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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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How do you identify toxic friends - February 22nd 2018, 11:51 PM

I am not sure if my friends care about about me. What should you look for in toxic friendships.
   
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Re: How do you identify toxic friends - February 23rd 2018, 10:26 AM

Well, I see a few interesting ways.
One, and probably the most popular for me, is to see if they are ever there for me. Not just saying "call me if you need me", but following up with actions. If I'm having a bad day, maybe just giving me a hug, or calling me out of the blue to check in etc. Of course, this goes both ways, but I think that's a great way.

The next thing is if they only message when they need something. A message like "hey have you done XYZ" before the assignment is due suggests they aren't friends, they just want help.

Toxic friends also probably try to guilt you. If you've been busy, they try to make you feel shitty for not calling them. That is not healthy. Or they are passive-aggressive, beyond the playful region multiple times.

Hope this helps. I've got more ways to look at it so let me know if you want more.


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Re: How do you identify toxic friends - February 27th 2018, 01:12 AM

I agree with at lot of what Tort said. Some questions you might like to consider are:

- "Do my friends initiate conversation with me just for the sake of it, or do they only contact me when they want or need something?" If it's the latter, they may not value the friendship as much as you do, and that's definitely something to bring up with them.
- "Do they listen to me when I talk, or do they ignore me or cut me off?" If you don't feel like your friends are actually listening and responding to you, that's also cause for concern. In a friendship it's incredibly important to feel like you can express yourself and have people actually take on board what you're saying, so if that's not happening that indicates that something's wrong in the dynamic.
- "Are my friends asking more of me than they're willing to give, or am I putting in more effort than they are?" If you feel like you're always going the extra mile and your friends aren't putting in the same amount of effort, that implies that there's an imbalance in the friendship. And if your friends are expecting or demanding things from you that they wouldn't be willing to give in return, that's concerning. For example are they expecting you to check up on them if they haven't messaged in a while, while they wouldn't do the same for you? Are they asking you for time/money/effort/commitment while not being willing to give you the same things?
- "Can I voice my concerns with them, or will they not take me seriously or actually listen to what I'm saying?" There's bound to be conflict in any friendship, but the way that it's resolved depends on that particular relationship. If you respectfully bring up a concern with one of your friends (e.g. "Lately I feel like you haven't responded to my messages much."), do they acknowledge what you've said and try to resolve the issue, or do they dismiss it, ignore it, or even try to make it seem like it's somehow your fault?

Those are just a few things to think about. Overall it's about whether you feel comfortable within the friendship, and whether it feels balanced, with everyone putting in roughly equal amounts of time, energy, and effort. If not, it might be time to re-evaluate whether it's worth keeping these people in your life, at least to the extent you do now.




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