Do you have a person in your life right now that does not appreciate you? Are you unhappy when you are with them? Do you avoid spending time with them? Does all of this ever take a toll on your mental health? Whether you are thinking about a close friend or a significant other (SO), if you answered yes to any of these questions, ~read on!~ because you may find that this questionable friendship or relationship of yours may actually be toxic.
1. They are never happy for you
Have you ever received a job offer, an invite to go on a date or a good grade, and cannot wait to share the good news? Of course! We all love to share the good things that happen to us with the people in our lives and there is nothing wrong with that. However, problems start to arise when you receive a negative reaction (or non-reaction) from the people you hold close. If you share happy news with a friend or SO, you expect them to be happy too – happy for you. If you react positively to their good news and they do not even show a smile, this may be something to watch out for. This kind of attitude can be detrimental to your mental health. If you receive a non-reaction (maybe you get ignored, or they try to “one-up” your good news) you are definitely less likely to reach out and share pieces of your life with this person. Of course, this is a sign of an unhealthy relationship and should be addressed, especially if it does not make you feel good. Keeping a positive attitude is important to your mental health and if you have someone in your life that is not contributing to that, do not keep them around!
2. They only reach out to you when they need something
Have you heard from this person in a noticeable amount of time? Have you asked them to hang out and your invites are constantly ignored? Do you find yourself doing favours for them but receiving none in return? If so, do some digging. We all have busy lives, but if you care about someone, you make time for them in your life – no questions asked. This attitude may be acceptable if you also ask for help and therefore the trade of effort is reciprocal, but if it is one sided, this is a sign that your friendship or relationship has turned toxic.
3. They rarely ask about you
Do you check in now and then with your friend or SO to make sure they are doing okay? Are you a good shoulder to cry on, but find yourself unsure of who to turn to when you are in need of a shoulder? These are common signs that you care more about your friend’s wellbeing than they care about yours, AKA a toxic relationship. Friends and significant others are the people you turn to for emotional support. If you are constantly handing out this kind of support, but not receiving it back, maybe you should consider taking a step back and considering whether your relationship is worth maintaining. If you are calling or texting, offering advice, and there when they need to vent, you would expect them to do the same for you. Friends and significant others are the people you get to chooseto have in your life, so why would you choose someone who does not care to ask how you are doing once in a while?
4. They choose to dedicate their time elsewhere
This is a big one. If your friend or SO never has the time to see you or even talk to you, this shows a lack of effort and a high level of toxicity. This gets worse the more you notice this person spending time with other people they call friends. Again, we make time for the things (and people) we love so if you are able to make time for this person in your busy life, they should be equally as willing to make space for you in theirs.
5. Other people have had negative experiences with them
If you keep hearing stories about your friend or SO that include things like being notorious for lying, only caring about themselves, or even being known as a bad friend/partner, a conversation may be necessary. Most times what you hear from others is merely gossip but asking about it cannot hurt and may save you from finding out the hard way that those whisperings may be true. Once again, your mental health is valuable and if someone is notorious for affecting people negatively, it might not be smart to save space for them in your heart.
CONSIDER THIS: Do not immediately assume that you have a toxic friendship or relationship if you are experiencing one or more of these signs. Everyone has an untold story and you may not be fully informed about what is going on with this person. A conversation should always be had before any assumption-making can take place. But if a plant is dead, DO NOT continue to water it ~ save your energy for the live ones.
Written by Ana Mota