Hey Optimist Minds!
When you spend time with your friends, are you anxious about their reactions? Do you find it hard to be your true self in front of them? Unfortunately, manyMany people find themselves in friendships where they are not valued.
These friends don’t hesitate to ask for favours, but they don’t show up when you need them. Some of them might even make you feel bad about yourself.
Toxic friends say that they care for you, but their actions don’t match their words. If you’re wondering how to spot a toxic friend, start paying attention to the kind of things they say to you.
In this video, we will list eleven things that toxic friends say. Keep in mind that this information is only for educational use. Just because you’ve heard or said any of these doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is toxic. The context matters too.
Now, let’s begin.
“Why would you want to do that?”
A toxic friend will make you doubt your choices by questioning them. This is a rhetorical question because their intent is more to express disapproval than actually understanding your motives.
If they do listen to your reasons, that’s fine. Check if this happens frequently. When you hear this often enough, you start factoring in your friend’s opinions when you make decisions. That’s toxic because you become less like yourself.
“This is for your own good.”
Watch out for the friend who dishes unsolicited advice and then tells you they know what’s right for you. It could be coming from a place of genuine concern for you but delivery matters.
If they don’t give precedence to what you think about what you should or shouldn’t do, they’re not exactly helping you. A good friend would want you to think for yourself even if they have a differing opinion.
“So what! I could do it better.”
Toxic people say this right after hearing about something you or someone else achieved. You might have been quite excited when you were talking. But soon after this statement, the focus shifts from the original conversation to what the toxic person is capable of.
Even if they’re right about their abilities, it’s not the appropriate time to bring it up. Moreover, it minimises the achievement of the subject being talked about.
“Don’t overreact; I was just kidding.”
Has anyone ever made a joke or sarcastic comment at your expense? Did they try to portray you as over-sensitive when you got hurt? That’s a toxic thing to do.
Maybe they were honestly kidding but the point is that you felt bad and expressed it. A good friend would validate your feelings and apologise before they mention their intentions.
“I’ve done so much for you; the least you can do is this.”
Some people like to list all the nice things they’ve done for you when they want you to say yes. This is manipulative because it makes the listener feel like they owe it to the speaker to do what’s asked.
They might feel forced to compromise on their boundaries out of guilt. However, real friends are able to take no for an answer respectfully.
“Remember when you did that thing?”
Along with keeping track of their favours, a toxic friend will also remind you of your mistakes. For example, perhaps you did something a long time ago that upset them.
You may have gone out of your way to apologise and make amends, but they still bring it up when convenient. Again, this is a manipulative tactic to take advantage of your guilt.
“You won’t be able to do it without me.”
Toxic friends can at times smother you and force the idea of dependency. They make you feel like your incompetent in their absence, and you need them to get stuff done.
It’s possible that they just want what’s good for you, but they’re unaware that that includes your independence. Besides, saying this can lower your self-confidence and feed your anxiety.
“I can’t make it; I have plans.”
Does your friend ghost you or reject your invitations more often than not? Do you sometimes feel like you’re more invested in the friendship?
It’s natural to feel like that if you have to hear this regularly, especially if they say it when you need them around. However, if you feel like you have to show up for them more than they do the same for you, your friend might be toxic for you.
“You can be a real pain sometimes.”
We all have our shortcomings, and our best friends are the ones who love us despite them. So if your friend points out that you’re an inconvenience, reflect whether they really mean it.
Maybe they are doing a lot to accommodate you, and saying this is just a way to release frustration. But if this statement comes in a situation where you’re not asking for more than you should, you don’t deserve to hear it.
“If you could do this, you’d be so much better.”
Unless a friend has really been there for you through thick and thin, they don’t get to have a say on what can make you better. Of course, suggestions for improvement are always welcome when you’ve explicitly given your permission.
Otherwise, save this privilege for your inner circle only. And even then, you have the right to disagree, and a true friend would respect that.
“You’re too ____.”
Similar to what we said before, this kind of criticism should only be made in a solution-oriented way. If a friend simply points out what’s wrong with you without a balanced conversation, it affects your self-esteem.
As they’re your friend, you do value what they say. So, if they’re going to give feedback, it shouldn’t be limited to a complaint. Instead, a healthy conversation involves respecting both parties’ needs and feelings.
So, did the items on our list remind you of a friend? Have you heard any of these statements or similar ones before? You can tell us about your experiences with toxic friends in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.
A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.
Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.