8 Friendship Pink Flags You Actually Should not Ignore


Of course, we all have hectic weeks when we are overwhelmed with work or personal issues that distract us from time to time. But if you still find yourself doing the emotional heavy lifting, it could be a sign that your friend doesn’t value the relationship as much as you do, Applebury warns.

You feel obligated to maintain the friendship.

It can be exhausting forcing yourself to nurture a relationship that just isn’t working, and often people will stay in older friendships they’ve outgrown because of an underlying sense of obligation, Applebury says. (For example, think of that childhood or family friend you kept for the good old days, even though you no longer have anything in common).

It’s not the brightest of red flags, and it doesn’t necessarily indicate a toxic dynamic. « But if you feel more obligated to be friends than you actually want to have a genuine relationship, you can re-evaluate that person in your life, » Kelaher says. Because at the end of the day, spending time with your friends should leave you feeling refreshed and contented, not empty or exhausted.

They are secretly (or not so secretly) competing with you.

Consider this scenario: you say This friend (you know that one) that you got a raise at work. Instead of giving you a supportive hug or sending a celebratory text, they wave to you, « Well, I actually got a promotion last week! » Or maybe the two of you just came back from an intense yoga session that had you shaking and they said something like, “Oh, that class was way too easy for me.

Sound familiar? It’s one thing to have the occasional moment of envy, but the person turning it all into a game of « who’s got the best » probably doesn’t have your best interests at heart, Kelaher says. You can try telling them how you feel (maybe they don’t realize what they’re doing) but again, if they’re not receptive, that’s another warning sign, adds she.

They are unable to apologize truly, sincerely.

Even in the healthiest friendships, you are bound to fight. Maybe it’s a silly little argument about you constantly being late for everything, or maybe the violation is something more serious, like one of you accidentally revealed something with which the other disagreed. Either way, it’s important that you both communicate effectively and know when you’re wrong.

« It’s normal to make mistakes in friendships, and obviously that’s going to happen with someone you’ve known for quite a long time, » Applebury says. « But if your friend is unable to apologize or be held accountable for their behaviors, it will become difficult to depend on them and trust them down the line, » she explains. This lack of accountability can sound like someone beginning their apology with « I’m sorry you’re offended » or « I’m sorry, but I didn’t think it would hurt you. As SELF has previously pointed out, a genuine apology shouldn’t be a debate; it’s a conversation that involves putting someone else’s feelings first, instead of focusing on your own.

They do not respect the limits you set.

« In healthy friendships, people understand that sometimes they’ll be told no and that’s okay, » Kelaher says. Maybe you don’t want to share what’s bothering you right now. Or they keep bringing up your ex, even though you’ve asked them a hundred times to stop. Or they try to tell you who you should (or shouldn’t) date. « From time to time we may bump into someone’s boundaries, but if you notice that yours aren’t always being respected, it can be a sign of a toxic relationship, » she says.

You can no longer tell where you end and where they begin.

Honestly, most of us love our best friends so much that we would spend every moment with them if we could. We tell them our secrets, we share our best (and worst) moments with them, and sometimes we even find ourselves unwittingly adopting some of their eccentric ways. This is how influential friends can be.

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