6 Signs Your Friend is Toxic and How to Leave

Have you ever had a friend say or do something that you thought was suspect but you thought, “Maybe I’m the one trippin'” or “Maybe they didn’t mean it that way”. Sometimes even our dearest and closest friends are having a bad day or are just upset and say something out of pocket but what happens when the slip ups keep happening and you’re beginning to wonder if this friendship is even friendly anymore? That is why you’ve come to this article after all right? To make sure you’re not the one trippin’ and your friend indeed is full of negativity and bad vibes and need to be removed? Well look no further, I’m going to tell you the signs I’ve learned from past toxicity.

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Triple Boss GIF by RuPaul's Drag Race


  1. Thrive off of being the center of attention
    • Your toxic friend LOVES talking about themselves! I mean all the time. It’s about their successes and triumphs and when it’s your turn to bask in the spotlight, they lose immediate interest. Suddenly, the topic needs to be changed or even worse they try to one up you like that character on SNL. Friends who aren’t happy and proud of their friends are to be seriously reconsidered.

  2. Constant Criticizers
    • They always have something negative to say about you and your other friends. Maybe it’s even gotten to a point where you just don’t mention good news or your dreams or romantic interests to them because you just can’t tolerate the negativity. Often when the toxic friend does this, they love to dish it out but can’t take it. When another person criticizes, they retreat or blow up which I will talk about more below.

  3. Feel like you’re being held hostage emotionally
    • Have you ever hung out with a person and you felt like you have to emotionally hold your breath or watch what you say out of fear of the other person blowing up? If so, you should probably remove yourself from that situation as quickly and smoothly as possible. One should never feel uncomfortable and held hostage by another person’s emotions. With friends you should be able to speak your mind and if the words are hurtful or misinterpreted you should be able to maturely settle the situation.

  4. They don’t care about your feelings
    • Hanging out with your allegedly toxic friend is like watching a live taping of Real Housewives. They make shady remarks about you assuming you will either take the verbal abuse or you simply aren’t smart enough to notice. Their manner around you is similar to Lucille Bluth or your local neighborhood WASP. Again, this behavior isn’t part of a healthy friendship and you need to begin thinking of either an escape plan or even snarkier quips to shoot back with. One is far more exhausting than the other.

  5. Blow up and cut off with a quickness
    • Toxic friends love drama but they HATE confrontation. When it comes to their friends telling them like it is, that’s a big no no and a toxic friend is FAR more willing to just cut off all ties with you than to actually hear your grievances about how they treat you. Toxic friends blow up over the smallest things and expect to have complete control over all situations and therefore over you. If you find yourself apologizing for all disagreements with this toxic, they might be toxic.

  6. They complain about other friends and are always the victim
    • Going off that thought, toxic friends always see themselves as the victims. Have you ever been listening to your allegedly toxic friend tell you about a disagreement with a friend of theirs and it sounds like their friend is completely selfish, rude and inconsiderate? Yeah? Well, I’m here to tell you 9 times out of 10, the toxic friend is putting poop colored glasses over your eyes. There’s at least two sides to every story and if the story sounds entirely one sided, you’re most likely missing pieces. Plus, imagine what they must say to their so-called friends about you when you two aren’t getting along. The friends of your toxic friend must think you’re a jerk and vice versa.

Realization Kristin Wiig GIF


So now you’ve read the signs and have had flashbacks play before your eyes. I’m sorry to tell you that your friend is toxic but the first step is finding out that you weren’t crazy for feeling how you’ve felt all along. What a relief right? Next, is to figure out how to slowly and hopefully completely remove the toxicity from your life. Here’s some suggestions:

    • Trust me this is the best thing to do for your mental well being. Toxic friends LOVE to be shady and therefore tweet shady things and post shady vague Instagram captions on a photo. They also love to make Snapchat stories of them hanging out with all their other friends BUT you so just kill it dead in its tracks now. Sweetheart you don’t need to see a tweet or a post and then have to screenshot and debate with your other friends if it’s about you or last weekend’s brunch. Out of sight out of mind.

  2. Start Distancing yourself
    • If you can’t go cold turkey and remove them, the second best option is to slowly remove them out of your life. Start hanging out with your toxic friend only a few times a month. When you do try to make it social gatherings like parties with your other friends, this way if the toxic friend attacks or is too much to handle you can simply walk 10 feet to your friend and put yourself in good company.

  3. Talk to them but come prepared
    • If you think their behavior needs to be addressed because the friendship can be salvaged and people do change, then it’s time to talk. Before meeting with the toxic friend, write down all your issues and your feelings. This leaves nothing unsaid and it makes you look serious about the topic. It’s hard to take someone seriously if they’re fumbling over their own words to explain their own feelings. Also don’t read off the piece of paper either, this makes it seem like you’ve been keeping score of their behavior for a long time and that’s hurtful no matter if you’re toxic or not. Be prepared for this talk to not go well. Unfortunately, some toxic people just don’t see themselves as such and will just blow up and storm off so consider meeting in a public space to prevent this.

So there you have it. The signs of a toxic friend and the ways to slowly free yourself. Now remember I know that sometimes the friend hasn’t always been toxic and maybe you two have been close for years and it can be hard to let go. One thing that I’ve learned in life is that not all friendships are meant to last forever and just because they aren’t good for you anymore doesn’t mean it won’t suck any less to remove them. With this in mind, take your time and heal.

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