7 Friendship Red Flags You Should Beware Of

(If you can relate to any of these signs, please do not take this feedback as an attack on your or others’ character. This article was meant to be a self-improvement guide for those of you who have been feeling a little stuck.)

Toxic friendships are just as insidious as toxic relationships, and sometimes, they can be hard to be detected. But no matter how distressing loneliness may be, it’s even worse when you attempt to fill the void with the wrong individuals.

Nonetheless, we have guidance for that. This article will point out 7 friendship red flags you should beware of. Keep in mind, having any one of these traits in your friend is reason enough to reconsider the friendship.

1. They make you feel inferior.

Do you ever get the statement, “You’re too sensitive, I was just kidding!” after being hurt by them? Surely, pleasant joking may be considered mutual entertainment. However, daily humiliation at the hands of a close one is not an instance of ‘special connection,’ but it is considered as abuse. Also, if they are nice to you one-on-one, but in a group setting start dropping insults in your direction – it’s definitely a red flag.

2. You feel mentally exhausted after communicating with them.

This subtle indication can tell a lot about your compatibility with them. Even the most minor interaction with them depletes your energy, implying that this relationship is unbalanced. If you relate to this, it’s important to ask yourself why you drain yourself for their sake. You shouldn’t limit your life in the name of a fragmented friendship.

3. They are narcissistic.

This is a dominant trait in individuals who regard themselves as superior to everyone else, hence the term ‘narcissistic’. These people consider only their needs and if they ever speak about you, it’s usually how great they are compared to you. In other words, to them, you don’t exist unless it helps them get something from you.

4. They can be vindictive.

Vindictiveness is a response of anger when someone’s aggressive wishes aren’t met or ignored. Some friends might feel that way if their expectations for how you should behave around them aren’t being satisfied – even though what they expect may put a strain on your relationship. However, once you become aware of this trait, it’s advisable to avoid them in the future for the sake of your own wellbeing.

5. They are self-centered.

Friends who lack empathy and never apologize after hurting others don’t care about how their actions affect you. Therefore, they won’t understand your point of view because they think it’s not even worth considering.

6. They don’t respect boundaries.

Does this friend force you to do something you’re uncomfortable with, even though you’ve repeatedly told them “no”? If a friend acts pushy with you, either by asking too many personal questions or touching you inappropriately, this might indicate they do not understand boundaries and it shows they don’t really care about your feelings either.

7. They are manipulative.

Most people resort to manipulation when they want to get what they want at the expense of their feelings. It’s very common for them to use guilt trips or flattery tricks that lack straightforwardness and honesty, which denotes they don’t care about their own integrity either.

Friends are supposed to be your mirror, reflecting your image back to you. However, if that reflection is distorted – then it’s time to identify the harmful nature of your relationship with them.  It’s essential to understand that a friend is meant to be your “shoulder to lean on” and not someone who drains you of your energy. Your close relationships should never feel like a burden, otherwise, it means you’re carrying too much weight. Do you have more to share with us with your experience? Leave it down in the comment section below. Thanks for reading! Till next time!


  1. Headway Media. (2021, July 30). 7 red flags in friendships. https://headway.media/7-red-flags-in-friendships/

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