6 signs your friendship is wrecking your self-esteem, rather than lifting you up

Even though there are some people in our lives who have been around since we could walk, that doesn’t mean each and every one of them has to stay our friend forever. Sometimes there’s a friendship that brings you negativity and toxicity more than anything else, and although it can seem impossible to let go of these people, it’s important we distinguish between which friends are valuable and which are aren’t.

People grow as time passes by, and there comes a time when a friendship isn’t what it used to be. This could happen for a number of reasons. Maybe you’re in different stages in life. Perhaps you’ve had a fall out over some major event. Whatever the case may be, there’s a chance you’re holding onto this friendship for reasons you can’t even explain to yourself. As soon as your friend is the very person who makes you feel small or insecure, that’s when you know it’s time to invest your energy elsewhere. Because a true friend will never make you feel bad about yourself.

Here are six signs your friendship is wrecking your self-esteem.

1When you’re together, you feel like you can’t speak your mind

One of the best parts of having a best friend is that you can say whatever you want, whenever it pops up in your head—and you know there won’t be any judgment around it. Therefore, take it as a red flag if your friend is responding to what you have to say with an uncivil tone that makes you feel like you want to censor yourself. If you can’t speak about the things you believe in, your self-confidence will slowly start to deteriorate.

2You feel uncomfortable changing clothes in front of them

It may not sound like a big deal from the outside, but feeling uncomfortable naked in front of your friend is a good indicator that something is off in your friendship. True friends are the people who are never going to judge you for your body or make you feel bad about your figure. If you simply can’t bring yourself to change an outfit in front of your friend, you might want to question where that fear is coming from, and whether this friendship is still a healthy one that’s worth maintaining.

3You feel bad about yourself when they tell you about their accomplishments

You’ll never find two friends who are in exactly the same place in their lives, whether it’s professionally or personally. That should never come between your friendship, though. Does your friend brag about their success to the point where it sounds like they’re taking a jab at you? If this continues, your self-esteem will slowly plummet, no matter how hard you try to stay proud of yourself. You deserve a friend who believes in you just as much as you believe in yourself—if not more.

4You feel self-conscious when you go somewhere together

This is a surefire sign that your friendship has crossed into the competitive territory, and there’s nothing more unhealthy than that. You should never think of your best friend as someone you’re going to head-to-head with, because comparing yourself to someone else will only make you think poorly of yourself in the long run. If you find that you’re stuck in a mud of comparison with your friend, things are probably not that great between the two of you.

5You ignore their texts and calls when you feel like you don’t have anything exciting to say

The best kind of friendships are the ones where you don’t feel like you have to put on a show. You can just be yourself no matter what and you know they’ll accept you for you. Ignoring communication with your friend because you’re afraid you’ll waste their time with your “boring” stories isn’t a good way to live. And if they’re giving off the vibe that you’re not entertaining enough for them at any given point, take that as a sign that this friendship is meant to come to a close.

6You fear that you represent them poorly to their friends or family

Friends who are judgmental and disapproving are the ones who will make you feel like you’re not good enough. The more your self-esteem decreases around this friend of yours, the more likely you are to feel like you don’t belong with the people in their life, as if you can’t keep up with their exciting lives. Don’t let that kind of thinking cloud your judgment. You’re incredible exactly the way you are—and a true friend will never make you feel otherwise.

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