I had a friend I’d known since kindergarten. We grew up together, shared many memories and secret jokes, and were (at least I thought) “close.” But the friendship felt weird. Most conversations ended with me feeling bad. When I was going through a bad time, I actually hesitated to call her because I knew she wouldn’t listen. Eventually I decided it was a dead-end friendship. Do you have a friend like this?
Here are some signs that a friendship isn’t working for you. While you don’t have to cut ties, you can emotionally divest yourself so you can focus on relationships that are truly empowering and fulfilling.
Red flag: she does all the talking
She dominates the conversation, and even when you’re sharing something significant she shifts the topic so it becomes something about her. Who needs a narcissist friend?
She laughs off your problems
You’re bothered by something. She just tells you “it will be okay” and moves on. She wants all conversations to be light, happy, and bubbly—anything that’s serious makes her uncomfortable.
She flakes on your plans
She’s always canceling, or even when she’s there she’s rushing to go somewhere else.
She puts you down
Friends can fight, disagree, and sometimes need to say the painful truth, but that’s really different from someone who is plain and simple mean and critical. Compliments are laced with insults: “Oh, that haircut is great; it almost hides all the weight you gained.” Or she makes jokes at your expense, like telling an embarrassing story about you at a party just to get laughs from everyone else.
She bosses you around
She decides where you’ll meet up for dinner. She insists that you sign up with her for that zumba class, just so she can get a discount on her membership, even if she knows you’re shy about dancing in public.
She turns everything into a competition
She boasts about her accomplishments, shows off what she buys or does, and if you have something great to share she’ll make you feel that she has the same thing, if not better.
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