Oprah and Gayle have a famously good friendship. They've been friends since they were 20-somethings, and although they've undoubtedly had bumps in the road, it's obvious they treat each other well and love one another. Unhealthy friendships are the opposite of this: the bumps turn into mountains, and you feel mistreated. The signs you have a toxic BFF are probably obvious to everyone else, but it can be harder to see when you're the one involved.
It's painful to have inklings that your friendship might be unhealthy, and even more painful when that suspicion begins to be confirmed as you tally up the signs. Best friends are few and far between, so you want to cling to the good ones that have; sometimes that causes you to ignore bad behavior.
Even if you identify some toxic traits to your relationship with your BFF, there's still hope. You can use honest, direct communication and try to work out some of the kinks in the friendship. A BFF is worth the effort. Only if your friend won't reciprocate any effort do you know you need to, at least for the time being, let go. What does it look like when you have a toxic BFF? Here are some signs that you're BFF may not be the best after all.
1. They're Not Happy When Your Killin It
If you call your friend to share some good news and your friend meets you with silence, muttering, half-hearted congrats or a sarcastic comment, something is wrong. It's normal to get jealous but it's not healthy to be unsupportive.
2. They Rarely Reach Out To You
Calls, texts, and emails are often a big part of a friendship. Reaching out to make plans to hang out Friday night or meet for a quick drink and catch-up can't always fall on one person, or the friendship becomes a bad investment. Unless your friend is going through a crisis and you are picking up slack, connecting should be a two-way street.
3. They Put You Down
Friends are supposed to see the best in you, and yeah, they may call you on your shit – but out of love, not unresolved issues. If your friend regularly makes fun of you and claims it's just a joke, but you never think it's funny, you may want to reconsider if this really is a friend at all.
4. They Aren't There For You
If your friend doesn't show up when the chips are down, and you find yourself looking elsewhere for support, then you either have a friend who is overwhelmed, a new friendly acquaintance, or a dead friendship. If you think your friend loves you but just can't handle life, sit down and have a talk about how you are feeling. Maybe you can find a middle ground that doesn't involve ditching the friendship or sticking it unhappily out.
5. They Do All The Talking
When you text or hang out, is the conversation fairly balanced? Finding that you can't get word in edgewise, or feeling bummed when you tell your friend something important and they just revert the conversation back to themselves are tell-tell signs of toxicity.
6. They Betray Your Trust
An obvious red flag. If your friend talks about you behind your back, befriends people who are cruel to you, or betrays your trust in small or large ways, it's time for a change.
7. They're Possessive And Controlling
You mention that you had dinner with a different friend last night, and your friend gives you the silent treatment. Being a little bit possessive is normal, especially in a long-standing friendship where you feel protective. But a friend who regularly makes you feel like you shouldn't be enjoying life with anyone but him needs a talking to.
8. They Make You Feel Anxious
If you find yourself worrying that you're going to offend your friend, send them into a sulk, or anger them, there's a problem that needs to be talked out. Maybe you have a sharp tongue lately, or maybe she's super sensitive and needs to stop taking her feelings out on you.
9. They Don't Respect Your Boundries
You tell them you want to stop drinking, and they show up with a six-pack and a grin. You tell her you need to chill at home for the next few weekends, and they send you whiny texts to come hang out. If ignoring your wishes and boundaries becomes a regular part of your friendship, that's a serious problem.