11 Surprising Ways Your BFF Is Toxic & Bringing You Down

It’s not always easy to spot a mean girl or toxic BFF. She seems sweet and being with her is even fun but that’s because her poison is a little more difficult to notice. Here are 11 things she might do.

  1. She fake-supports you. When you tell her that you’re getting a promotion at work, she seems happy for you. But deep down, she’s not actually that happy for you. You’d never be able to tell, except for maybe that niggling feeling in your stomach when she doesn’t pitch to your celebratory dinner, explaining that something’s come up. Honestly? She just didn’t want to be there when you had the spotlight all to yourself.
  2. She puts you off your dreams. You tell her you want to write a book, travel the world, or open up a coffee shop and she has a list of reasons why it won’t work. This isn’t done in an obvious way of discouraging you from pursuing your passions but she has a clever way of making you think she’s wise. Maybe she’s just trying to steer you away from living your best life. She’s a frenemy!
  3. She always wants to one-up you. You buy a cute dress to wear out with your friend and ask for her opinion on it. She tells you it’s gorgeous and you look amazing and you try hard to believe her even though you’re having second thoughts about it and think its feathers and sparkly bits are a tad clownish. Still, she persuades you to wear it and at the party, she looks like a goddess and you look like a fool. She does this sort of thing to be better than you.
  4. She wears white to your wedding. It might not feel like a big deal, but if she knows you’re excited about your stunning wedding gown and she shows up in a revealing white dress that makes her the star of the show, she’s not respecting your feelings or even considering them. Who does that?
  5. She’s only around when you’re going through a tough time. When you’re going through a great patch in life, she’s always too busy to hang out. But the minute your BF leaves you, you lose your job, or your new car gets written off, she swoops in with a hot cup of tea and a reassuring smile. Hmmm. Don’t trust someone who can’t support you during good times but is there to bask in the glory of your defeat.
  6. She gives you compliments that feel off. She might give you a compliment such as, “Your new hairstyle is gorgeous!” but then she’ll add something else that makes you wonder if she’s really being nice, such as, “It’s quite unusual.” Um, is that a compliment or what?
  7. She doesn’t like your other friends. When you talk about your other friends, she rolls her eyes or clams up. She doesn’t want you having other friendships and might even give the impression that she dislikes them or that they’re bad for you when really she just wants to be the only one in your life. Jealous, much?
  8. She’s a love-bomber. Love-bombing isn’t just what happens on the dating scene—it can happen with toxic friends too. A friend who love-bombs you will go to great lengths to make you feel special. She’ll compliment you and tell you how amazing you are as a friend and she’ll always be ready to give you gifts or support you. It starts to make you feel uneasy, as though she’s being a better friend, and you’re right to feel unsettled—but not because you’re not a good friend. She’s doing this to manipulate you so that later on in the friendship, she can guilt you into doing what she wants you to do. Prepare to feel guilty when she asks for your help with something and you can’t drive across town to see her.
  9. She’s tough on others. No one ever seems to meet her unbelievably high standards. If this sounds like your BFF, be warned: maybe she’s holding you to the same lofty ideals. The second you fail to meet them, she’ll belittle you.
  10. She changes the subject. When you’re talking about something exciting, like the awesome guy you met, she doesn’t want to talk about it. She keeps changing the subject or making light of the conversation. What’s up with that? Don’t think you’re boring her, she’s just not interested in you being happy.
  11. She holds grudges. No friendship is going to run smoothly all the time. Even the best of buds will have an argument or two every now and then, but a toxic friend will hold onto grudges to the death. When you confront her about something she did to upset you, she’ll quickly try to turn the tables onto you, saying something like, “Well, what about what you’ve done to me in the past?” and then bring up all your previous mistakes. Shady!


Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.