How to Spot Toxic Friendships

Kiera Brankin, Staff Writer

 Have you ever not been sure if your friend is toxic? Toxic friendships are a common struggle among teens especially. Most of the time, toxic friends are hard to spot due to emotional bonds you have with the person. This is because your brain considers this person as a “friend,” so you don’t believe what they’re doing is wrong. So, here are some common things toxic friends do from my personal experience. 

  • Make fun of you as a joke but they get mad when you say something back. 

Toxic friends tend to say something that insults you, like “your ugly” or if you’re closer to them, they will say something that you are embarrassed that you did/said. However, some friends just take jokes too far. So, a way to tell the difference is to ask them to stop. A real friend would apologize for hurting your feelings and explain their intent. A toxic friend would say “you dramatic” and continue the joke.

  •  They harm you physically 

Lots of friends love to play fight which is totally fine when everyone is having fun. For example, if a group of friends are pushing each other around in a safe area like a trampoline park, a mat, etc., then it would be fine. However, when the fighting singles out one of the friends involved. However, if it’s 2 vs 1 and the one wants to stop this would be considered extremely toxic.  

  • They talk about you behind your back 

Toxic friends often talk about people behind your back. This can again be negative or positive. For example, if your friends were talking behind your back to plan you a surprise birthday party, it would not be toxic. It would be extremely kind. However, if they made a group chat to talk about something embarrassing that happened to you, for example getting rejected or embarrassing things you did when you were younger, then this would be toxic. 

  • They spread false rumors about you 

This one unfortunately does not have a positive spin for the most part. When someone spreads a bad rumor about you, it is most likely because they want to bring you down. This can be done out of jealousy or them wanting you to fail. Either way, this is extremely toxic because after a while many people will believe this. Especially if the rumor is posted online, but you can at least have evidence to tell a trusted adult what they did.  

That is all the things I think you should watch out for within friends if you think they are being toxic to you. But from what I have seen if you are considering this possibility, you are most likely right.