Friendships in our adulthood can be complicated and challenging to navigate. I’m not sure why this has come as a surprise to me — I suppose I mistakenly assumed that all the hard relationship stuff would be over once I was done with middle and high school. I thought I would graduate from high school and leave all the bad hair, fashion faux pas, and drama behind.
I was wrong. Adulthood is just the next level of complicated and adult friendships are just the next level of challenging.
One of the most difficult aspects of adult friendships can be deciding when to end one. Sometimes, though, the decision you need to make can be pretty clear, especially if your friend is demonstrating any of the 7 tell-tale signs that the friendship is a toxic one:
1. They ghost you
If you’ve ever been ghosted by someone, you know how much it hurts. One minute you are a part of that person’s life and the next it’s as if you never existed. Phone calls, text messages, invitations, and even acknowledgements in public just come to a screeching halt. Even if there have been hurt feelings or mistakes in a friendship, resorting to completely ignoring someone is just plain childish.
2. They are talking about you
If word is getting back to you that your friend is talking about you in a negative way to other people or is sharing private details about you to others without your permission, that behavior indicates a lack of respect for you. You deserve better. You should be able to trust your friends to come to you directly with concerns and to be able to keep your confidential information private.
3. They hold grudges or keep score
If your friend is someone who routinely brings up mistakes you made from weeks, months, or years ago to justify their own poor behavior, they are telling you that your relationship is not one that is unconditional. They are keeping score and if you mess up (which you will, because you are a human), they could hold that over your head in the future. Who needs friends that aren’t willing to forgive you for mistakes?