Have you ever had to break up with a toxic friend?
It can be even more difficult to do than with a romantic partner because the signs of a toxic friendship may not seem as obvious and they may feel confusing.
But, like any healthy relationship, a friendship should be evaluated and deemed overall positive and beneficial for you both.
When a friend is jealous of your life, there are signs, and if you miss them, they may become toxic for you. All relationships have ups and downs, but they shouldn’t hurt.
If a friendship has brought out the worst in you rather than the best, take a close look.
If you’re experiencing chronic pain in a friendship due to their being cold, critical, competitive, copycat-ish, or codependent, the cost to you may be more than you ever saw coming.
And, the end may be coming soon.
Here are 5 signs you’re in a toxic friendship with someone who’s jealous of your life.
1. They respond “coldly” to your good news.
A jealous friend may ignore your good news altogether, be seemingly underwhelmed, diminish it as not that big of a deal, or one-up you with better news in their own life.
In other words, they “don’t show up” as supportive or thrilled for you, which may even include not showing up for occasions to celebrate you.
Their lack of excitement or ghosting may leave you deflated and feeling unloved.
A true friend would delight in your good news and show genuine happiness for you. They would be there via text, voice, FaceTime, social media likes and comments, and in person whenever possible.
And if they cannot attend an event meant for you, they would at least acknowledge and honor it in some way meaningful way.
If this is an isolated situation and not a chronic way of being towards you, your news may have triggered a past disappointment for them and it isn’t about you at all. Pay attention.
2. They are critical of others in your life.
A jealous friend may seek opportunities to criticize other people who share your time, attention, and admiration.
This may be in an effort to isolate, dominate and create self-doubt about your own perceptions.
A true friend would have an honest conversation with you if they have a concern about someone in your life, and the intention would be very different than criticism.
Putting others down to get you closer to them is a selfish act and not one of genuinely looking out for you. Which is true for you?
3. They are competitive with you.
A jealous friend may be competing with you behind your back or openly. Ultimately, they want what you have.
You may notice if you attain something, they seek it, as well.
But if they can’t or just aren’t interested in it but they see you excelling, they may try to get you to self-sabotage. They may manipulate and encourage you to become undisciplined to miss out on your goals.
Maybe you’re working hard to lose or maintain your weight but they “treat” you with Krispy Kreme doughnuts every morning.
This passive-aggressive act to get you to “just have one” because “you look great” can add up.
A true friend may have a healthy, friendly competition with you like who can eat the most hotdogs, who can get the most likes on their throwback photo, or who can get the girl’s/guy’s attention at the bar.
And they would respect your commitments and boundaries. In fact, they would honor them.
4. They “copycat” you.
A jealous friend may begin copycatting you.
At first, imitation may seem like flattery, but when they begin dressing like you, styling their hair like you, and emulating your every behavior, it may be more of a Gwen Stefani’s nanny thing happening.
They may be interested in actually stealing your life, not just copying it. Look for signs of an unhealthy obsession.
A true friend may admire your style or confidence and use it to inspire the development of their own without the need to take yours.
5. They create co-dependency between you.
A jealous friend may be so needy and surrounded by the drama that you feel responsible for helping them.
They are the victim of life, and you are the rescuer because, after all, by this point, they’ve shown you so many other signs that make you feel sorry for them that you have begun to downplay your own achievements.
You want to protect them from feeling bad about their life. You have begun withdrawing from other relationships to focus on helping them — after all, they need you and everyone else is just fine.
You begin to sacrifice your interests, hobbies, and personal goals. You begin to play small in your own life to make them feel better about theirs.
Ultimately, this seemingly loving choice on your part does not help them shift into a mindset of taking responsibility for their life and outcomes — it’s counterproductive to your own.
Don’t let toxic friendship poison your life.
You know your life has been poisoned by a friendship or any relationship when you change who you are, what you stand for, what you want for yourself, and how you show up in life.
You may have noticed signs and made excuses for them because you wanted to be a good friend. But, when you connect the signs and the symptoms, the diagnosis cannot be denied.
If you’ve confronted their hurtful behaviors only to have them turned around on you, know that you’ve given more than you’ve received.
There’s been imbalance and dysfunction so forgive yourself, learn the lessons, grieve the loss, and choose yourself.
Originally Published on YourTango