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Toxic Friends: 22 Types, 54 Signs & Ways to End Friendships that Hurt You

Toxic friends are the worst, but they tend to fly under the radar and avoid detection. Spot a toxic friendship and get the hell away! 

toxic friends

Having a toxic friend is immensely draining. Not only are you emotionally exhausted, but you may feel guilty about it as you review your increasingly toxic friendship.

Many toxic friends aren’t new and that’s the problem. We tend to be friends with these people for a long time before they become toxic or before we notice it.

Because this is someone you’re used to having in your life, it can be hard to spot the signs of a toxic friend. You get used to how they treat you and may even think it isn’t a problem because their toxic behavior has gone on for so long.

But, deep down, their manipulation, guilt-tripping, or flakiness gets to you and doesn’t add positivity to your life. [Read: 15 types of toxic friends who make you miserable and drag you down]

What is a toxic friend?

A toxic friend is just like a toxic boyfriend or girlfriend. They add more negativity to your life than anything else. You find yourself feeling annoyed with them, frustrated at them, or disrespected by them on a regular basis.

A toxic friend will not add value to your life. They may have in the past but for some reason or another, they are now draining your energy and emotional well-being. 

A toxic friend can make you feel guilty, make you feel bad about yourself, or even be jealous of you. [Read: Selfish people – 20 ways to spot and stop them from hurting you]

Types of friends to avoid

These toxic friends may seem like fun at times or even feel like thrilling risk-takers, but when the crap hits the fan, it’ll be you under it.

Avoid these types of friends like the plague.

1. The cheater

Many friendships have been crumpled and crushed because a best friend decided to hit on a friend’s romantic partner.

To avoid making best friends with this type, avoid the sneaky flirts, the sweet talkers, and generally, people who try flattering you and talking like you mean the world to them. [Read: Am I a bad friend? 16 bad friendship skills that push people away]

2. The competitor

Any kind of competition is healthy in every relationship. But when claws start to come out and things get extremely competitive between friends, things can get very ugly.

3. The leech

A friend who constantly borrows your stuff or money or depends too much on you is one that definitely needs to be avoided.

No one wants to be in a one-sided relationship. If all your friend does is take from you, without giving anything back in the friendship, then there’s no point in being friends anymore.

4. The copycat

Imitation is considered to be the sincerest form of flattery, but a friend who looks or behaves like your photocopy machine can be very scary. [Read: What is my purpose in life? 33 secrets to find meaning when you feel lost]

5. The shrink

All of us confide in our friends and ask for advice, but when your BFF starts acting like a paid shrink who always picks flaws in your life or relationships, it can get very annoying and depressing.

6. The selfish friend

This type of friend can go to any lengths for their benefit but behaves passively when you ask for help. [Read: How to deal with selfish friends and recognize the ones that hurt you]

7. The wild child

Dangerous and unstable is how you define this type. You usually get in trouble with this person or always end up having to save your friend from trouble. [Read: Frenemies – who they are, types, and 29 signs and ways to see and handle them]

8. The whiner

This type of friend is never satisfied with anything they have, and they spend all their time whining and grumbling about how the world is so darn unfair to them.

Stay away from this one, unless you want to get dragged down with them!

9. The mood killer

This friend intentionally or unintentionally kills the mood as soon as they enter into a conversation with you.

They always seem to find a flaw in anything you do or have, be it your clothes or your love life, and they make sure to let you know.

They are like the lone dark cloud hovering over you on a sunny day. [Read: Negative Nancy – what makes one, 18 traits, and ways to deal with their attitude]

10. The swinger

No, not that type of swinger! This friend is particularly difficult because their mood swings change from being nice to totally snappy in seconds without any provocation.

And this friend may just use you like a punching bag to express their feelings, be it frustrations or happiness. Who needs to be around someone whose moods swing like a pendulum? [Read: Bad friends – 25 types of friends you MUST unfriend from your life]

11. The manipulative user

Technically, these types of toxic friends are not really your friends at all. They only take the form of one because they have ulterior motives. They stick to you because you are a means to getting what they want. 

These types will butter you up so that you’ll be amicable to doing them favors but will dump you out once you served your purpose. [Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build lasting relationships]

12. The needy friend

Having a needy friend is like raising a kid. They depend on you for the most ridiculously basic things and refuse to learn how to do anything on their own.

Their neediness can range from a variety of aspects: from constant companionship, advice, reassurance, and sometimes financial support.

These types are dead weights that should be cut off from your life unless they learn how to be responsible for their own affairs.

13. The clingy possessive friend

Like the psycho boyfriend/girlfriend stereotype, this type of friend acts like you are their possession. You must be close by at all times because they need your full undivided attention.

They will be upset if you spend more time with your other friends, romantic partner, and even family. [Read: 23 secrets to set personal boundaries and guide others to respect them]

14. The drama queen

Drama queens create and revel in unnecessary drama from the people around them. They overreact to the most superficial of events and deliberately create conflict and tension just because they enjoy it.

Sometimes they create an issue even if the situation calls for none just to elicit reactions from others. [Read: Attention seeking behavior – why some people go looking for drama]

15. The commentator

These are the types of toxic friends that have to comment about everything, even if it’s none of their business. It would be great if some of their comments were positive, but you’ll find that most of what they say is critical.

They are often armed with weakly formed opinions and would probably die if they spent a day without saying something about anything.

16. The gossip-monger

The gossip-monger, as the name implies, carries and produces gossip 24/7. If you have them around at a gathering, you won’t be able to have a normal conversation and instead will waste your time being bombarded with unverified stories about other people’s affairs.

You need to kick these people out of your life as soon as possible as they might be spreading gossip about you as well. [Read: How to be less critical – 15 reasons why you judge and how to stop it]

17. The flaky friend

This type of toxic friend is notorious for frequent last-minute cancellations on you. This can be frustrating because it shows that your flaky friend has no sense of commitment to spending time with you and places no value on the time you allot for them. [Read: Got flaky friends? Here are the causes and when it’s time to ditch them]

18. The stagnating friend

These are the types of toxic friends that never change their ways, have no dreams, and have zero motivation to succeed.

They are usually the happy-go-lucky types you met during high school who never grew out of their adolescent mindset.

19. The pushy domineer

They’re known as the “queen bee,” the “alpha,” or the “leader of the pack.” Essentially, they decide everything that their group of friends should be doing, thinking, or liking.

They often use peer pressure to make you do things that you’re not comfortable with or use guilt to chastise you for having a different opinion.

They are essentially bullies disguised as your “friend.” [Read: Emotional bullying – how to recognize a bully and stand your ground]

20. The one-upper

One-uppers can’t stand not being the star of the group. If one of their supposed friends tells them that they bought new stuff, went on a vacation, or achieved some form of success, their immediate reaction is to dampen the mood by saying that they’ve bought, traveled to, or achieved something better.

These types assert their superiority by being the center of attention at all times. They cannot let others have the glory of the moment.

21. The know-it-all

Differences in opinion occasionally happen between friends which may lead to some disagreements. But at the end of the day, true friends respect each other’s differences.

However, this is someone who shoves their own opinion down your throat, and they preach it as fact. A friend like this will lead to constant debates, making you defend your opinion at all times. [Read: 18 honest reasons why you don’t have friends that care about you]

22. The backstabber

This one is a no-brainer. Backstabbing is the greatest sin a friend can commit. It merits the complete dissolution of the friendship.

Would you dare call a person a friend if you find out that they constantly badmouth you behind your back? [Read: Toxic relationship – what it is, 107 signs, causes and types of love that hurt you]

What causes a friend to be toxic?

Well, it could be anything and everything. It often comes down to feeling self-conscious or jealous, neither of which is any excuse for their behavior.

It might be that they’ve been betrayed by a friend in the past and they’ve put a huge wall up. Whatever it is, don’t spend time considering it.

Rather than trying to work out why a friend has turned toxic, it’s far better to focus on what you’re going to do about it. Don’t stay in a toxic friendship that makes you suffer; that’s really not the point of having friends at all. [Read: Emotional baggage – what it is, types, causes, 27 signs, and steps to put it down]

How toxic friendships affect you

It’s easy to think that you can just ignore a toxic friend and everything will be fine. But that’s not the case.

Toxic friendships can erode away at your happiness slowly over time, and you won’t realize the damage the whole situation has done until you look back and realize how far you’ve fallen.

Toxic friendships are damaging. Let’s take a look at exactly how. [Read: How to reconnect with old friends and rebuild your lost friendships]

1. You feel lonely and isolated

When you know that the person you’re supposed to call your friend is nothing of the sort, it’s hard not to feel lonely and isolated from everyone around you. In fact, that’s exactly how they want you to feel.

2. Toxic friendships are stressful

They’re so, so stressful! You’ll be outraged one minute and feel bad about it the next. You won’t know which way is up or down.

Maybe your friend knows exactly what they’re doing, or maybe they don’t. Either way, it’s time to leave this toxic friendship. [Read: How to reduce stress – 17 fastest hacks to a calmer and happier life]

3. You don’t feel supported

This isn’t a real friendship and you can’t rely upon your so-called friend to be there for you when you need them. As such, you’ll feel totally unsupported in everything you do.

4. Your self-confidence and self-esteem take a hit

The most toxic of friends want to strip you of your confidence because that makes them feel better. Not a great friendship, right? It’s also very easy to feel this way when someone you thought was a friend does nothing but drag you down.

5. You blame yourself for their behavior

They’re gaslighting you and you can’t see it. It’s classic toxic friendship behavior.

You’ll start to feel like it’s all your fault that they’re acting the way they are when in reality, it’s got nothing to do with you at all. [Read: How to stop feeling guilty and finally start living for you]

6. You often feel off-balance

And how could you not? You don’t know which way is up or down. Is this person your actual friend or are they a fraud?

7. Your other friendships suffer

You’re so caught up in the negativity and toxicity of this particular ‘friendship’ that the other good ones around you are neglected. As such, it’s what this person wants; they’re isolating you from those who are a good and positive influence on you. [Read: Never make someone a priority when you’re only an option – the truth]

The signs of a toxic friend

To remove a toxic friendship from your life and move forward with a positive outlook, you need to be able to spot the signs you’ve got someone toxic in your life.

Knowing how to spot the signs of a toxic friend will help you to realize why you have been feeling resentful or down lately and help you decide what to do about it.

1. They’re bitter

A bitter friend can become toxic very quickly. If a friend is jealous of you for any reason, it can come between your friendship. Whether they are upset you are in a relationship while they’re single or that you got promoted and they have been in the same position for years, bitterness can take over.

A friend who is jealous will resent your successes rather than celebrate them. This can make you doubt yourself over time and even cause you to hold back so they feel better about themselves.

2. They’re always negative

You want people in your life who bring light and positivity. Surround yourself with friends that encourage you, not ones that second guess you. You want a friend to support you, not doubt you.

Being around someone so negative can drag you right down to the floor.

3. They tell you what you want to hear

We all have acquaintances that tell us what we want to hear. This could be a coworker or mutual friend that doesn’t want to get into it so they nod along with you. But, a true friend will tell you what you need to hear, even if, especially if, you won’t like it.

If a friend doesn’t want to bother saying something that might upset you, they may not care as much as a friend that would risk you being upset with them to ensure you’re happy. [Read: How to be a good friend – 49 traits and friend codes that define a real pal]

4. They’re always late

We are all late sometimes. But if you have a friend that is constantly late, they are not appreciative of your time. A sign of a toxic friend is someone that doesn’t feel bad for making you wait.

5. They often cancel or bail on plans

Again, we all cancel once in a while to stay in and binge-watch TV, but if a friend has been continuously bailing on plans, especially at the last minute, they are toxic. 

A friend like this can make you question yourself. You wonder if you did something to upset them and ask yourself why they may not want to see you. In reality, it has nothing to do with you.

6. Their actions and words don’t match

This can go for many situations. Maybe they say they’ll be at your party but don’t show up. Maybe they say they care, but when you really need them, they are nowhere to be seen.

You rely on someone you trust and expect something, only to be let down. Going through that, especially repeatedly, can cause trust issues.

7. They belittle you

A little teasing between friends is harmless, but when they push the buttons that really hurt you, they are no good for you. A toxic friend will metaphorically hit you below the belt.

They don’t want to tease you but want your self-confidence to waiver. That’s a truly toxic friendship. [Read: Why do narcissists ignore you, your texts, and do the selfish things they do]

8. They expect you to pay

If you are happy to help out a friend at dinner or for coffee, that is so sweet of you, but if you are paying every time you go out with one person, they may be using you. Even if they aren’t doing it directly, they don’t care enough to say anything.

This person will likely promise to pay you back or offer to get the check next time, or even change the subject or leave the room when the bill arrives. [Read: Fair-weather friends – 20 signs your friend doesn’t care about you]

9. They spread lies about you or others

A friend that gossips to you will often gossip about you to others. If you are uncomfortable with the types of things this person says about their coworkers or even other friends, they are probably saying those same things about you behind your back. 

10. They only talk about themselves

This is one that can really make you feel emotionally drained. If you meet up with a toxic friend and leave feeling empty or confused, this may be why.

Toxic friends often catch up to brag about themselves or just talk about themselves. Every time you bring something up about your life, they will turn the conversation back to them almost immediately. [Read: When and how to end a friendship if they’re toxic and holding you back]

11. They don’t lift you up

Our friends should inspire us and encourage us to be better. A friend that has no investment in your success or happiness may not be actively toxic but think of it as a slow leak. 

A subtle sign of a toxic friend is a lack of interest in your life. 

12. They aren’t there for you

When you think about the signs of a toxic friend, they are the absent ones. Friends don’t just show up to celebrate when times are good, they show up when things are bad.

A toxic friend will be there for the good stuff but disappear when you’re going through something like a job loss, a breakup, or even a death in the family.

13. They don’t appreciate you

Everyone shows appreciation differently. Some show it with words, others with gifts, or actions, but some don’t at all.

If you find yourself driving a friend to the airport, investing in a thoughtful holiday gift for them, but they didn’t even reach out when you had your appendix out, they are not equally involved in the friendship which makes it toxic for you.

14. They hold grudges

Friendships go through ups and downs. You may fight. You may not talk for a week. But true friends find their way back and are stronger for it.

A toxic friend will throw your mistakes in your face. They will bring up the worst thing you’ve done, nearly blackmailing you to get something they want. [Read: Is a friend using you? 40 signs and bold ways to confront and handle them]

15. They judge you

A judgmental friend is one of the most toxic you can have in your life. If you do something they don’t approve of, they won’t support you and will make it extremely clear. They’re likely to keep bringing up how much they don’t agree too.

There’s no room for judgment here and if there is, it’s a toxic friendship.

16. They make you feel bad about yourself

You should leave a hang out with friends feeling confident and happy. But if a friend leaves you feeling bad about yourself, that is no friend. 

A friend shouldn’t make you want to curl up in a ball and cry. [Read: How to make someone feel bad – 15 nice and not-so-nice ways that hurt]

17. They make you hold back

Friends are people you can be yourself around. A toxic friend is someone you feel nervous around. You may hold back parts of your personality or even not tell them things because of how they’ll react.

You should not have to walk on eggshells around a true friend. [Read: How to get rid of a toxic friend – make them walk away for good]

18. They make you tired

A toxic friend is like a toxic fume. They seep into your pores, mouth, and nose until slowly you are ready to collapse. They drain you of all your energy physically and emotionally until you are too tired to stand up for yourself.

19. They think they’re better than you

A toxic friend may not openly bash you and your lifestyle, style, or anything about you. Instead, they may just brag about themselves. 

Whether this is due to their own low self-esteem or a truly large ego, if a person boasts about their amazing life with the intention to make you feel bad about yours, it is a sign of a toxic friend. 

20. They sabotage you

A friend will give you a pep talk before an important interview or first date. A toxic friend will bring up your biggest insecurity or most recent failure to psych you out.

A toxic friendship is so damaging but sabotage shows a real disregard for you as a person. [Read: Fake friends – 42 signs and ways to tell them apart from real friends who care]

21. They embarrass you often

Good-natured teasing, trash-talking, and banter are pretty common types of interactions with friends. However, true friends know the right place and time to do this and won’t cause embarrassment.

Deliberately humiliating a person you consider your friend in public is a big unforgivable slight and a form of bullying. [Read: How to deal with negative people and stop them sapping your energy]

22. They’re super needy

Instead of a friend, you find yourself with a child to take care of. Needy friends are the most toxic type. They are stressful and exhaustive to keep around.

A slight mistake or the idea of responsibility will easily bring them down and need you for constant reassurance or company. They rely on others too much without taking personal responsibility for their own needs.

23. They lack empathy and sensitivity

When it comes to knowing how to tell if a friend is toxic, keep in mind that empathy is the first thing we extend to someone experiencing pain and distress. As a friend, we are compelled to extend this further to our friends than anyone else.

Toxic friends, on the other hand, can’t seem to take a hint that their friend is experiencing loss, depression, or is visibly struggling with life. They will make insensitive comments and act as if nothing is happening around them. [Read: Reasons why empathy is important in a relationship]

24. They don’t listen to good advice

They keep making the same mistake over and over again. For some reason, they don’t listen to good advice and even if you push your patience to great lengths, they still stick to their old ways and refuse to change.

As much as it pains us to see them suffer, you shouldn’t be dragged down by people who shoot themselves in the foot.

25. They blab about things shared in confidence

Failing to keep a secret is one thing. Spreading information that you shared in confidence is a serious breach of trust. A friend who deliberately breaks their pledge of confidentiality will be a person you must constantly watch and be wary of, keeping you in a perpetual state of paranoia.

The only logical choice? Stay away from untrustworthy friends.

26. They’re moody and inconsistent

Like a rollercoaster, they switch quickly between emotions of happiness, sadness, and hostility. They’re quite stressful to deal with because you can’t predict how they will respond to different situations.

A toxic friend’s inconsistent mood is always a threat to an otherwise cheerful environment. You feel you walk around eggshells when they’re around due to their emotional volatility. [Read: 15 types of toxic friends who make you miserable and drag you down]

27. They encourage you to make bad decisions

A real friend will never sabotage their friend with bad advice. However, you’ll sometimes be unlucky enough to be friends with a person who’s known for being a bad influence.

These types are typically happy-go-lucky. They avoid the realities of adult life and responsibility. They basically live in the moment without a care for the consequences and have a knack for impulsivity.

28. They don’t want you to achieve anything

Real friends encourage you to become the best version of yourself even if you surpass them. On the other hand, toxic friends will drag you down to a state of complacency until you realize it’s too late.

They have no clear ambitions and never dare to plan for their future. These are types that end up freeloading from you in the future.

The 3 R’s of breaking away from a toxic friendship

If the points above helped you to identify a toxic personality in your life, you have some difficult decisions to make. After all, on some level, you do enjoy spending time with this person. Otherwise, you wouldn’t consider them a friend at all!

You may have several years of shared history and hilarious inside jokes, and it can be hard to take steps away from that. Each friendship is different, and it is ultimately up to you to decide how you intend to proceed! [Read: Being taken for granted? 71 BIG signs, why it happens, and ways to stop them]

Breaking away comes down to the 3 R’s.

1. Reframing

Now that you’ve recognized that your friendship is toxic, you may not need to do anything else! For some people, it is enough to realize that the friendship is not quite as healthy as they may have thought.

Once you understand this, it can be easier to not invest quite as much emotion in your toxic friend’s drama. And if you don’t expect them to take an interest in your life, you will not be disappointed if they won’t!

Perhaps, reframing your understanding of this relationship is all you need to do, and this new perspective will protect you as you continue the friendship.

2. Restructuring

You don’t think it’s a great idea to continue it the way it is, but you don’t want to give up on the years of memories? It might be time for a frank discussion with your toxic friend.

Sometimes, an honest conversation can go a long way in fixing unequal relationships. For all you know, your friend is probably completely unaware of how they have been treating you!

Be sure to have this conversation face-to-face. While it is a little more intimidating, miscommunications are far less likely to happen in person than over text! If the conversation goes well, your toxic friendship may quickly transition into a healthy friendship that is fulfilling for both, your friend and you.

[Read: Losing a friend – 30 ways to face the pain of best friends drifting away]

3. Releasing

Unfortunately, sometimes once a friendship is identified as toxic, it becomes undeniably clear that you must move on from the friendship. The end of a friendship can be as hard, or harder, than a romantic breakup!

After all, you have spent years together going through life’s ups and downs, and it can be hard to adjust to a world without a person you’ve been so close to! However, if the friendship is truly toxic, removing the toxic person from your life entirely can be a freeing experience.

What is important to remember if you are taking a step this drastic is that you have to consciously release the person from your life. This doesn’t mean engaging in dramatic arguments and holding on to resentment.

If you want to remove the negative influence that this person has on your life, you need to let them go completely, and that includes any lingering negative feelings you may have about them.

How to get rid of toxic friends

Getting rid of a toxic friend is simple enough when you know why they are toxic. We’ve talked about the 3 R’s to move away, but perhaps you need some practical pointers to get this person out of your life for good.

After all, a toxic friendship will never bring you anything but misery in the end.

1. Refuse to acquiesce

Toxic people live by one general rule. What is good for them, is good for everyone. Typically, it is easier just to let them have what they want than to demand or even ask for something else.

If you refuse to go along with what they demand, suggest going somewhere else, or just say “no,” you will be surprised at how quickly they vacate. You won’t have to get rid of them. You won’t ever see them again. [Read: Ghosting a friend – the only reasons when it’s okay to ghost them]

2. Disagree with them

Toxic people only tolerate one thing: that they are right. If you disagree with a toxic person, it is like throwing gas on a fire.

Not used to having someone not follow along, if you try to tell them they are wrong, you won’t have to get rid of them. They will get rid of you so quickly that your head will spin.

3. Put your needs first

If you want to get rid of a toxic person, then put your own needs first. What you will notice about a toxic friend is that you always leave them wondering why on earth you let them win, why you didn’t say something, and why you sacrificed your day when they didn’t appreciate it.

If you want to get rid of them, refuse to be their punching bag or tagalong. They will find a new follower. Stop worrying about how to get rid of them. Just start worrying about your own happiness and the rest will take care of itself. [Read: Nothing makes me happy – secrets to make happiness your default state]

4. Stop them talking badly about others

Toxic people LOVE to be mad at someone. There is always a target of their anger and angst. If you want to get rid of them, then stop feeding the monster.

They won’t like it very much when their dastardly plan isn’t working. They will find a new conspiratorial partner. The chances are very good that if you stick up for someone that they are mad at, you will be the next target, sure. But the best thing you can hope for is that they will get mad and ghost you.

5. Question them

Toxic people don’t like to be discovered or called out. Instead of just accepting what they say, question if it is real and how they know so. They are used to people just going along and taking what they have to say as “the word.”

If you question their belief system, why they do things they do, or why they behave the way that they do, then trust us, they will leave you in the dust.

6. Introduce your parasite to a new host

If you want to lose your toxic parasite, find a more suitable host. Some people live off the misery of others, so find someone ripe for a toxic person to feed.

We are not suggesting that you set them up with someone who will be hurt by being their friend the way that you have. Maybe find another toxic person. Misery truly does love company, and toxic loves more toxic.

They can sit and hate one another all day long. If you find someone deserving and just as poisonous, they will likely make a fine pair.

7. Constantly ask them for help

It isn’t enough to ask them to help you out once. Even a toxic friend helps every once in a while. If you start to act like them and overdo it, then they drop you like a bad habit.

Don’t stop with a simple ride somewhere. Set up a schedule of all the things that you need from them for a week. Soon you find they stop answering your calls or your phone stops ringing. You will be rid of them for good.

8. Become friends with people they don’t like

Toxic people decide who they like and who they really don’t. If you want to get rid of them, then make good friends with someone who is on their “out” list.

They won’t like that you choose to disobey by being friends with someone on their “naughty” list. Soon they won’t want to have anything to do with you. [Read: How to recognize and end toxic relationships]

9. Don’t be afraid

Often, we maintain friendships with toxic people because we are afraid that if we don’t, there will be a reprisal. Whatever you must go through to get rid of them is better than staying stuck in their awful web.

The good news is even if you become one of their targets this week, soon enough, they find someone else worthy of their anger and hatred, and you will be history.

10. It’s okay to want to give them a second chance… but it probably isn’t a good idea

This person has probably been in your life for a while and you’ve no doubt got some good memories of your time together. So, it’s normal that maybe you’ll want to return to the good times by giving them a second chance.

But know this—they will not change, and it’s very likely that you’ll end up back at square one. [Read: Signs your rocky relationship deserves a second chance]

11. Take time for yourself

If someone is sucking the life out of you, it’s important to take a step back and focus on yourself. They won’t like it, but that’s not your problem.

Do the things you love, spend time with people who make you smile; just focus on number one.

12. Set boundaries

Having boundaries will help you to deal with the toxic friendship you’ve found yourself in. This could be a set amount of time you’re willing to spend with this person before you make your excuses and walk away. It could also be only taking so much negativity from them.

Whatever your boundaries are, stick to them. [Read: 23 secrets to set personal boundaries and guide others to respect them]

13. Practice ahead of time and be direct

If you’re going to have a conversation with your toxic friend, practice it beforehand. You might find that you start stumbling over your words or they manipulate you into not doing what you say you’re going to do.

If you practice first, you’ll be more confident. That way, you can make sure that whatever you say, it’s direct and clear.

14. Think carefully before getting back in touch

If you’ve spent time away from this person, think VERY carefully before getting back in touch. Remember, they won’t change and it’s likely that your friendship won’t either. Do you really want to go back to that?

15. Open up to others

Find someone you can trust and talk about what you’re going through. They will be able to support you in walking away from the friendship and will give you strength when you are upset about everything that’s going on. [Read: Communication techniques to finally get them to open up to you]

16. The mutual friends’ problem

If you have mutual friends, you might find yourself in a sticky situation. The best thing to do is to spend time away from everyone for a while and focus on time with those who aren’t associated with your toxic friend.

Then, talk to your mutual friends and explain that while you want to remain friends, you don’t want to know about your old friend, or have anything repeated back to them. If they’re true, they’ll understand. [Read: Toxic people – 48 warning signs and the best ways to deal with them]

How to tell a friend they are toxic

You can talk to the person and hope they hear you out and work on their behavior. You have to be hesitant here because many people who are toxic will get defensive. Others may just need a wake-up call.

So, how can you tell them that their behavior is on the toxic side? Basically, you need to be honest. Avoid using blame language, like “you always,” or “you make me…” and use terms like “I feel…” instead.

It’s not wise to come right out and tell them you think they’re toxic but point out the behaviors that are troublesome to you and leave it to them to take it how they well. In the end, they’ll either do better, or they’ll leave.

[Read: 24 honest ways to make up with a friend if you don’t want to lose them]

The signs of a toxic friend can be both subtle or obvious, but whatever they are and however you spot them, it is important to address them.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...