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  5. Are you in a toxic friendship? 5 subtle signs to look out for

Are you in a toxic friendship? 5 subtle signs to look out for

Discover if your friendship is toxic with these subtle signs. Learn to recognise red flags and prioritise your well-being.

Muskan Gupta Written By: Muskan Gupta New Delhi Published on: March 02, 2024 14:35 IST
signs of toxic friendship
Image Source : FREEPIK 5 subtle signs to look out for in a toxic friendship

Friendships are meant to be a source of joy, support, and companionship in our lives. However, not all friendships are healthy, and some can turn toxic without us even realizing it. Toxic friendships can be detrimental to our mental and emotional well-being, often leaving us feeling drained and unhappy. Recognising the signs of a toxic friendship is essential for maintaining our own happiness and overall well-being. Remember, you deserve friendships that bring out the best in you and make you feel valued and appreciated. From contanst negativity to jealousy and competition, here are five subtle signs to look out for.

Constant Negativity

In a toxic friendship, you may notice that your friend consistently focuses on the negative aspects of life. They may frequently complain, criticise others, or dwell on their problems without showing any interest in your well-being. Over time, being around constant negativity can take a toll on your mental health.


Healthy friendships are built on mutual respect, trust, and reciprocity. If you find yourself always being the one to initiate contact, make plans, or offer support without receiving the same in return, it could be a sign of a toxic dynamic. Friendship should be a two-way street, with both parties contributing equally to the relationship.

Manipulative Behaviour

Toxic friends may use manipulation tactics to control or influence you. This could involve guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or playing mind games to get their way. Pay attention to how you feel after interacting with your friend; if you often feel confused, manipulated, or emotionally drained, it may be a sign of toxicity.

Lack of Boundaries

Healthy friendships respect boundaries and recognise each other's need for personal space and autonomy. In contrast, toxic friendships may involve constant intrusion into your life, disregard for your boundaries, or pressure to conform to their expectations. If you feel suffocated or overwhelmed by your friend's demands, it's important to assert your boundaries and communicate your needs.

Jealousy and Competition

A toxic friend may view your successes or achievements as a threat to their self-esteem. They may exhibit jealousy, belittle your accomplishments, or compete with you in unhealthy ways. Instead of celebrating your victories, they may undermine your confidence or try to outshine you. A true friend should be genuinely happy for your successes and supportive of your goals.

ALSO READ: 5 clear signs that you are stuck in a trauma-bonding relationship


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