How To Identify Toxic FriendsHow To Identify Toxic Friends

Toxic friends are like a sweet poison, they seem harmless at first, but over time they have negative effects. Therefore, it is important to know the difference between toxic friends and true friends.

Real friends always make you feel better when you are low. Whereas, toxic friends make you doubt yourself and your accomplishments. They do this in a very subtle way which is difficult to notice at first.

However, it is important to understand how toxic friends affect your mental health. For this, we need to understand the signs of such friendships.

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Toxic Friendship Signs

  1. They Make You Doubt Yourself

If your friend often makes you doubt yourself, it is a sign of an unhealthy friendship. A real friend would push you to work better and help you in any way they can.

  1. They Talk Behind Your Back

Friends who talk behind your back are not your true friends. A true friend would never share your secrets with others and will always respect your privacy.

  1. They Make Themselves The Center of Attention

If you feel like everything about your friendship is centred around your friends’ problems or their likes and dislikes, this is a sign of toxic friendship.

Friendship is a two-way street, if you respect your friend and they don’t reciprocate it and additionally, make you feel like your problems are irrelevant, it is time to move on from such friendships.

  1. They Try To Change You

If your friend has ever tried to change you by making you feel like you are not good enough, you are in an emotionally unhealthy friendship. A real friend will never try to change you.

  1. Talks To You When They Want

Another sign of unhealthy friendships is that they are the ones to often make plans according to their wish, or they hang out with you as a backup option. It shows that they don’t care about you and only use you for their benefit. 

  1. Diminish Your Confidence

Ever felt excited about something but your friend killed your excitement? Suppose, you tell your friend that you are excited to go to your crush’s party, but your friend convinces you not to go, and later you find out that they went without you.

Toxic people usually wish to feel superior and treat you badly. It is important to understand these signs and leave such friendships. 

These emotionally unhealthy friendships affect your mental health in the long run. Hence, it is important to understand the toxic friendship signs.

Why Is It So Hard To Cut Off Toxic Friends?

It takes time to identify someone’s toxic behaviour because they are often very subtle with it. Toxic people emotionally manipulate you and even gaslight you into believing different things.

It is difficult to break off friendships because even if your friends are toxic, you genuinely care for them and wish to make it work.

Nevertheless, being in such friendships can destroy one’s self-esteem and confidence. Unhealthy friendships can affect one both emotionally and physically. Hence, it is important to cut off contact with such people.

How To Cut Off Toxic Friends?

It is easier said than done; toxic people can emotionally manipulate you and make you feel guilty. However, it is essential to break ties with them.

The first step is to realise that you are surrounded by toxic people and you deserve a better friendship.

Secondly, you need to confront your friend and talk about it. Tell them you don’t want to continue your friendship anymore as you aren’t happy with the dynamics. Share how they make you feel and clearly convey that you no longer wish to be friends.

If you don’t like confrontation, you can try avoiding them. Contact them less frequently and slowly make distance with them. Remove them from your social media, and stop hanging out with them. Limit your interactions and slowly drift apart.

Lastly, give yourself time to move on from the friendship. Friendship breakups can be hard too. You may often feel lonely if you’ve been cut off from a toxic friend group. However, it is better to be alone than surrounded by fake friends.


Friendship breakups are not easy, but it is important to know how toxic friends affect your mental health, and how to cut ties with them. Staying in an unhealthy friendship overall can affect your emotional and physical health.

It is easier said than done, cutting ties is difficult as toxic people are known to manipulate and gaslight easily. Nevertheless, you must realise to surround yourself with true friends who support and cheer for you.

By Shreya Bhatt

I am Shreya Bhatt, a content writer and creator who enjoys answering audiences' curiosity with her blogs. I graduated in 2023 with a bachelors in mass communication. I have always taken an immense interest in writing, and creating content. My first workshop about SEO is what piqued my interest in content writing, and I have been pursuing it ever since. I love to write about diverse topics, and enjoy researching and gathering information about something that is new to me. Although I graduated in 2023, I have over a year's experience in content writing. Personally, I love to travel, listen to music, and follow an active lifestyle. As a child, I often looked at Google to answer all my questions, and today as an adult I look to answer questions of others.

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