Friendships don't always work out how you want them to, which can be difficult when there are unspoken rules in place. Breakdowns in friendships can happen, but there are certain red flags you should look out for to avoid putting yourself at risk of getting hurt. This article will allow you to learn the warning signs of a toxic relationship so that you can address it with your friend before it's too late.


  1. Your friend is constantly rude to you and your family


One of the most obvious signs that a friendship is toxic is when one friend is constantly rude to you and your family members — especially in front of other people. If someone treats their friends like crap behind closed doors, then there's no reason to assume that they won't do the same thing in public or around people who are important to you.


If your friend does this often enough, then it's safe to assume that they don't value or respect you at all — which means that this relationship isn't healthy for either party involved.


  1. They don't have any friends of their own


If your friend has no friends except for people that they met through social media or work with (or both), then that can be a sign that something isn't right about their friendships. Most people have at least one friend who lives far away or another person in another part of town who they see once in awhile just because it's easier than planning ahead every weekend or holiday season.


  1. They're always asking you to do things for them, but they never return the favor


 There's a fine line between being a good friend and being taken advantage of. If you feel like a friend is always asking for favors, but never returns the favor, it may be time to evaluate your friendship.


“It's important to ask yourself whether or not this person is really a good friend,” said Dr. Terri Orbuch, author of 5 Simple Steps To Take Your Marriage From Good to Great and professor at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. “If you think about it, one person does all the giving and another does all the taking. That's not what good relationships are built on.”


Orbuch said friendships should be mutually beneficial and should be reciprocal — meaning that both parties stand to benefit from the relationship in some way. Being taken advantage of can make you feel resentful toward your friend and discourage you from wanting to spend time with them in the future.


“You need to look at whether or not this friendship is worth keeping or if it needs to be cut off,” Orbuch told Business Insider. “If someone only wants things from you, then they're not really your friend.”


  1. They're negative about everything


This is a big red flag in friendship that you should know. If your friend always finds the negative in everything and everyone, then it’s a sign that the person is an emotional vampire.


Emotional vampires are people who are always looking for something to feed on and they do this by finding the negative in everything and everyone. They don’t want to see any good thing happening to anyone else because they want all of it for themselves.


They are also known as energy vampires because they drain other people’s energy and make them feel bad about themselves. This is why it’s important to know how to spot emotional vampires before they can do any damage in your life or in your relationship with them.


  1. They don't have a job or any goals in life


 You might not realize it, but a person who doesn't have a job or any goals in life is a red flag in friendship that you should know. It's not just about the fact that they can't hold down a job — it's about how they deal with those issues.


If they're constantly making excuses for why they aren't working, or how they'll find something better soon, then you should be worried. If they seem to have no ambition and no drive, then that's probably not going to change anytime soon.


It's important to remember that if someone doesn't want to work hard at school or get a steady job with benefits, then chances are they won't be willing to put in any effort when it comes to your relationship either. They might even expect you to be their personal cheerleader and cheer them up whenever things get tough for them. That's not fair to anyone involved in the relationship!


  1. You catch them lying a lot


You catch your friend lying a lot but you brush it off and say to yourself, “Oh well, what's one more lie?” But here's why you should never ignore this red flag.


You may have heard the saying “honesty is the best policy” before. Well, that's not always true for everyone. For example, if you're friends with someone who has a tendency to lie — or even worse, someone who lies frequently — then that person might not be a good friend for you to hang out with anymore.


Lying can become a habit and once it becomes a habit, it will be very hard to break it. You'll find yourself spending more time with people who are honest and trustworthy instead of people who are willing to lie just because they think it will benefit them in some way.


  1. They are extremely jealous or competitive with you, especially when it comes to your accomplishments or successes


If your friends are jealous or competitive with you, then it's probably time to rethink that friendship.


“When you feel like you can't do anything without your friend being upset, that's a red flag,” relationship expert Rachel DeAlto tells Bustle. “It's not healthy to have someone be so invested in every part of your life.”


While jealousy and competitiveness can be a sign of affection, it can also signal something much more insidious.


“If you're feeling jealous or competitive with your friend, it may be because they are putting all their energy into the relationship and not giving back,” licensed marriage and family therapist Stephanie Harville tells Bustle. “They might be taking advantage of you, or they may be using their feelings as a way to manipulate their partner.”


So before you chalk up these feelings to just being competitive, ask yourself some questions: Does this person really care about me? Are they just using me for my connections? Or do they truly support me? If the answer is no, then maybe it's time for an intervention instead of another round of drinks at happy hour.


  1. They're manipulative and try to control every aspect of your life together by telling you what to do, who to hang out with, where to go and what not to do


A manipulative friend will try to control you. Everything from your personality, to your social life and even the way you spend your free time. They may do this by being overly critical or judgmental about what you do or say, especially if it doesn't fit into their plan for your life.


They'll also likely have a lot of advice for you about what you should do instead. When you go out with them, they'll often point out other people who are doing things wrong (even if those people don't know that they're doing anything “wrong”).


They may also try to talk down on other people in front of you — even if they don't know them very well — so that they can make themselves look better by comparison. And they may say things like: “I wish I could be like her” or “You're so lucky that your parents are so supportive.”


If this sounds like someone that you know, then it might be time to consider whether or not this friendship is worth keeping around any longer.


  1. They blame everyone else for their problems but themselves; they never take responsibility for their actions


 If you're friends with someone who is never responsible for their actions, then it's a red flag that you need to pay attention to.Anyone who has ever been in a relationship can tell you how much easier it is to deal with a person who takes responsibility for what happens.


When we take responsibility for our actions, we are able to apologize genuinely and sincerely without feeling like we are a bad person.However, when someone refuses to take ownership of things that they do wrong, then it creates a very toxic environment that is difficult to deal with.


It's not easy being friends with someone who doesn't take responsibility for their actions because they never seem willing to learn from their mistakes or grow as people.

They will always find excuses for why what happened was your fault instead of taking ownership of their own behavior and making an effort to change it.


  1. You find yourself always defending them when others say something bad about them


When you find yourself always defending them when others say something bad about them, it’s a red flag in friendship that you should know.


It is normal for friends to share an emotional bond, but if you find yourself always defending your friends when others criticize them, this could be a sign that your friendship is based on codependency.


If you are always on the defense for your friend, it means that they are not capable of thinking for themselves and they need you to protect their ego by attacking those who hurt their feelings or criticize them in any way. This can be harmful because it prevents them from developing self-confidence and self-worth. If they never learn how to deal with criticism and negativity, they will continue to depend on others to build up their self-esteem.


With a better understanding of the red flags in friendship, we can avoid emotionally investing time and resources into people who may have motives beyond making genuine friendships. If we can identify these characteristics as they exist in real life, we will be able to make informed decisions for ourselves.


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