Unmasking Toxic Behaviours Normalized in Friendships: A Call for Healthy Connections

Unmasking Toxic Behaviours Normalized in Friendships: A Call for Healthy Connections



Friendships are supposed to be a source of support, understanding, and joy, but unfortunately, some toxic behaviours have become normalized within these relationships. Recognizing and addressing these harmful patterns is essential for maintaining healthy connections and promoting emotional well-being. In this article, we'll shed light on toxic behaviours that are often overlooked or excused in friendships, urging everyone to cultivate relationships built on respect and positivity.

1. Constant Criticism Disguised as Honesty:

Toxic Behaviour: Constructive criticism is essential for personal growth, but when every interaction becomes a critique, it turns toxic. Friends should uplift and support each other rather than consistently tearing each other down under the guise of "honesty."

2. Unhealthy Competition:

Toxic Behaviour: Healthy competition can be motivating, but when it turns into a constant comparison, it becomes detrimental. Friends should celebrate each other's successes rather than viewing them as threats or reasons for jealousy.

3. Emotional Manipulation:

Toxic Behaviour: Manipulating friends emotionally by guilt-tripping, playing the victim, or using emotional leverage is toxic. True friendships are built on trust and open communication, not on manipulative tactics.

4. Ignoring Boundaries:

Toxic Behaviour: Friends should respect each other's boundaries, whether they are related to personal space, time, or emotional limits. Ignoring these boundaries can lead to discomfort and strain the relationship.

5. Conditional Support:

Toxic Behaviour: True friendships offer unwavering support, regardless of circumstances. When support becomes conditional on meeting specific expectations, it can create a toxic dynamic, fostering feelings of insecurity and inadequacy.

6. Gossiping and Betraying Trust:

Toxic Behaviour: Gossiping about mutual friends or betraying confidences erodes trust within a friendship. Friends should feel secure knowing that their vulnerabilities and secrets are safe within the circle of trust.

7. Isolating Behaviour:

Toxic Behaviour: Friends should encourage each other's social lives and personal growth. If one friend consistently isolates another or discourages them from forming new connections, it can lead to unhealthy dependency and stagnation.

8. Gaslighting:

Toxic Behaviour: Gaslighting involves manipulating someone into doubting their own perceptions, feelings, or sanity. In friendships, gaslighting can lead to confusion, self-doubt, and emotional distress.

9. Undermining Achievements:

Toxic Behaviour: True friends celebrate each other's accomplishments. Constantly undermining or downplaying achievements can breed resentment and diminish the joy that should come from shared successes.

10. Overly Competitive Humour:

Toxic Behaviour: Jokes at the expense of a friend's well-being, appearance, or abilities, even if disguised as humour, can be hurtful and detrimental. Friends should engage in light-hearted banter that uplifts rather than belittles.


Recognizing and addressing toxic behaviours within friendships is crucial for fostering positive, supportive connections. By promoting open communication, setting healthy boundaries, and prioritizing each other's well-being, friends can cultivate relationships that contribute to personal growth and happiness. It's time to break the cycle of normalized toxicity and embrace friendships that elevate, rather than diminish, the human experience.