Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
May 1, 2024 ·  7 min read

10 Types of Toxic Friends You Should Steer Clear From

Friends are the family members you choose. They are essentially your ‘home away from home.’ Good friends can turn your frown into a smile and make you the best possible version of yourself. Toxic friends on the other hand are incredibly frustrating and will make you question your sanity for being friends with them.

Friendship: Why and how it helps keep you healthy 

Everybody has at least one person they consider a close friend. In America, 98% of people admitted to having one such friend. This was according to Gallup polling data from 2004. 

A study accessed social networks and their benefits to people. The study, which spanned an average period of 7.5 years and involved over 300,000 subjects, measured social relationships in different ways. At the end of the study, the researchers found that people who had strong social relationships had higher chances of surviving over time. 

Friends also help reduce stress we may be undergoing at any moment. 

According to Julian Holt-Lunstad, psychologist at Brigham Young University in Utah, “As we encounter potentially stressful events in our lives, if we know that we’ve got people we can count on or that we can turn to, we may be less likely to even perceive it as stressful, because we know we can handle it.[1]

Toxic friends

These sorts of friendships are more trouble than they’re worth. One thing’s for sure: they are not increasing your lifespan or improving your health in any way.

According to clinical psychologist, Dr. Andrea Bonoir, “Toxic friendships emotionally harm you rather than helping you.” 

A toxic friend causes stress and sadness or anxiety and doesn’t help you to be who you want to be,” she added. 

Another horrible part of being around toxic people is that you hate the person you become when you’re with them. Perhaps you’re trying to impress them or you just don’t want to argue with them, so you go along with whatever they have planned. Chances are you will feel very unhappy and sad to even be a part of that. [2]

So then, how do you get rid of that feeling? You need to choose your friends carefully. People who make you uncomfortable have no business being around you. As for the ones you already have, you have to cut them off since they are dead weight that will continue to pull you down. 

Below is a list of 10 types of toxic friends you have no business being with 

1.Those who brag 

These braggarts might not even want to be friends with you. All they want is someone to ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ in response to their often larger-than-life tales about all the cool stuff going on in their lives. If you notice that your friendship just involves you being their hype man and nothing more, then it’s time for you to say goodbye to them.

2. The ones who are always complaining bitterly about something 

They are just like the negative ones but with a twist; even when something is relatively okay, they still complain about it. Essentially, nothing is good enough for them. And then they drive you nuts with all their complaints. Just cut them off and move on with your life. 

3. The unsupportive ones  

Everyone needs someone in their corner. You are certainly not asking for too much if you need your friend to support you in your endeavors. This isn’t even about financial support (although they are probably not going to help you with that either), this is about you needing someone in your corner at certain moments in your life. 

If these people are the only friends you have, then rest assured that your ‘corner’ will always be empty and probably filled with cobwebs because they are never going to show up or be there for you. 

4. The unreliable ones 

If what you are looking for is someone to disappoint you over and over, then they are the perfect candidates. However, if you want something more, heck, just the barest minimum of support, then you should look elsewhere. These people are not going to do ANYTHING for you. The craziest part is that they will promise to be there for you, but their ‘Word is certainly not their Bond’. It will be a waste of time to ever rely on them. 

5. The hypocrites 

No one likes a hypocrite. One moment, they are stating facts and figures and telling you why you should not do something, the next moment they are doing that same thing. Not only do they do it, but also they expect you to be okay with it and fully in support of them. 

6. The ones who make you feel stupid 

You can’t talk about toxic ‘friends’ without mentioning those who belittle you at every given opportunity. It’s almost physically impossible for them to not insult you at any moment. Initially, you might have chalked it off as a joke or something, but then it becomes more and more pronounced until you find yourself stuck in this cesspool of verbal and mental abuse.

7. The needy ones 

These come with a ton of drama. They constantly need you to do something for them, even the smallest thing that they should be able to handle is dumped on your shoulders. And when you are unable to help them, they go out of their way to make you feel horrible. All they do is find new ways of ‘using’ the life out of you. 

Toronto-based relationship coach Julie Ward refers to these sorts of friends as ‘energy suckers.’ “They are constantly asking you to do things and are constantly taking up large chunks of your time. Being around that person is an energy drain. You feel the life sucked out of you after you’ve been with the person for any length of time. It’s very consuming,” she said.

8. The incredibly negative ones 

This isn’t the ‘glass half-empty’ kind of negativity. These people are full-blown Negative Nancys. It doesn’t help that they are dramatic, so they tend to blow everything out of proportion. Nothing you do is ever good enough for them. They will always find the bad side to something and make you feel horrible about it. Whenever you spend time with them, you end up with an ‘unsavory taste’ in your mouth. 

9. The selfish friends 

Certainly, you don’t want to be that person who keeps track of the times you help your friends, but this is just ridiculous. They want you to go above and beyond for them, they expect you to drop everything once they call and attend to them, but the one time you need them, they are nowhere to be found. This is enough to drive you crazy. You deserve much better than they are giving you and no one would fault you for walking away from them.

10. The jealous friends 

A little ‘jealousy’ can be cute at times… Not in this case. These people take jealousy to the next level. According to Perpetua Neo, psychologist and therapists, these jealous ‘friends’ will pull down your other friends in front of you so that you leave them and be with just him or her. They will also claim that you are all they have, so you don’t get close to other people. They are just professional guilt trippers. [3] 

So you’ve established that your friend is toxic, now what? 

You might think you can stick around and ‘change’ them, unfortunately, this is probably not going to work out — at least, not in the long haul. They might pretend to be ‘better,’ but eventually, they will go back to the toxic narcissists that they are. The best thing you can do for yourself is to cut them off. 

First, set some boundaries so that they can get used to you not being 100 percent available for them. Then, you need to take a break from them. You might need to be diplomatic here, but if they ask what you’re doing, be sure to let them know you just ‘need some space.’ Start hanging out with other people, preferably those who don’t go out of their way to make you feel bad. [4] 

Keep this quote from Karl Marx in mind, “There comes a time in your life when you have to let go of all the pointless drama and the people who create it and surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard that you forget the bad and focus solely on the good. After all, life is too short to be anything but happy. [5] It’s a nice little way of summarizing the entire topic. 

All in all, you just need a complete overhaul in your relationship with these sorts of people. Good luck as you begin to make new friends. Hopefully, this time you choose people who will be worth your time.

Keep Reading: The Only Way To Win With A Toxic Person Is Not To Play