Toxic Relationships

Toxic Friendships – 10 Obvious Signs

Friends are supposed to be there for you no matter what. To give you support when you need it, to be a great sounding board, and to call you out when you are in the wrong. You as their friend are supposed to do the same. It’s a relationship like any other, with give and take. If you tend to be giving a lot more than you receive, chances are your friendship is not as strong as it should be.  Here are 10 signs you have toxic friendships.

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Clear Indications of Toxic Friendships

Author of Frientimacy  and Friendship Expert Shasta Nelson says 75% of us have dissatisfaction in our friendships and 2x more likely to rate friendships at a 1 or 2 (not fulfilled) than 9 or 10 (very fulfilled). It’s important to our happiness and success in life that we surround ourselves with a great support team and eliminate relationships and friendships that no longer serve us. Do any of the following scenarios apply to you?

1 – You’re Only Invited When It’s Beneficial For Them

Bad Friend Jewelry Party Invite

Bad friends will hardly ever invite you to a fun get-together or BBQ, but you are expected to attend their jewelry parties or whatever party that requires a purchase. Good friends will invite you no matter what. This used to happen to me all the time. I had toxic friendships in the past and I would only get invited to a Christmas party gift exchange or some kind of get-together that required me to bring money or something of value. Not any more.

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2 – In Toxic Friendships You Hide Good News

You hide good things from them because they have a tendency to bring you down and make you feel undeserving. A great friend will be your biggest cheerleader but a toxic friend will try to make you feel bad for your success. If you are hesitant to tell your friend good news, chances are it’s a friendship gone bad.

3 – A Bad Friend Really Doesn’t “Need” Your Support

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. You get a call or a text message asking for advice, but when you give an honest opinion they disappear until their next issue. You didn’t give the correct answer apparently. Regardless of how “good” the advice, a great friend will thank you for your advice and keep you up to date on what is going on. In toxic relationships, sometimes it feels like they don’t really need your support.

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4 – A Toxic Friend Will Hold Things They’ve Done For You Over Your Head

Remember that thing they did for you 10 years ago? No? Don’t worry they’ll remind you, and remind you, and remind you. A dead giveaway that you have a toxic friend is that they hold things over your head. Healthy friendships require give and take. Find a good friend that will be happy to do things for you without expectations of getting something in return. You should give them the same courtesy.

5 – Bad Friends Become Amazing Friends When Bad Things Happen To You

You ever notice how your friend wants to get together with you, spend some quality time, and keep going over your life mishaps when you go through a breakup or lose a job? It’s crazy that this happens. Change your Facebook status to single, and you’ll discover all kinds of old pals you haven’t heard from in years are just waiting to give you support and comfort. At first glance you may think it’s nice that they are trying to be there for you. But where have they been? Why now? Toxic friends only come running when your life makes them feel better about themselves.

Toxic Relationships False Support

6 – In Toxic Friendships They Disappear When Good Things Happen

You ever notice how your friend disappears when you find that special someone or get a great job? This is a clear indication of toxic friendships. If they came running when you were in despair but disappear when things are great, it’s time to cut ties with them.

7 – Bad Friends Are Really  Not Interested In You

Every conversation is about them and you can’t even remember the last time they asked you how your day or even life is going. Toxic friendships are always one-sided. Take a moment to evaluate your friendships right now. Is there someone that never asks you how your days are going or how your family is doing? If you are always talking about them and their woes or accomplishments and never about you, then you may want to move on.

8 – They Change Around Other People

When someone else comes around a bad friend may become a completely different person. I had a “friend” in high school and I thought we were pretty cool together, but whenever we got around other friends, they would change. They would put me down or just flat out ignore me. I always felt like an outsider unless it was just he and I hanging out. If this is happening to you, it’s probably a toxic friendship.

9 – They Leave The Party With Someone Else. Oh Yeah and They Were Your Ride

This actually happened to my wife before we met. She had to walk home miles away. Poor thing. This is just flat out disrespectful, rude, and way beyond even being a toxic friend. They are a bad person. If a situation like this has ever happened to you, and you are still friends, I highly suggest you evaluate your friendship.

10 – Toxic Friendships Are Jealous of Your Other Friends

Bad friendships always put your other friends down and question why you hang around them. Oftentimes, bad friends are jealous of your life outside of them. If you know someone who doesn’t want to be around you when you are with your other friends, that is an indication of a toxic friendship.


Toxic friendships do not necessarily mean they are toxic people. They could be a good person but just not a good fit in your life. Remember, sometimes friends aren’t meant to be with us our entire lives. We change in life and so do they. Some people in our lives are only meant to be with us for a season, then it’s time to move on.

Evaluate your friendships throughout your life. If some of the above scenarios start becoming familiar, they probably have become bad friendships. Life is short, surround yourself with great friends.

What toxic relationship signs do you want to add to this list? Please share. 

If you want to build stronger friendships, I highly suggest you pick up Shasta Nelson’s book, Frientimacy.

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