12 Friendship Red Flags to be aware of

12 Friendship Red Flags to be aware of

Hey lovely ladies! Ever had that gut feeling about someone that's screaming "run for the hills"? Yeah, that's your intuition waving those red flags, saying, "Hey, maybe not the best fit for your inner circle." and we all know the relationship red-flags of romantic relationships. But friends can be pretty toxic too. Leaving you drained and unmotivated, rather than uplifted and supported. 

But sometimes, those warning signs aren't as clear as day. We might overlook them because we're caught up in the excitement or comfort of a friendship. Sometimes a friendship starts out all good - but slowly overtime it might change, especially then, as you’re already in it. It might become more difficult to spot the red-flags of a friendship. 

This almost goes without saying, but a kind reminder:  friendships should feel good, supportive, and up-lifting. But when they start showing these red flags, it's time to take notice. Let's chat about twelve of these red flags:

  1. Lack of Support: You know that feeling when you're bursting with excitement about something, but when you share it with your friend, it's like they're on mute? Yeah, not the best vibe. True friends should be there to celebrate your wins, big or small, and lend a shoulder during the tough times. It's not about expecting them to drop everything for you 24/7, but a little encouragement and support go a long way in nurturing a healthy friendship.
  2. Making It All About Them: Have you ever been in the middle of pouring your heart out about a problem you're facing, only to have your friend steer the conversation back to themselves? It's like trying to have a meaningful chat with a mirror sometimes. A balanced friendship is about give and take, where both parties feel heard and valued. So, if every conversation feels like a monologue starring your friend, it might be time for a gentle reality check.
  3. Overly Critical: Constructive criticism is one thing – we all need a friend who can give it to us straight when necessary. But when the feedback starts feeling more like a personal attack, it's time to raise an eyebrow. Friends should lift you up, not tear you down. If their words consistently leave you feeling small and unworthy, it might be worth reevaluating the dynamic of your friendship.
  4. Demanding “Yes” Friends: Imagine having to walk on eggshells around your friend because you're afraid of disagreeing with them. Yeah, not the most comfortable scenario, right? Healthy friendships thrive on open communication and mutual respect, which means it's okay to have differing opinions. If your friend expects you to be a yes-man or yes-woman at all times, it might be a sign of underlying control issues that need addressing.
  5. Acting Shady: Ah, the classic disappearing act or the ever-elusive friend who's a chameleon around different people. It's like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall – frustrating and futile. Trust is the foundation of any friendship, and when your friend's behavior leaves you feeling like you're constantly second-guessing their intentions, it's time to have a heart-to-heart. Transparency and authenticity should be non-negotiables in any healthy relationship.
  6. Competitive Vibes: Ever felt like your friend is secretly keeping score or trying to outshine you at every turn? It's like friendship turned into a silent game of one-upmanship, and nobody's winning. Healthy friendships are built on collaboration, not competition. If your friend's constant need to compare themselves to you leaves you feeling drained or undervalued, it might be time to have a candid conversation about boundaries and mutual respect.
  7. Treating Others Poorly: How they treat others says a lot about their character. It will also show you how they might treat you in case the circumstances change. If the type of energy that they give off to other people makes you feel uncomfortable, even if they treat you right, then you should take note of this. Of course, it might be circumstantial. You should decide if this behaviour is a dealbreaker to you. 
  8. Below-the-Belt Hits: Crossing boundaries by bringing up sensitive topics to hurt you. You know, sometimes you hear a remark and only later you start to think “ did they really say that?” and “i am sure they didn’t mean it that way”. Your friend should be clear about their intentions, and if they’re remarks leave you feeling a bit uneasy a bit too often, then you should trust your gut feeling… probably they are being unsupportive and indulging in jealous behaviour. 
  9. Belittling Your Dreams: Putting down your goals or dreams because of their own insecurities. We all have our own dreams and ambitions and they can be different from each other. But our friends should be here to support us on our own individual journeys and not make our dreams unimportant. 
  10. Allowing Gossip: Friends who let others talk negatively about you. You don’t have to have the expectation of your friends defending your every move, because they may not agree with something that you did or said.But there should be the expectation that they won’t allow someone to say negative things about you around them. When left unchecked, it leaves so many questions as to how they feel about you.
  11. Using You: Friendship feels more like a transaction than a genuine connection. You should flag the friendship when your ‘friend’ is only reaching out to you because you can provide them with something, or access to someone else. When assessing this friendship, you should ask yourself the question, would they still call me if I didn't have X or Y? 
  12. Encouraging Bad Behavior: Not supporting your efforts to grow or improve. We don’t want friends who are sabotaging us, not to become the best version of ourselves. We want friends who can push us towards healthy habits, help us reach our goals, and hold us accountable! 

These red flags aren’t about pointing fingers or feeling guilty. We've all been there! Sometimes, with grace and open communication, we can work through these issues. But other times, they're telling us it's time to reevaluate or even walk away.

Have you faced any of these red flags in your friendships? How did you handle it?

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