6 Signs Your Friendship Is Toxic

Signs your friendship is toxic.

Navigating through the waters of a toxic friendship is anything but smooth. It can be hard to decipher the difference between a toxic friendship or if you’re just experiencing a rough patch. Overlooking or ignoring signs of a toxic friendship might be easy to do because of how much you care about the other person—especially depending on the amount of years you’ve invested. However, continuing to develop and maintain a relationship with a toxic friend can be damaging to your mental health and overall well-being. Check out these 6 signs to learn if your friendship is toxic:

1. Your Friendship Feels One-Sided

Ever feel like it’s your friend’s world, and you’re just living in it? Or that your friend relies on you for everything? While sometimes you should be an anchor for your friends, your friendship shouldn’t always feel like it’s only one-sided. You can’t always give more than you receive, or eventually you’ll be running on empty. We build strong friendships so we can support, love, and lift each other up. If you feel like you can’t ever vent or ask your friend for advice because it’s always about them, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship. Always choose people who choose you. 

2. You Feel Like You Can Never Truly Be Honest

It’s hard voicing your opinion because you worry about the repercussions you might receive. You might feel like you can’t talk to your friend about how you truly feel because they either won’t understand or respect what you have to say. A healthy friendship is one where you’re able to express your true feelings, no matter what they are. Feeling disregarded and like you can’t be honest is a major indicator that your friendship might be toxic. Especially if the behavior is a pattern of constantly feeling like you’re disregarded or shoved to the side. Your voice does matter, and it’s always important enough to be heard, especially in a friendship.

3. They Expect You To Fix Their Insecurities 

This is a big one. You should never feel responsible for filling a void in someone else.  If your friend is always looking to you to fix their insecurities, know that it’s not your sole purpose to always make the other person feel whole. While we all feel insecure at times, a true friend shouldn’t always expect you to be the one who always reassures them the second they need it. Especially if their behavior is a repeated pattern. Remember that it’s not your job to fix how somebody else feels about themselves—only they can do that.

4. Your Energy Always Feels Drained

The friends in our lives should add to our cup, not empty it. I’ve mentioned before how I’m an empath to the core. Other people’s emotions and energy can drain me for days on end if I’m not careful. Knowing this, I’ve made a conscious effort to be aware of who I choose to surround myself with. The people in our lives should make us feel like the best versions of ourselves, not the worst. When we allow ourselves to get too emotionally attached, it causes us to lose sight of who we are. We end up sacrificing our own needs at the expense of how the other person feels. Pay attention to how you feel when you’re around them. You should feel refreshed and renewed after spending time with a friend, rather than empty and drained. 

5. They Guilt-Trip You To No End

A toxic friendship might look like guilt-tripping you when you can’t spend time with them or even talk to them. One of the many reasons I love my friends is because we know that no matter how much time passes, our relationship always remains the same. We don’t have to talk to each other 24/7 to feel validated, but we appreciate every second we do get to spend with each other because we know time is valuable. It’s not fair to you if your friend is making you feel guilty over something you have no control over. Life gets busy, and the best friendships are the ones that pick up right where they left off. Don’t allow your friend to make you feel like they are the victim, a friendship goes both ways.

6. They Never Take Accountability For Their Actions

Taking accountability starts with recognizing actions or behavior that caused hurt. If you’ve expressed how you feel and your friend brushes it off or blames you, they might be refusing to take accountability. People may not always want to recognize their part in why things are the way they are. Sometimes it feels easier because they’d rather not deal with the hard truths or consequences. It’s one thing if a friend acknowledges how they might’ve hurt you, but another thing if they flat out avoid it altogether. Even if they seem clueless about why your friendship is going downhill, accountability can be as simple as noticing something is wrong.

Toxic friendships can be just as draining as toxic relationships. You deserve to have a friendship that brings out the best version of yourself. One that has mutual respect, transparency, and feels fulfilling. If you find yourself in a toxic friendship, try distancing yourself so you’re able to view the situation from an outside perspective. Practice ways on how you can be honest with how you feel, to figure out if there’s any chance of rekindling your friendship. Closing a chapter with a friend is far from easy. But sometimes it’s more than necessary so you can surround yourself with the right people.

Leave a Comment


  1. 1.20.24

    Such a vital life lesson regarding friendships. Paying attention to each of these points you made are so important. I appreciate this post on this topic. Unfortunately, I believe we each have dealt with this at some point regarding a friendship or perhaps we were guilty and needed to do better. 🤗

    Pastor Natalie (ExamineThisMoment)

    • 1.21.24

      Thank you so much! I absolutely agree with you. It can be one of the hardest lessons to learn but we’ve definitely all been there a time or two.

  2. 1.21.24
    Maria said:

    Such a tough topic! Love this take on it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 1.21.24

    This is so important! I think sometimes if it’s someone we have known a long time we get used to the behaviour rather than realising any toxicity there. These are all great points to keep an eye out for in friendships especially!

    • 1.22.24

      So much truth to that—It can definitely be easy to become blinded by behavior. & thank you!

  4. 1.21.24

    So true, thanks for sharing.

  5. 1.21.24
    Courtney said:

    Very good information! Thanks for sharing on this topic!

  6. 1.21.24
    Tetyana said:

    excellent blog post! I wish I had read it some years ago. I am sure your blog post will help others!

  7. 2.2.24

    Thank you for this – great post! I had a very controlling friendship once so I know how difficult they are!

    • 2.6.24

      Thank you!! Same, and it’s crazy how sometimes you don’t even realize the extent until you’re out of the situation. That’s why boundaries are so important!