How to avoid someone toxic: The 7 friendship red flags we need to talk about.

In my 34 years on this earth I’ve had a lot of friends.

Some have been life-long friendships, some have been “friendship flings”, and others have resulted in the kind of dramatic breakups you’d expect from romantic relationships.

Friendships can be tricky, but they can also be an absolute lifeline and one of the most important parts of your life.

You do need to be a little wary of who you invite into your life though – bad friendships can be toxic and they can end up being a huge waste of your time and energy.

Here are seven friendship red flags you need to look out for:

1. The friend who wants to become your best friend way too quickly.

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you about little film called Single White Female.

The movie is about a woman named Hedra who becomes obsessed with her new housemate, Allison (Bridget Fonda) – to the point that she starts to dress and act just like her. Then right at the end of the movie she tries to kill her with the heel of her stiletto.

The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss how to cut loose your ‘obligatory friend’ (and how to tell if you ARE the obligatory friend). Post continues…

There were many red flags before she got to that point, but Allison didn’t see them or chose to shrug them off.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that every new friend who comes into your life is trying to kill you with footwear – but not all of them have the best of intentions.


If you find yourself the target of a friend who is coming on a little too strong, it’s best to establish clear boundaries straight away… and to also hid any sharp objects.

2. The friend who ignores your successes but revels in your failures.

I call this one the partly-cloudy friend.

In a sentence – she’s overcast with a 90% chance of being a complete cow.

She’s that friend who’s always around, seemingly supportive and interested in your life, but she has an ulterior motive – you’re a prop in her efforts to feel better about herself. Your failures are her successes.

She’ll love you when things aren’t going well for you and ignore you as soon as things turn around.

3. The fairweather friend who just wants to have a good time.

She’s the mate who’s always around when you’re kicking ass. She’s always up for a good time, lives for the #selfies and spends hours recounting her latest big night out.

The fair-weather friend is a hell of a lot of fun when she shows up, but at the first sign of trouble, she’ll drop you like it’s hot.

She’s most definitely not the friend you call when your boyfriend has left you for the mailman.

4. The friend who’s always gossiping about their other friends.

This is a huge red flag.

Chances are if your friend is gossiping about other friends to you, she’s talking about you behind your back too.

She’s probably also not that trustworthy and is telling people exactly what you say about them.


5. The friend who always wants to catch up… but never does.

Look, we’ve all been this friend at different times in our lives.

But if you have a friend who constantly texts “We should catch up!” and never actually does catch up, is she really your friend?

You might be better off just cutting off the constant text message back and forth that just gets your hopes up and ultimately lets you down.

6. The friend who disappears whenever she’s in a relationship.

We’ve all had one of these friends.

The opposite of your fair-weathered mate, Ms Foul-Weather only comes around when there’s something in it for her. She’s going through a messy break up and needs a shoulder to cry on or she’s heading out of town and needs someone to feed her psycho cat for the next two months.

She’s only your chum when she’s glum. So don’t expect to be invited to her next event, you’re pretty much a glorified free counsellor/personal assistant to her.

7. The friend who only ever talks about their own life.

This is the friend who will call you and wax lyrically for two hours about everything that’s happened in their life since you last spoke.

If you’re lucky, they’ll ask a quick ‘and how are you?’ before they abruptly end the call.

Avoid this friend. You deserve better.

To read more from Keryn Donnelly, follow her on Facebook.