7 Signs That Your Friend Is Toxic.

7 Signs That Your Friend Is Toxic.

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You feel inexplicably tired whenever you spend time with them.

That horrible, slightly hungover feeling you get from spending all afternoon being aurally attacked by your friend who’s giving you a blow by blow of a hideous three day ‘relationship’ she had five years ago but is still obsessing over.

You often end up apologising for their bad behaviour.

Like that time you had to apologise to your whole family at your own wedding because your toxic friend spent the day hitting on your cousin’s wife and then puked in the backseat of your Dad’s convertible.

A text message from them will render you paralized with fear…

… and you have to carefully control your face in public, in case she’s lurking around a corner, ready to pounce on you for grimacing at her name on the screen.

They have no ambitions.

Like your mate from high school who for no real reason doesn’t have a job, still lives at home with his parents and is in no hurry to do anything other than play Xbox all day and borrow money from you.

You spend lots of time with them, yet they know nothing about what’s going on in your life.

You know exactly how many freckles her new boyfriend has on his back yet she isn’t even aware that you just bought your first home. Also you’ve told her. Twice.

You’ve never really felt like you can trust them.

There always seems to be way less beer in your fridge when your mate has been over to your house and you’re pretty sure he’s been dealing drugs in your driveway.

Everything you do is wrong.

Like that time you dared to actually go to work on the day your toxic friend got a bad spray tan, instead of holding her hand and stroking her all day like you were supposed to.

Have you ever had a toxic friend? What warning signs did you see?


Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.


  1. cilosophy.blogspot.com 2 years ago

    I think it is the way they make you feel
    -sorry for them (even when their lot in life is good).
    -like you are not worth their time, as they are always so very busy…..

    Same goes for those friends who are mainly online/facebook. I am considering a large facebook cull.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      I’d love nothing more to go off Facebook permanently but I need it for the blog. :-(

    • Totally agree with you on the #1,2 and 4.

  2. Harlow 2 years ago

    I can say that I’ve had two toxic friends that were pretty bad… I remember feeling scared and guilty that I didn’t want to be their friend. I stayed in both of those friendships far longer than I wanted to and found it really hard to break away from these people.
    Neither of them understand why I didn’t want to know them anymore, and one had to be threatened with an AVO! Funny thing is, both of them are still living with their parents and playing xbox 😛

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      That’s the worst thing is feeling scared about trying to end the friendship. So intense.

  3. anons 2 years ago

    oh yes. I needed to read this. I’ve been dealing with a toxic friend who, while being the “life of the party,” is definitely a rather life-sucking, functioning alcoholic. I’ve got to step back and let this friend deal with their issues. Being an enabler and wasting my own time apologizing for their behavior doesn’t get either of us anywhere.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      That’s the trouble with toxic friends! They’re often really ‘fun’ to hang around until you end up deserted at the end of night with your phone in her handbag because she left you in a club with some guy.

  4. Sarah N Tim Knopke 2 years ago

    As I have got older, some of my best friends from school / early 20’s have actually become toxic friends, which is not only very sad, but very hard to deal with as our husbands became friends, and to some extent our children became friends. If I were to meet them now, they would not become part of my friendship circle, but our share history makes it hard to walk away so I chose to keep them in my life, but in small doses and on my terms!

    • I totally do that too! I have some childhood friends that have become toxic too but because of our history together, I cannot just delete them from my life. Instead, I keep them in it but limit the times we actually have to see each other and talk – which makes things easier. I really come to hope that they will be the ones to walk away from me, but sadly it hasn’t happened yet lol

      • Author
        Smaggle 2 years ago

        I’m pretty lucky that I haven’t got close to anyone particularly toxic but they’re always hard to shake.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      That IS really hard. Small doses is abosolutely the key and try to stick to big gatherings when seeing them is unavoidable.

  5. HH 2 years ago

    The fact that I would arrive her calls, as I was sick of listening for an hour an half each time about her problems, which while serious, were pretty much self inflicted through poor choices, and knowing any advice I gave (even though she asked) would fall on deaf ears, because she really just wanted sympathy for how tough her life was, when really she was quite spoilt in some ways!

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Totally! I have a crazy phone phobia because I spent far too much time in my teens listening to bullshit from toxic people on the phone every night. I barely even call my best mates because I hate it so much.

  6. dovem33 2 years ago

    How about a lovely toxic friend who is happy to cancel get together’s but is more than happy to ask you to be their free babysitter. How about the toxic friend who bitches about her family her husbands family and the horrible kid who is “always” doing something to her kid. How about the toxic friend who is always bitching that no one does enough for her but seems to have a tribe of people she expects to be at her beck and call. You know what I call this person. Ex-friend.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Blergh! That sounds so yucky! I imagine having kids can take toxic friendships to a whole new level.

  7. This is a great post. We all end up with one or two toxic friends at some point of our lives. I am just glad that I can put ocean miles between me and my toxic friends which makes it easier to bear them since I only see them every once in like five years! :)

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      I do the same… slowly stop answering their calls and be very slow on taking up invitations out with them!

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