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It’s easy to spot a “frenemy” and keep them at an arm’s length, but what do you do when you have a friend who creates more drama than an estranged significant other and frenemy combined?

More often than not, we tend to dissociate abuse with friendship–while your friends don’t physically abuse you, they can emotionally abuse you.

Mean Girls

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Check out the signs below to see if YOU are in an abusive friendship:

1. LIES

Lies from either party in the friendship is a red flag that you guys don’t trust each other.

If you find yourself lying to your friend about your opinion, feelings or day-to-day life because it’s “just easier” than telling the truth, then you’re not in a healthy friendship.

If your friend is the one lying (e.g. creating a fictional boy/girlfriend) then s(he) doesn’t trust you either; or at the very least, doesn’t respect you.

2. ONE-SIDED FRIENDSHIP

When your friendship becomes unbalanced and one person dominates in receiving attention—your friendship is doomed for failure.

Life isn’t a sitcom or a romantic comedy where one person is the protagonist and the other is the sidekick that’s always offering advice. In reality, it should be a two way street. Wondering what a one-sided friendship feels like?

Does your friend preoccupy your conversations with his/her dreams, hopes and ambitions but never ask about yours or talk for hours about his/her relationship problems no matter how trivial or serious they may be? When you do have a crisis or something to talk about, does your friend manage to turn the conversation about him/her?

If your answer is yes, then you’re in a one-sided friendship.

3. NEGATIVITY

We rely on our friends to be supportive when nobody else is.

If your friend is too negative and overly critical, then he/she most likely doesn’t care for you genuinely. A friend who makes you feel bad about yourself isn’t really looking out for you—your friends are supposed to make you feel better!

Negativity can always manifest in ways such as being overly competitive, insinuating you’re not good enough, ridiculing you publicly or being overly critical.

If you’re not sure about the 3 points above, then gauge how you feel when meeting your friend:

Are you bubbly with excitement at the thought of hanging out or do you dread the thought of spending more than a day together? Do you look forward to spending even half an hour with them or are you relieved when you get to go home?

Chances are, if you feel stressed or dreadful at the thought of mingling with your friend, you’re in a BAD friendship.

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