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How to Know if Your Friend is Toxic

Ending a relationship stinks, and it may be even worse when you have to end a relationship with a friend. When you're young and just learning how to support your friends and what to expect from platonic relationships, it's easy to overlook potential problems, like narcissism, liars, bad secret keepers and Debbie Downers. As we age, however, knowing how to be a good friend should be fairly obvious. And when a friend consistently shows that she isn't willing or doesn't know how to do the things that good friends do, then it's time to make a change in your relationship. Here are a few ways to know if your friend is toxic. Friends should be happy for your accomplishments, and if you don't find that your buddy is happy for you - or worse, tries to one-up you every chance she gets - then that can be a relationship killer. So can the friend who never has anything positive to say. You might ask this Debbie Downer how she's doing and get a laundry list of everything wrong in her life in response.


Everyone has tough times, but it seems this friend is so absorbed in her own problems that it affects your mood. Plus, when you're having a hard time, this friend isn't the one to turn to - she's too wrapped up in her own depressing world. Most women enjoy a gossip session once in awhile, but if all your friend has to add to a conversation is the scuttlebutt among your circle, then she's a bona fide gossip. She certainly can't be trusted with your secrets, so it's best to keep this one at arm's length. When you're weeding out your friends and foes, it helps to consider quality over quantity. And if you have a toxic friend who you feel like you don't need to cut off, then simply restrict your activities together. Your tennis partner, for example, may be lots of fun on the court but not so great off of it. Limit your contact to just the activities you have in common - you don't have to feel obligated to hang out any more than you want to.