All relationships have their ups and downs, and friendships are no exception. You need supportive, loving friends in your life to be totally fulfilled. Research even suggests that people who maintain solid friendships live longer than those who don’t. But what do you do when a relationship becomes more effort than it’s worth?

As a mom, your time is at a premium. If you suspect a particular friendship is bringing you down more than it’s building you up, it might be time to rethink that relationship. Here are six warning signs that can indicate you’re in a toxic friendship.

6 Signs You’re In A Toxic Friendship

1.You Constantly Walk On Eggshells

Are you holding back sharing good news because you aren’t sure your friend will really be happy for you? Are you afraid of saying the wrong thing or getting into trouble for something unimportant?

If you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells and have to be careful about everything you say, you may be in a toxic friendship.

2.It’s All About Them

We’ve all been in a conversation where one party dominates with talk of their own life, never asking for input from others. These conversations can be exhausting and unfulfilling. You never have the opportunity to express your own feelings, or talk about the things that you love.

If the time you spend with your friend is spent only talking about their life, and they never ask about yours, this could be the sign of a toxic friendship.

3.You Dread Seeing Them

It seems simple… if you don’t like being around someone they shouldn’t be your friend, right? It’s not always that easy.

When you begin a friendship with good feelings and develop an emotional bond, it’s tough to break that off without feeling guilty. But if you’re finding that you don’t want to return a particular friend’s call, or you dread being around them, you might be in a toxic friendship.

4.They Flake Out Or Don’t Value Your Time

If you make plans with a friend, you keep them. Toxic friends will often cancel plans you made months ago, with some vague excuse about having a headache or working late.

We know that emergencies do occasionally happen. But if someone consistently cancels or is a no-show, they care more about their time than they do about yours. They’re letting you know you’re not a priority…so listen! Good friends are consistent and dependable. Toxic friends are flaky and often disrespectful of your time.

5.You Feel Smothered

At this stage in your life you need friends that build your confidence and make life better, not ones that suck your energy. If a friendship is affecting your ability to care for yourself or your family, it may be time to cut the strings.

Does your friend seem overly needy? Do they want feedback or advice on every little thing? Do they want to hang out every free night you have? It might be time to pull back a little or set some boundaries. Let them know how much time and energy you realistically have to give. If they continue to try and take without reciprocation, you’re in a toxic friendship.

6.They Affect Your Physical Health

Sometimes negative emotions come out in the form of physical symptoms, like stomach cramps or headaches. If you start experiencing physical issues when you see or speak to a particular person, the friendship is likely dysfunctional. Your body is trying to tell you something. If the relationship is hurting you physically, it’s time to make a change.


warning signs toxic friendship
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Can You Make A Change or Should You Cut Ties?

Toxic relationships are marked by criticism, negativity, neediness, jealousy, insecurity, control and selfishness. Healthy relationships are full of kindness, sharing, respect, healthy disagreement, encouragement and compassion.

Can a toxic relationship be restored to a healthy one? The answer is yes, but it takes effort and willingness from both parties.

The first step to fixing a friendship that has gone sour is to recognize a problem exists. Address toxic behavior using “I” centered statements that demonstrate how you feel. “When you flake out on me I feel….” “When you only want to talk about your life and not mine, I feel…” Then give your friend a chance to respond and listen to what they have to say.

You may find you still have some common ground. Or maybe your friend wasn’t even aware of their behavior, but is willing to work with you to make the relationship better.

If, however, your friend refuses to see the problem or change their behavior, it may be time for some distance and separation.

Focusing your time and energy on positive relationships is one of the keys to creating a well-balanced life. Know the warning signs of toxic friendship and steer clear. You’ll be happy that you did.

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