You may have heard the saying “it’s hard to find good friends these days.” The sad truth is, that’s often the case. With the huge presence of social media in our society, more and more people are feeling the pressure to act a certain way or to pretend to be someone they’re not. Someone you thought was a close and trusted friend may turn out to be a toxic influence in your life. Whether they’re talking about you behind your back, acting jealous or criticizing your every decision, a toxic friend can quickly bring you down. If it’s about time to evaluate a few friendships in your life, you’ll want to read these six major differences between a good friend and a toxic friend.

How do your friends measure up?

1. Good friends empathize with you, toxic friends criticize you.

When something goes wrong, a good friend will always have your back and be an empathetic shoulder to cry on, even if you clearly made a poor decision. A good friend will know that a lesson has already been learned, and they won’t feel the need to scold you. A toxic friend will jump at the chance to criticize you, eager to tell you what you did wrong and what you should’ve done instead. They’ll end up making you feel guilty and even worse about the situation.

2. Good friends respect your opinion, toxic friends think they’re always right.

A good friend enjoys having deep conversations with you, even if your opinion differs. Regardless of whether or not you agree on something, the conversation never turns heated. A toxic friend will almost always turn a disagreement into a full blown argument. They aren’t interested in hearing your opinion. Instead, they’re interested in proving you wrong and coming out on top.

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3. Good friends want to spend time with you, toxic friends call when they need something.

A good friend will call you or text you just to say hi, to tell you they miss you, or to see how you’re doing. They aren’t interested in using you for anything, they genuinely care. If it seems like a friend only calls when they need something, it’s probably because they do. This type of friend is toxic. They’re more interested in using you for their personal gain, and much less interested in an actual friendship.

4. Good friends are happy when you succeed, toxic friends become jealous.

When you experience success, a good friend will be your biggest cheerleader. They’ll be genuinely happy for every good thing that comes your way. A toxic friend will immediately become jealous of your success and look for ways to tear you down. If someone is stealing your joy, it’s time to cut them out of your life.

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5. Good friends accept you for you, toxic friends try to change you.

No matter how quirky you may be, a good friend accepts you for who you truly are. They embrace your quirks and they’re happy to let you be your unique self. A toxic friend will try to mold you into the person they want you to be. Whether they try to change the way you look, the way you dress or the way you act, a toxic friend doesn’t care about the real you.

6. Good friends know how to keep a secret, toxic friends spread rumors behind your back.

A good friend is the ultimate secret-keeper. You can talk to them about your hopes, dreams and truest feelings without being judged or criticized. They would never repeat what you tell them. A toxic friend makes you feel comfortable enough to open up, then they betray you. They spread rumors and talk about you behind your back, having no regard for your privacy or feelings.

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Huffington Post
David Wolfe
Tiny Buddha

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