Friends… Sometimes it feels like you can’t live with them, but you can’t live without them. It’s essential to have a close social circle around you to meet your social needs. However, it’s also important to recognize when your friend isn’t as much of a friend as you thought. Here are 18 ways to tell that someone is being an unsupportive friend.
Jealousy Toward Other Friends
If you notice your friend constantly acting jealous of you or your other friends, they may not be as much of a friend as you thought. As noted on APA PsycNet, while a little jealousy is normal for most people, it’s a sign of toxicity if they discourage you from spending time with others or make you feel bad for having other friends.
Imbalanced Give and Take
Do you feel like your friend is constantly asking things of you without giving much back? If so, you may be in an unequal and unfair friendship. Friendships must maintain a healthy level of reciprocity and give and take.
Relief When Plans Are Canceled
For most of us, it’s disappointing to hear that your friend can’t make it to a get-together. However, if your friend isn’t so healthy for you, you may find yourself feeling relieved when they can’t make an event. If this sounds like you, it may be time to reconsider the friendship.
Withholding Your Truth
Do you feel too unsafe to share your true feelings and experiences with your friend? If so, this may be a sign that they’re not open-minded and supportive enough of your opinions and emotions. Friends should be able to share their true feelings without fear of judgment or rejection.
Defending Their Toxic Behavior
We all mess up in friendships sometimes, but when we do, it’s very important to take accountability and show our friends that we’re sorry. If your friend does the opposite, defending their mistakes and believing they did nothing wrong, this is a major friendship red flag.
Feeling Trapped in the Friendship
Do you feel trapped or controlled in your friendship? If your friend tries to prevent you from spending time with others or emotionally manipulates you into spending more time with them than you’d like, it may be time to find a new, more supportive, and healthier friend.
Competitive Rather Than Supportive
Some amount of healthy competition can be good for us. It can help us remain supportive of one another while pushing each other to achieve our goals. However, if it seems like your friend is constantly competing against you and wanting you to fail, this is a sign of an unsupportive friend.
Experiencing Sarcasm As Hostility
There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of sarcasm. It can be a fun and healthy way to banter with your friends in good faith. However, some friends may use sarcasm as a way to disguise their hurtful thoughts. If it seems like your friend is disguising their hostility toward you with sarcasm, you might want to get a new friend.
Pettiness and Negativity
Many of us can get a little petty or negative sometimes, and that’s okay. But if it seems like your friend is constantly acting passive-aggressive toward you or offloading all their problems without listening to you in return, this can be a sign of an unsupportive friend.
They Take Advantage of You
Those of us who love to help others and are naturally generous can unfortunately be taken advantage of by unsupportive friends. When it seems like your friend only wants to use your time and energy for their benefit without doing the same for you, it’s time to reconsider the friendship.
Lack of Empathy
According to Wellbeing People, empathy is an essential foundation for any friendship. Unsupportive friends are often insensitive to the emotions of others, disregarding their feelings and failing to offer emotional support when it’s clearly needed. If this sounds like your friend, it might be time to get a new one.
Making Critical Comments
Constructive criticism is important for all of us to learn and grow from our mistakes and downfalls. However, unsupportive friends will often provide an excess of unsolicited criticism and fail to give praise and support when it’s deserved.
Ignoring Your Needs
Does it feel like your friend is always prioritizing their own needs over yours? Toxic friends tend to be self-centered and unable to see the importance of looking after another person’s needs alongside their own.
Flaky friends can be extremely difficult to get along with and maintain long-lasting friendships with. If your friend is constantly canceling on you at the last minute, it may be a sign that they’re not considering your time and feelings highly enough.
Talking Over You
According to the University of Kansas, quality conversations with friends are a cornerstone of well-being and friendship. Many of us can accidentally talk over someone if we get too carried away or excited. However, if it seems like it’s hard to get a word in over your friend, it may be a sign that they don’t value your opinions or feelings as much as their own.
If you sometimes find out important information about your friend from other friends or it seems like they always have something to hide, it may be time to find a new friend. Toxic or unsupportive friends will often fail to maintain transparency and withhold information you should know.
Invalidating Your Feelings
According to Happiful, emotional invalidation occurs when someone ignores or minimizes your feelings. Unsupportive friends will often retaliate with remarks such as “It’s just a joke!” or “You’re so sensitive!” when you’re hurt by their words. You may want to reconsider your friendship if it seems like your friend is unbothered by your negative emotions.
Lack of Support in Tough Times
When we go through hard times, the support of close friends can make a huge difference. Unfortunately, unsupportive friends often fail to be the listening ear or comforting presence we need during times of crisis.
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