3 traits to determine a friend’s toxicity

Kate Rehwinkel, Columnist

Friends are people who are supposed to care about you and your wellbeing, or so I thought. I recently had a friendship end a couple of weeks ago. The friendship lasted a year and a half and I thought we would be friends until college ended. Now that we are no longer friends, I see how much happier I am. Looking back, I would say the relationship was always toxic. Here are some traits I noticed in my friend that you should look out for, too.

They criticize your lifestyle

My friend would constantly say that I need to dress nicer in order to get guys. One time she said that her first impression of how I dress was that I look like a virgin. Another thing she would criticize me for was the type of music I would listen to. She would say it was too “white.” That would make me insecure and sad for awhile, but then I realized I’m happy with my music and clothes and don’t need to conform to something I’m not.

They make fun of your mental health

A month ago she got mad about how I ruined her weekend by being depressed and how I use my mental illness as a crutch to be lazy. The worst part about that conversation was she yelled it out loud in the dining hall for other students to hear. It was embarrassing for me, but I remained calm and did not engage with her attitude. Friends are supposed to be understanding about your mental health and not make fun of it. If they don’t understand mental illnesses, they are still supposed to support their friends that have them.

They make you afraid to say ‘no’

When I got my car on campus things changed with my friend. We were constantly going somewhere, whether it was for food or Walmart. I had no problem driving around Charleston, but when she wanted to go home, which was 3 and a half hours away, I was a little hesitant. When I drove her there once, she didn’t even offer gas money. Our friendship ended when I told her I would not drive her home for Easter weekend. I was afraid to say no in fear that she would be angry and get mad, which is toxic. I realized she can’t make me drive her and if she wants to go home so bad, she needs to find another way.

These traits in a friend are important to notice if you find a friendship getting rocky, if you are starting to feel like your friend doesn’t have your best interests in mind and if you’re beginning to suspect your friend is toxic. I learned that the hard way; I hope you don’t have to.

Kate Rehwinkel is a junior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].