The repercussions have a deeper impact on your body, mind, and soul that you would have never imagined.
A friend is a person who feels like home. Many of them don't even need to put in an effort to lift your spirits in days of despair, their mere presence seems to have healing powers. Mostly, we don't turn to friends so they could do something for us, we reach out to them because we know that with them we will feel safe.
A good friend can impact your life on multiple levels. And the opposite could have adverse effects on your physical and mental health - like low self-esteem, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, high blood sugar, etc.
Now, the question is, how to identify a toxic friend because many-a-time we miss signs or ignore them. Here are a few signs:
Honesty and constructive criticism in any kind of relationship can help you grow as a person and bring out your best. However, criticism that makes you feel incapable can cause a serious blow to your mental and emotional health. If she implies that other people or she herself are better than you that might be a toxic trait intended to hurt people. A self-righteous behavior from a friend could also push you to a competition you never wanted to be a part of, but you end up feeling weak and vulnerable due to it.
If she tries to change you according to what she thinks is right, she does not care about your healing or what you can become on your own. In the process, she will also try to control you and eventually kill your own instincts. A toxic friend will mainly suggest that there is something wrong with you and not try to analyze the context of your reaction. This way, she will want you to follow the path that she is showing you. But does she ever talk about her own shortcomings? Watch out for that.
It was fun initially, you also thought you have found yourself a good one because of her brutal honesty. But the picture was something else and you only see it now. You find yourself walking on eggshells around her because you know that one slip can bring you a wave of criticism and you will not be able to handle that. You watch what you do, how you speak, who you speak to, and this could amplify the stress.
Criticism can still be fine if your achievements are acknowledged. But as a friend, she never takes note of your accomplishments - material or otherwise. She never fails to call you out on a mistake but also does not praise you when needed. In doing so, she is ruining your capability to love yourself and feel happy about your achievements. Even if she does acknowledge it, she will probably divert the discourse and want you to focus on the negative instead of working on the positive.
If "you constantly feel let down by them... it's gonna be hard for you to have the level of affection for them that could truly keep a good friendship going," says clinical psychologist Jill Squyres, Ph.D. "If you don't trust that they have your best interests in mind... that's often a sign that something's not working," suggests Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., according to Woman's Health. This means that the constant negativity from them has led you to doubt their intentions for you and in such a scenario, it is very hard to cling on to the friendship. But if you do, it will only bring you stress and doubts.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.