5 signs you’re being the toxic friend

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How many articles have you read or social media threads have you come across that bring awareness to toxic relationships? You know, the ones that talk about “the importance of detoxing yourself from toxic friendships” or that “self-care also means having healthy relationships.” Personally, I see them everywhere. And I totally understand why, they are important things to know. You absorb all this information about “toxic traits in people” and that they could only bring negativity into your life. Unfortunately, to avoid the people with these “toxic traits” isn’t so black and white. If that were the case, then we would have to find a way to avoid ourselves, because we are just as capable of being that toxic person we so heavily try cut out of our lives.

I know that it’s probably not easy to hear that we can be toxic ourselves. A little self-absorbed every now and then? Sure. But toxic? That’s a bit of a stretch. Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we are absolutely capable of being “the toxic friend.” Sure we all have our noticeable flaws, that we can pretty easily point out. But when these flaws have a negative reaction with our interactions with others, it can get pretty toxic really quickly. So to help avoid this, Fashion Fundamentals has come up with five signs to look out for pointing out that you may actually be the “toxic” one in the friendship.

You give completely unwanted advice

Here’s the thing about unwanted advice — it’s unwanted. Now I understand that it may be coming from a genuine place, but if no one asked for your thoughts, then don’t give it. You may even be under the impression that your opinion is helpful and your criticism is taken into consideration. Well trust me, it’s not. From someone who has been on the receiving end of constant unsolicited advice, it’s more irritating than anything. When it’s done all the time, it eventually brings a toxicity to the environment and can totally ruin good vibes. So the next time you’re having a conversation and feel the need to put your “two cents” in, be aware that what you’re doing may be more harmful than helpful.

You’re the queen of gossip

Leave the gossiping for the Upper East Side. Many of us had our moments where we talked behind someone’s back knowing that’s that we shouldn’t — I know I have. But if you find yourself being someone who constantly gossips about others, then that’s a problem. It not only is a toxic trait towards yourself, but can bring a negative energy to the friend group. If you have something to say about someone then be honest about it and say it to their face. Or you can just follow rule number one of social interactions, “if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

You’re not there when a friend is in need

A true friend always shows up, so if you don’t, there’s a problem. There’s nothing wrong with calling a rain check every now and then. Life can be hectic and we genuinely have other priorities. But if you tend to always bail hanging out or find an excuse on why you can’t be there when a friend needs you, then that is a totally different situation. It’s even worse if you expect your friends to always be there for you when you need something. Friendship is a two way street. If you want your friends to be there for you then expect to be there for them as well. It’s not worth ruining an amazing friendship because you don’t know how to show up.

You’re not happy when others do well

Imagine this, a friend comes up to you super excited because they just received news that they got the internship of their dream. Now what’s your reaction? If it’s annoyance, boredom, jealousy or anything in between, then that’s not a good sign. A healthy friendship should mean you have genuine happiness towards the success of your friends. Sure it’s understandable if you have a little bit of jealousy, especially when you are going after the same opportunities. But jealousy should never interfere with your relationships. If you sincerely can’t find it in yourself to be happy when others are succeeding, then that is definitely a toxic trait to be aware of and start working on.

You make everything about yourself

When you’re talking to a friend, do you find yourself steering the conversation towards yourself? Or maybe a friend is talking about something serious that they are going through, and you start talking about all the personal experiences you went through to try to relate. In all friend groups, there are always those people that tend to talk more than others. And there’s no perfect measurement of how much a conversation should be focused on any one individual. But if you notice that your discussions are predominantly about yourself, then that’s definitely a sign of toxicity. Remember, healthy friendships are all about balance. Make sure that you’re checking in with your friends and actively listening to what they have to say.

Janelle Sessoms

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