People you connect with help you grow in life. They give you a shoulder to lean and cry. A toxic friendship, however, will impact you emotionally and drain you.
We cannot scan people of negative traits before we get to know them well. Some people might pretend to be on your side and even pretend to be a friend, but they might be secretly envious of you. What hurts more than a mean enemy is a fake friend who wins your trust and nurses negative feelings towards you. let's admit it. All of us feel jealous at times, whether we acknowledge it or not. But in a healthy relationship, even among friends, it is important to be aware of it and go beyond it. Better still would be to talk about it with your friend so nothing negative brews unconsciously between the two of you. But those who pretend to be on your side and secretly envy you can be toxic. Is there anyone in your life that you sense is a tad bit too nice but you can't help wonder why you feel weird around them? Here are the warning signs that they are jealous of you.
Friends and loved ones are people with whom we love to share our happiness, be it a milestone in personal life or our career. We often look forward to celebrating the moment with them. However, someone who is secretly jealous of you while posing to be a friend will not be able to take in the joy of your success. A definite red flag is how they react to your success. Do they play it down, pretend like it is no big deal or completely dismiss it? They could say something like, "Oh, I could have done that" or "Well, luck sure is on your side which shows they don't acknowledge all your effort that went into your achievement. According to Perpetua Neo, Psychologist and therapist, a toxic friend will never compliment you.
In a healthy friendship, people root for each other. There could be moments of rivalry, but they have enough self-awareness to go beyond it. However, someone who is secretly jealous of you will find you a threat to their greatness. They will treat your friendship as a platform to boost their own ego and put you down. "They want to compete with you, even if you're not competing. Even if you're in a completely different field, they want the same things you do," says Neo. Instead of feeling good to watch you grow, they feel a need to go one step ahead and be the better one.
Friends often mock us and may enjoy a laugh at our expense. But we know that the jokes are good-natured. Someone who is jealous of you will often belittle you at the pretext of being funny. Watch closely when someone jokes about your personal beliefs or values. Are they doing it to make you see beyond your current perception or is their aim to make you feel bad about yourself? Many folks who follow this strategy usually retort with, "I was just kidding" or "Can't you take a joke?" to make you seem as oversensitive. If a joke hurts, it is not funny. Period. According to Psychology Today, "they may constantly insult your beliefs, appearance, and thoughts, often because they have low self-esteem and want to be in control."
We often look to our friends for advice. We believe they know us well enough to help us face the tough times we are stuck in. But someone who resents your success or happiness is likely to misuse your trust and give you advice that isn't at your best interest. They might plant self-doubt or target your insecurities. They could even feed us with lies and stunt our growth. "Instead of trying to make suggestions to improve your bad habits, they find every excuse to berate these habits and hinder you as a person," according to the report in Psychology Today.
Your self-confidence is their greatest threat. Insecure people are never happy with who they are, even if they have everything going for them. So when they see you feeling good about yourself, they will try to break your self-esteem by belittling you or giving back-handed compliments. They may even ask questions that are targeted to make you wonder if you are good enough to deserve love and success. For example, someone who wished you don't take up the promotion might say things like, "Are you sure you will be able to take up the role? But I guess being friends with the boss helps, doesn't it?"
Good friends stay with you through thick and thin. But someone who sees you as competition may stick around when they are in need but never really reciprocate kindness or support when you are in need. They also tend to make you feel pressurized to say yes when you want to say no. "Toxic friends stress you out, use you, are unreliable, are overly demanding, and don't give anything back," says Florence Isaacs, author of Toxic Friends/True Friends.
Someone who truly respects you and wishes you well will speak well about you behind your back. But someone who is envious of you is likely to be too nice to you and say mean and false things about you when you are not around. They often may pose to be a friend, which leaves others confused as they see you both together but hear mean things from them about you. Their intention is to make others see you in poor light.
Disclaimer: This article is based on facts collated from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.