OPINION: 5 warning signs of a toxic friendship

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I came to college not knowing what kinds of friendships I would make, but flash forward a few years and I realized most of my friendships were toxic in some way.

It was hard for me to truly be myself with my friends, and I knew something had to change. I decided to get out of my toxic friendships and create new ones. It was hard at first, but in the long run, it was so beneficial.

It’s hard to determine whether you’re in a toxic friendship or not, but here are five warning signs I’ve learned.

1. Your friend tries to change you

If you’re constantly questioning who you are and trying to measure up to your friend’s standards, that’s not good. Realizing the difference between true personal growth and conforming to someone else’s unreasonable expectations is important.

2. Your friend insults you

My second year in college, my friends would negatively comment on the way I looked, and I became very insecure about myself. About a year later, I dropped them as friends.

If something like this is happening to you, then maybe it’s time for you to find new friends. There’s a difference between friendly banter and comments that aren’t okay. Stand up for yourself and recognize what’s happening.

3. Your friend isolates you from your other friends

You may not notice this is happening, but if you’re only hanging around certain people and you’re made to feel guilty when you visit with another friend group, then you might have a toxic friendship.

Everyone is allowed to have as many friends as they want, and trying to control and take ownership of someone is not okay. Take stock of your time and who you spend it with.

4. Your friend is envious of you

Everyone likes to be the center of attention, and that typically occurs when you achieve something. Your friend, however, may get jealous and try to get the attention centered back onto them when you achieve something, get a good grade or make the group laugh. Friends should build you up, not try to tear you down.

5. Your friend blames you

If you try to confront your friend over a disagreement or issue and they become overly defensive and blame you for the problem, this might be a toxic friendship. A toxic friend may begin to talk about you behind your back, while true friends are considerate and listen to what you have to say.

If you see any of these warning signs occurring in any of your friendships, then maybe it’s time to say goodbye. You deserve so much more than someone who just wants to bring you down all the time.

Gabrielle Albertson is a senior in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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