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Added August 01, 2013

Spotting a Toxic Friend

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Do you have a friendship that isn't turning out the way you'd hoped it would? Is your previously supportive, reliable, loving BFF disappointing you? Draining you? Hurting you? Is she making unreasonable demands? Breaking her promises? Betraying a confidence? If so, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone.

 

In truth, even the deepest friendships don't always last forever. Our teenage years are full of life-altering challenges — physical, emotional, academic and social. All these changes feed our insecurities, spark envy and jealousy, and can cause huge shifts and upsets with the people to whom we are closest.

 

The term “toxic friendship” refers to a variety of relationships that are generally negative instead of positive. Patterns develop that can make you feel like you can’t be yourself, and you feel like you're walking around with an emotional ball and chain around your heart. If you find you have a toxic friend — one that feels out-of-synch — you must decide if it's worth continuing the relationship. It may be more trouble than it's worth and it’s time to call it quits.

 

Girls have a hard time getting themselves away from a toxic friend. We aren't always sure we deserve to receive what we give. We like feeling needed, and we get stuck feeling either angry or sorry for our friend. It seems easier to overlook, forgive and forget than to make positive changes by simply removing the negative influences.

 

Before deciding whether your friendship is beyond repair, think about these questions. Sometimes, the situation is crystal clear (stealing your boyfriend, for example), but, sometimes, the red flags of a toxic friend are more difficult to see.

 

Red Flag # 1: Is she self-centered, sneaky, deceitful or disloyal?

 

Red Flag #2: Does she take the time to listen to you and support your interests or does she get jealous when things go your way?

 

Red Flag #3: Does she show off at your expense?

 

Red Flag #4: Is she constantly finding fault with you, criticizing what you do, say or wear?

 

Red Flag #5: After spending time with her, do you feel depressed? Tense? Trapped?

 

Red Flag #6: Are your secrets safe with her, or do you worry that she'll gossip and betray your confidence?

 

Red Flag #7: Does she care about what you say? Does she get it? Or does she just use you as a sounding board?

 

Red Flag #8: Is she competitive, always trying to outshine or one-up you?

 

Another way to determine whether this friendship is worthwhile is to think about how you feel when you're planning to see her. Is it more of an obligation than a pleasure? When her name pops up on your phone or on the computer, do you look forward to answering? If the answer is no, it might be time to address the problem and initiate a break.

 

All relationships are about the right fit. It's a difficult but natural part of life for two friends to drift apart and pursue different paths. If you're not connecting or clicking as you once did, it doesn't mean one of you is any better than the other — it just might mean you're not meant to be friends right now.

 

So, how do you let her know you want out of this friendship? Here are our suggestions:

  • Pick a time good for each of you along with a place where you can talk face-to-face. Face-to-face is the only way to have this type of conversation. Doing it over the phone, online or through text messages just isn’t appropriate.
    Misunderstandings happen when you don’t talk face-to-face.

  • Before you meet, you need to plan what you are going to say. Being straightforward, however, by saying something like “We need to take a break from a while” gets to the point.

  • When she asks for your reason for the ending of the friendship, remember not to be hurtful. Instead, let her know you have thought about this and explain your feelings. Don’t point out her flaws. Make it about you and not her.

  • Finally, continue to be polite and respectful of her. Don’t talk about what happened behind her back either.

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123GymnastGirl
123GymnastGirl
Posted January 03, 2014
All of a sudden, my best friend started showing the signs of a toxic friend and I don't get it. I never did anything to make her angry or upset with me. When we talk outside of school she seems like the normal bestie I've known for years. During school, however, she won't say a word to me. I've also heard,through another friend, that she's been gossiping about me. She won't hang out with me or even look me in the eye. I've tried talking to her about it but she claims nothing is wrong. I want us to be friends again but I'm not sure this is fixable.
Awesome_dork
Awesome_dork
Posted November 13, 2013
I've never had a toxic friends. If I did, I would just stop talking with her. Completely. I would ignore her, and if she spreads rumors about me, then she can expect me to bite back. Hard
littlemisspurple
littlemisspurple
Posted July 04, 2013
I used to have a friend like this so i had no choice but to leave her
Mayarosewieder
Mayarosewieder
Posted August 22, 2013
I have these friends and I made them become friends. Now they are being mean and telling me what to do. They tell me what to do because I am brave. So now one of my friends has a crush on this boy and he likes her but my friends don't seem to care when I leave because they make me cry so instead they are like stocking him. (Which is weird!!) I just want them to not treat me like a third wheel that has to do what they say and to push me away.
LavenderRose
LavenderRose
Posted July 18, 2013
Sometimes you can't get rid of a Toxic Friend because you're the only friend she has. Also, because she is a super clingy and has something against you or, she knows on of your dakest secerets. Whiich, is the situation I've been in for over a year. So, the articel was very helpful to me. Also in my situation this girl is spreding rumors about me behind my back. And crawling back to me every time she has no one to hang out with, so selfish of her pretending that everything is sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. Like nothing ever happened. Whitch bugs the crap out of me, beacause she so clueless and self-obseved that she can't tell nobody likes her!
TeensRock
TeensRock
Posted July 04, 2013
My cousin, (A.K.A. my BFF)does all of that to me! i cant realy break up w/ her cuz shes family!!!! I try to fix it w/ talking and working it out but it doesnt work!!! Plus shes always hanging out with her (and my) friend Anna. I luv Anna, and plus shes way nicer than my cousin but i feel shes gettinh in the way of our friendship! What should i do?!?!
chocomaymay
chocomaymay
Posted February 17, 2013
my bff dose all of this!should i break up w/ her?
Emkinz:D
Emkinz:D
Posted February 25, 2013
Weeel, I would NOT at all count this as a so-called toxic "friend", I mean hellooo, but here goes anywho... ohh and plz help guys!! 1. She's the kinda gurl who's like "Get outta here", "I'm just playing", and crap like THAT, when really she's being a flat-out jerk, ya know? 2. She's my friend's friend (plus stealing one of my bus buddies too, grr), sooo me being around one of my buds means being around her too, boo-hoo, and now 2 fwends gang up on me too it seems. 3. She makes fun of me and only muah for EVERYTHING whenever I see her (even tho it's only by the bus/on the bus after schoolio), and by everything, yep, it's everything. 4. I feel super-duper low right when the 6th hr bell rings cuz that means, da-da-da... The. Bus. And it's sayin' something cuz I'm a major bubbly type. 5. I've felt super-duper insecure for a while, a looong while, it sucks.
Emkinz:D
Emkinz:D
Posted February 25, 2013
Ohh and btw... this chic is a big-time 8/8 here!
unicornqueen
unicornqueen
Posted July 04, 2013
Grrr...i once had a toxic friend she was my bff and she critized me everyday by saying:UR SOOOO DUM..GET A LIFE UNICORN FREACK!!After that day,she was jelous because her ex was my boyfriend and she gossiped to my boyfriend saying:"Did u know that the person that writed the love note to him was her?like,UNICORN FREAK IS CHEATING ON U!!!"after that,im simply seing my boyfriend i mean my ex-boyfriend having a new girlfriend:THE TOXIC FRIEND.#PUBERTY SUCKS AND DRAMA TOO
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