Are Your Friends Toxic? Here Are 5 Ways To Tell


Do you have toxic friends?  You know the kind I mean.  The ones that never have anything good to say about ANYbody, including you.  The ones with the negative energy that can suck the life out of every person they encounter.  The ones that make you feel physically and mentally drained after spending time with them.   It’s because they are literally poisoning you with their thoughts, words, and deeds.  Make no mistake, these people are strong, dominant and controlling and even though they are ready and willing to be your go to guy in your times of darkness and depression, they aren’t helping you.  They have the ability, because of their own internal struggle, to overpower you and keep you stagnant.  Human beings are naturally bred to move forward.  You can’t with these people around.

Miriam Webster’s defines the word “Toxic” as:  containing or being poisonous material…


Wow.  Once you are involved in a friendship like this, it’s real hard to get away. Sometimes they come disguised as real friends, so they may be hard to identify.  Weird I know, but these people will actually pose as true friends and pretend to love and be close to you, while simultaneously hating you and attempting to destroy your space and your peace.  Think Whitney Houston’s character in The BodyGuard.  Remember how much her sister really hated her? I thought that in my adult years that surely no one would pretend to be my friend and then NOT like me, but it happens and I am not the only one dealing with this. Toxic people come in all ages, shapes, sizes, genders and colors. They hate themselves and therefore want to make your life miserable as well.   There are many terms for this, “frenemies”, “emotional vampires”,  etc. Regardless of how we refer to them, you have got to get these people away from you and your family quick!

So, here are 5 ways to tell if your “friends” are toxic:

They always have something negative to say

ex: Your coworkers throw you a baby shower, they complain about the food and point out how cheap the gifts are and who brought them.  A lot of times its because they are jealous.  This is not your friend.

They often belittle you and/or your accomplishments

Ex:  You get a new job and you are happy about it  They comment by asking, “do they know you don’t have a degree?” or you win an award and they respond with, “Anybody could have won that.”  They sometimes do this on the sly but then defend it by saying, “Oh I was just playing with you…”  No they aren’t.  This is NOT your friend.

They speak ill of other people to you

If they speak bad about other people to you, then they will speak bad about you to other people. They will also REPEAT what ever you said!  Be careful! This is not your friend.

They throw verbal or emotional shade on everything you do

They never attend any of your important occasions.  ie:  Weddings, Birthday Parties, etc.  They get sick or something always comes up when you are to be celebrated.  This is not your friend.

They give you negative advice based on how they are feeling.

This means that when they are feeling bad, the advice will be bad.  Real friends give you advice based on knowing you as a person, not based on how they are feeling at that exact moment.  This is not your friend.

I am not saying that you should be ultra sensitive.  I am not saying that you need to get rid of ALL of your friends.  I just want you to be aware that not everybody has your best interest at heart and some people are indeed wolves in sheep’s clothing.  These people can help to destroy your marriages, your families, your careers and your lives all in the name of making themselves feel better about who they are.  Be careful around these people and oh make sure that this person is NOT YOU!

Have you ever had to break up with a toxic friend?




Stacey Taylor aka “The SistahChick” is the CEO of The SistahChick & Co., LLC which is the parent company of Our Natural Kids (website), Sistah Buttah (product), TSC Media (service). I have turned my hobby into my career. Now I am living my dreams of being an entrepreneur and living my best life. Thank you for coming to The Sistah Cafe to read about my journey & adventures!!