These signs that prove you have a toxic friendship

Some friendships, whether recent or decades old, are not always good and benevolent. A psychologist and a psychoanalyst help identify a friendship that is hurting.

Friends who send spars, derogatory remarks to which we must be held accountable, which are conspicuous by their absence when we need them, but demand our full availability … to his duties as a friend, to make mistakes or to hurt the other, repetition of certain behaviors may raise questions. An imbalance in the relationship can even prove a so-called “toxic” friendship.

The expression may scare, but in reality it simply sums up a bond with the other that no longer satisfies us or even makes us suffer. It can be a source of discomfort, discomfort or impact that one of the two people is feeling. Certain obvious or insidious signs make it possible to see things more clearly and make status with oneself.

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An inequality in the relationship

Giving a lot to the other while receiving less back, or even nothing receiving, proves that the relationship maintained with the other is not healthy and this imbalance leads to the two protagonists losing weight. “Reciprocity, reciprocity, is essential in a friendship,” explains Marion Blique, clinical psychologist and author of I left toxic relationships (1). You need to feel respected and supported as much as you respect and support the other. If the friendship is too unbalanced, it quickly becomes a burden. “

A change in behavior

By imitation, through experiences, or simply because we learn from others, it is quite normal for some of our attitudes or our way of functioning to change. If these changes are positive, so much the better. On the other hand, beware of words or actions that are contrary to our values. “Some people can push the other towards dangerous paths,” comments Danièle Brun (2), psychoanalyst and professor emeritus at the University of Paris. We can follow them because we have the impression of distancing ourselves from what we knew before, the impression of detaching ourselves from what we were used to, but we must be careful not to at all costs transform the image we have of ourselves.

Be careful not to transform the image you have of yourself at all costs

danièle brun, psychoanalyst

Overinvestment of the relationship

Good gesture to defend one or one of his friends. But constantly defending it even in the face of constructive criticism from those around it, or putting it on a pedestal, must alarm. “In a friendly relationship, there is always affect that comes into play and sometimes even passion,” says psychoanalyst Danièle Brun. It is very difficult to break free, to step back and see that one idealizes the other without concessions. ” The idealization of the other poses a problem. “It’s important to see people as they are, with their qualities, but also their faults and not to deny or minimize the hurtful things they can do,” Marion Blique emphasizes. Toxic people often have the art of understanding what one wants to hear , so you can exercise their influence. “

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An excess of negativity

Not to mention a toxic friend, some because they never get well, release one wave of negativity and pull the other down. “It is not because we are friends that we have to absorb all the negativity of the other. Constantly acting as a lightning conductor can be extremely heavy and lead from bad being to real depression,” states psychologist Marion Blique.

Especially since this kind of profile tends to ignore the advice we try to give them. “A true friendship is a sharing of reality. A toxic friend brings the other into a reality where we do not share where we can not act unless the other decides to do so,” the professional continues.

Constant criticism

“You should not do that”, “You should have said that”, “Why do not you do that?” … Many remarks can be presented as kind advice, but are in fact untimely criticism that undermines all confidence and constantly demeans. To the clinical psychologist, “these remarks, often derogatory, even if they do not seem so at first glance, are toxic because they are intrusive and judgmental. This leads to feeling less and less free and less happy with the other and can pressure to withdraw completely into themselves ”.

Derogatory remarks are toxic because they are invasive and judgmental

Marion Blique, clinical psychologist

A fear of judging from others

Whatever the reasons, fear of insecurity in trust, fear that the other person will make fun of each other, or fear of seeming vulnerable, can be signs of a damaging friendship. It is important to feel respected, seen and understood. “In friendship, there is a real relationship of trust that is established. From the moment this is broken, the relationship is not healthy. The principle is the same in the exchange. If one cannot speak without being attacked or feeling vulnerable, friendship is not beneficial “, Marion Blique remembers.

The feeling of a feeling of discomfort

Feeling uncomfortable with one of your friends, angry, animated or depressed after seeing them, proves that the relationship no longer works, even that it is toxic. In friendship, we are meant to feel free, to live this relationship with the other should make us feel good, help us get better if necessary. Otherwise, “it means something is wrong,” says psychologist Marion Blique. “We do not necessarily perceive it mentally, but something in our body tells us that this relationship does not suit us and we must listen.”

When you feel guilty about not seeing the other, it is the beginning of control, of non-freedom

marion blique, psychologist

A sense of guilt

The concept of freedom of movement and spirit is essential in a friendship. “When you feel obligated to see the other, when you force yourself, and when you feel guilty for not doing so, be careful: it is the beginning of control, the beginning of non-freedom,” warns the psychologist Marion Blique. Healthy friendship requires knowing how to accept that people do not evolve at the same speed or in the same way, and that some friends no longer respond to us over time …

(1) I left toxic relationships200p., € 11.90, and I stop limiting beliefs200p., € 14.90, (Ed. Eyrolles).
(2) Danièle Brun is also chairman of the Association of Medicine and Psychoanalysis.

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