Top 5 Red Flags in Friendships

Olivia Durkee
Olivia Durkee

| 3 min read

Male and female friends walk together between classes in college.
Building and maintaining strong, supportive friendships is a key aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, not all friendships you make throughout your life are going to be right for you, and it’s important to be able to identify red flags within your friendships that might indicate that you are apart of an unhealthy or even toxic relationship.
Read more to learn about some of the key warning signs to be on the lookout for.
1. Lack of trust
Trust is the foundation of any healthy and supportive friendship. If you constantly feel as if you cannot confide in your friend or trust them with important information, it might be time for you to take a step back from the friendship and reevaluate your relationship with this individual.
2. Constant criticism
Friends should always try to uplift and support each other throughout life. If you notice a pattern of constant negative criticism, sarcasm or belittlement coming from your friend, it’s important to address the issue and not let it go ignored. Friends should always be a source of positivity, not negativity.
3. Jealousy and competition
Healthy and supportive friends should always be happy for your personal and professional successes in life and vice versa. If your friend frequently seems jealous or competitive, it might indicate underlying insecurities that they have that can lead to an unhealthy dynamic. Take time to acknowledge and discuss this issue with your friend to try and improve the relationship.
4. Disrespecting boundaries
Respecting each other’s boundaries is a crucial component to any healthy friendship. If your friend constantly crosses, disrespects or dismisses your personal boundaries, the friendship can easily become unhealthy and toxic for you.
5. Lack of accountability
None of us are perfect people, we all make mistakes and must learn from them. A healthy friendship involves taking responsibility for one’s actions. If your friend constantly deflects blame onto others or refuses to acknowledge their mistakes, it’s a red flag that they’re not willing to grow and change.

Understanding red flags

Recognizing and addressing the red flags in friendships can be crucial to your mental and physical well-being. While no relationship is ever going to be perfect, being aware of these warning signs can help you make rational choices about who you allow into your life and journey.
If you find yourself encountering these red flags, take the time to have an open and honest conversation with your friend about what’s going on and how you are feeling. Unfortunately, if the negative behaviors persist and continuously affect you, you may need to take a step back from this friendship and seek out more positive connections. Friendships are meant to contribute positively and joyously to our lives, so invest into those that bring you happiness, understanding and mutual growth.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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