Do You Attract Toxic Friends?

We all know that solid friendships are vital to our mental and physical health. But do you find yourself constantly choosing people who aren’t good friends, who prefer to tear you down instead of lifting you up? Who drain you emotionally or increase your stress when you see their name on your cell phone? Toxic friends can cause a lot of trouble!

Don’t blame yourself. You could be in a profession or culture that brings the crazy ones to the surface. But don’t ignore questionable behavior, either.

Most toxic people glob onto a new person, becoming their best friend overnight. They engage you by being overly accommodating and supportive, looking for similarities that make you believe they are just like you. But, be careful of this “love-bombing.” Because afterward, you will soon see their controlling, entitled, unreasonable, dismissive, or downright nasty behavior if they are toxic.

So What are the Red Flags of Toxic Friends?

1) Entitlement with Unreasonable Expectations

They will become enraged if you can’t retrieve their furniture in the middle of the night or give them your favorite dress for a date. One mother wanted me to drive her daughter and friends to the airport even when I said I had an important meeting to attend. Her snide remarks afterward took me by surprise. But I’ve learned if someone disrespects your time, they’re disrespecting you.

2) Lack of Accountability

A friend once declared, “everybody steals from their office. Corporations have padding so you can have that 5-course dinner or spa treatment during a business trip.” I protested that I never stole from a company, and she responded, “Of course you have. Everybody does.” Remember, if someone brags about immoral behavior such as cheating or stealing, rest assured that they will eventually do it to you.

3) Relinquishes Responsibilities

Beware if a “friend” repeatedly blames others for their failures in business or relationships. Often these people will become enraged with reasonable expectations such as a landlord’s right to expect timely payments or a client’s right to professional conduct. They play the victim in every situation and become angry if you disagree with their point of view. Many times their anger precedes dysfunctional behavior such as binge shopping because they “deserve” it or drinking because they “need” it, or yelling at loved ones because they can’t “control” themselves. Observe carefully. How often do they justify their bad behavior?

4) Anger

Toxic people get angry if you don’t do what they want. They’ll make sarcastic remarks if you don’t take care of their needs immediately. Their anger is disproportionate to the situation. And if they feel you have ignored them for any reason, such as caring for your family, working, or dealing with a life crisis, they will rip you to shreds because you weren’t paying attention to them.

5) Gossip

If they divulge painfully private information about others, RUN! Because if you make them angry, rest assured, they will run their mouth about you in meticulous detail. Worse, they could lie about you, conduct a smear campaign without your knowledge, or harm your professional or private life.

6) Jealousy

If they show any jealousy because you spend time with other friends, be careful. Anything that keeps them from the spotlight will infuriate them, and they will attack you afterward. They want all your time and attention.

7) Failure of Kindness

All friendships have rough patches, but true friends are like the cavalry when we are in desperate need. So take note if you are in a dire situation and a so-called friend turns you away. If they are unreliable, nothing you can say or do will change their behavior.

8) Trust your gut

If a “friend” says something that raises a red flag, it is a red flag. Tread carefully. My biggest mistakes in friendships have been giving the benefit of the doubt to people who caused me to blink at something they said or did. Freudian slips are real. Click here for more Alexisazria.com Click here for Alexis Pinterest

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Alexis Azria

Alexis Azria, a dedicated mom and passionate humanitarian, writing about the parenting issues and ethical dilemmas we face daily.

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