Good friends are awesome, but toxic friends can make your life miserable.
In fact, an unhealthy friendship can be just as harmful as a bad romantic relationship.
Toxic friends can drag you down, undermine your self-esteem, and drain the joy from your life.
So, how do you know when it’s time to think about cutting someone out of your life?
Here are six types of toxic friend that won’t do your emotional health any favors:
1. The flaky friend:
Dropping out of plans, showing up late, and generally being unreliable are not cute quirks or character traits.
A flaky friend doesn’t respect your time, which suggests they don’t respect you.
They might even ditch your plans at the last minute for something or someone they think will be more exciting.
This kind of behavior hardly makes you feel valued, and it will decimate your self-esteem over time.
If someone has developed the habit of flaking on you, tell them that their behavior makes you feel as though they do not value your friendship.
You’ll soon find out how important you are to them.
2. The reckless friend:
Some people have a habit of engaging in wild or even dangerous behaviors on a regular basis and dragging their friends down in the process.
Maybe your friend drinks to excess every week, takes drugs regularly, has a lot of unprotected sex, or goes on mad spending sprees that leave them in debt – and wants you to join in.
This kind of behavior can be hard to watch, and you may also find it difficult to avoid bowing to peer pressure.
There’s nothing wrong with having fun, but emotionally stable, responsible adults usually make better friends than people who never moved past the teenage rebellion phase.
3. The energy vampire:
Do you have a friend who always leaves you feeling pessimistic, down, or completely drained?
If so, you may have an energy vampire on your hands.
These people love to talk about their problems.
They focus on everything that’s wrong in the world.
They are relentlessly cynical.
Energy vampires aren’t always aware of their own behaviors.
If one of their friends points out that they are a negative person, they might respond with genuine surprise.
It is possible for an energy vampire to learn new habits.
If you consider them a close friend, a frank conversation might help resolve the problem.
4. The attention-seeker:
Drama queens can be entertaining in small doses, but they quickly become tiring.
Attention-seekers will inflate even the smallest problems into a major crisis, start rumors, and post dramatic statuses on social media just to make others notice them.
Their behavior is often childish and embarrassing.
They often show reckless behaviors as well, which makes for an exhausting double-whammy.
5. The competitor:
A little competition is healthy, but some people take it to extremes.
A competitive friend will always want to have the best-paying job, the best-looking partner, the best grades, or even the most accomplished children.
Whenever you talk about yourself, they will jump in and start to boast about their latest achievements.
They can’t offer you a meaningful friendship because they will only see you as a potential rival.
6. The friend who doesn’t make the effort:
There’s no point in being friends with someone if it’s always up to you to set plans, keep a conversation going, and remind them three times that your birthday is coming up next month.
No friendship is perfectly balanced, but you should never be doing all the work.
A real friend will actually want to see you, and take steps to make it happen.
If you stop texting someone and they don’t seem to notice, it’s safe to say that it’s a one-sided relationship.
In some cases, just spending less time with a toxic friend will fix the situation.
If they have a lot of redeeming features, hang out with them occasionally and spend more time with people who make you feel good.
You’ll find that when you make friends with healthier people, toxic people will seem less attractive than ever.
If a friend is truly toxic, it’s best to remove them from your life completely.
Breaking up with a friend, especially if you have known them for a long time, can be upsetting.
You might need to give yourself time to mourn the friendship.
That’s totally normal.
The good news is that there are lots of emotionally stable, fun people who would love to be your friend. Get out there and find them!