drop everything for them but wouldn’t do the same in return then they may be a toxic friend; they might also exclude you from social events and leave you feeling drained every time you spend time with them.