Are they your friends or bullies? Red flags of a friendship you shouldn’t ignore

Nothing feels worse than when friendships turn toxic. Here are 6 red flags of friendship you know means that they are not your friend.
Arushi Bidhuri Published: 21 Dec 2022, 17:30 pm IST
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There’s always that one friend you love. You share everything with them, and they feel like the most important person you can confide in. Having that one best friend makes you feel lucky but what if that friendship is one-sided? Nothing feels worse than when you do more, and the other person laughs at you. Whether you are in a relationship or it’s a simple friendship, it is important to know who is a real friend and who is the bully.

Are they your friends or bullies?

Any relationship can turn toxic over years, even friendship. While we all need friends in our lives who support us through the vicissitudes of life but sometimes these friends are the people you need to get rid of. If you have been feeling that your friends are not what you thought they’d be, you have to move on for your own sake.

Also Read: Leave toxic friends aside, and bond with these 5 types of friends instead

However, if you are still confused if they are your friends or bully, you have to look out for these signs that can clearly help you differentiate between your friend and foe.

red flags of friendship
Red flags of friendship you shouldn’t ignore. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Red flags of friendship

Health Shots asked Dr Kersi Chavda, Consultant Psychiatry, PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC, Mahim, Mumbai, to point out some of the most common red flags of friendship you should know. He highlights the following points to be mindful of:

1. They put you down every chance they get

Raise your hand if your friends call you “too sensitive” every time you are disrespectful to them. One of the most common traits of a bully is that they will keep you guessing. You don’t know if you should be offended or play along. If you have been insulted one too many times, you need to tell them that what they’re doing is hurtful and not acceptable.

2. You feel drained after interacting with them

If you are not an introvert but still feel exhausted every time you feel drained after spending time with your friends, you need to rethink things. Your friends are supposed to bring out the best in you. You should feel energetic and refreshed after talking to your friends, not emotionally drained.

friendship breakups
Red flags of friendship you shouldn’t ignore. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Competitive behaviour

Healthy competition is not bad, but when it becomes a pain, you need to know that it is not healthy. If your friend feels like they always have to be a step ahead of you or needs to prove that they are the best, you need to reevaluate your friendship before it becomes toxic.

4. They don’t respect your boundaries

Boundaries are crucial in relationships. In friendships, you may feel you can sustain yourself through it all, but certain boundaries apply. Boundaries keep relationships healthy and help you connect with the other person.

Also Read: Set emotional boundaries in relationships for your mind’s sake, please!

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5. They don’t reciprocate your energy

When people don’t want to continue being friends with anyone, they try to push them away by not reciprocating their energy. Do they never make plans? Are they always busy? Do they sound unenthusiastic? Do they ignore your calls and texts? If yes, you need to know they don’t want to continue this. Any relationship, including a friendship, is a two-way street and requires efforts from both sides.

Red flags of friendship you shouldn’t ignore. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. They find you silly or outdated

Do they often come off as condescending? Do they often refute your ideas, saying that “you’re being silly?” If yes, it is a BIG red flag that they do not respect your opinions, or care about them. Anyone who makes you feel silly or outdated should not be your friend.

Dr Chavda ends the discussion on the note, “If a friendship feels as if the entire dynamic is one-sided. If it also seems like whatever you give just isn’t good enough, take that as a sign. Toxic friends may be pessimistic, hurtful, or manipulative within the relationship. They are just not worth it!”

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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