Is My Friend Toxic?

Take this quiz to find out!

Friendships are all about offering support, sharing love, and keeping the good vibes flowing… but lately, your friend doesn’t seem to pass the vibe check. Could the friendship be turning toxic, or is your friendship just going through a rough patch?

We’re here to help. Hit the “Start Quiz” button to get a better idea if your friend is toxic or not—and what you can do if they are.


Questions Overview

1. How often does your friend flake on plans?
  1. Constantly! They almost always cancel at the last minute.
  2. Frequently. I might as well flip a coin to see if they show up.
  3. Occasionally. They usually have a good excuse, though.
  4. Never. If they give me their word, I know they’ll be there.
2. You just spent the day with your friend and you’re finally back home. How are you feeling?
  1. Weary. Being around them makes me feel drained and unhappy.
  2. Meh. I don’t feel terrible, but I don’t feel good, either.
  3. Happy. I had a pretty good time with them.
  4. Great! I feel recharged, uplifted and better about myself after being with them.
3. Your friend asks you to go skydiving with them, but you say no. What’s their response?
  1. “Don’t be such a baby. You always ruin everything!”
  2. “I was really looking forward to doing this with you, but okay.”
  3. “Aw, darn. Will you at least come with me to the airport?”
  4. “No worries! Skydiving definitely isn’t for everyone.”
4. You just told them a big secret. Are their lips sealed?
  1. Not at all—they’ve probably spilled the beans already.
  2. Doubtful. At least 1 other person probably knows about it.
  3. Possibly. They’re pretty trustworthy, but they’ve slipped up before.
  4. Absolutely! They won’t tell another soul.
5. What’s your friend’s sense of humor like?
  1. Pretty mean and passive-aggressive. It feels like I’m the butt of all their jokes.
  2. Not great. They’re funny sometimes, but they’re also pretty insensitive.
  3. Playful. Sometimes they tease me a little too much, but it’s not malicious.
  4. Respectful. Their jokes never cross the line.
6. You tell your friend you had a super tough day. How does your friend respond?
  1. “You think that’s bad? Wait until you hear about my day…”
  2. “Hmm, it probably wasn’t that bad.”
  3. “I’m sorry—that sounds really frustrating.”
  4. “Oh no! What happened? Tell me all about it.”
7. How often is your friend involved in some type of drama?
  1. Once a week, easily. They’re constantly fighting with someone.
  2. Once a month. There’s always drama lurking around the corner.
  3. Once a year. They’re involved in drama occasionally, but not often.
  4. Almost never. I can’t remember the last time they were involved in a conflict.
8. You just called out your friend on something hurtful they said. What’s their response?
  1. “You’re being way too sensitive.”
  2. “I’m sorry you feel that way, but it’s not my fault you can’t take a joke.”
  3. “I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings.”
  4. “I’m so sorry. What can I do to make this right?”
9. You just got a 96% on your final exam. What’s your friend’s reaction?
  1. “Wow, you did way better than I thought you would.”
  2. “That’s pretty good, but I actually scored 98%.”
  3. “Congrats! You must feel so relieved.”
  4. “That’s fantastic! I knew you could do it.”
10. With 1 being bad and 10 being great, how would you rate your friend’s listening skills?
  1. 1-2. It feels like I’m talking to a wall sometimes.
  2. 3-5. Not great, but they could be worse.
  3. 6-7. I have their attention 75% of the time.
  4. 8-10. When I’m talking, I know I have their full attention.
11. Your friend wants to hang out, but you already made plans with your roomie. What do they say?
  1. “Couldn’t you hang with them another night? I’m so lonely…”
  2. “You should bail and hang out with me instead.”
  3. “Darn! I guess we can hang out another time.”
  4. “No worries! I hope you have a great time with them.”
12. How would you describe your friendship in 1 word?
  1. One-sided. I don’t feel like I’m seen or heard.
  2. Tiring. I feel pretty drained after spending time with them.
  3. Good. We have our ups and downs, but they make me happy.
  4. Amazing. I feel really valued and cherished.

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The Ins and Outs of Toxic Friendships

Friendships are meant to be positive and empowering—not negative and draining. If your friend tends to drag you down rather than raise you up, it might be time to take a closer look at your relationship with them.

Signs of a Toxic Friendship

  • They always need to be #1. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of friendly rivalry, but some people take the spirit of competition a little too far. These friends are constantly looking for opportunities to show off their accomplishments—and show how their achievements are better and more impressive than yours.
  • They’re constantly unreliable. Everyone runs late once in awhile, but this friend takes tardiness to a whole new level. They almost never show up on time (if they even show up at all), and aren’t afraid to cancel their plans in order to do something more “fun.”
  • They take far more than they give. This type of friend only hangs around when it’s convenient for them—and when they are around, the conversation always revolves around them. They’ll shoot you a text only when no one else is around, or ask to hang out only if they have nothing better to do.
  • They’re really bossy. While there’s nothing wrong with speaking your mind, this friend has a little too much to say. They’ll interrupt you and butt in with their own ideas, they’ll offer unsolicited advice or opinions, and they’ll even try to tell you what you can and can’t do.
  • They make you feel uncomfortable. Healthy friendships revolve around healthy boundaries—and, most importantly, respecting those boundaries. This type of friend will pressure you to do something even if you say no, or encourage you to do something that you know is wrong.
  • They use you as a punchline. Playful teasing and banter are a normal part of a healthy friendship, but your friend should always be laughing with you, not at you. This friend isn’t afraid to annoy or embarrass you for the sake of a “joke”—and when you call them out, they’ll just call you “sensitive.”
  • They’re insincere and not trustworthy. This type of friend is always spreading gossip (and isn’t afraid to include your name in the rumor mill). They might say something nice and supportive to your face, only to backtrack and say mean things about you to someone else. Needless to say, they aren’t very trustworthy with a secret.
  • They have narcissistic tendencies. Your friend uses you as a source of their narcissistic supply (someone who gives them constant attention and admiration) without caring about your thoughts and feelings. When they don’t get this narcissistic supply from you, they’ll turn on you and move to someone else who will supply them.

What to Do Next

  • Ask a different friend or loved one for their perspective. It’s sometimes hard to see the full picture when you’re stuck in an unhealthy friendship, but a neutral, uninvolved individual might be able to help. Explain what’s going on and share how your potentially toxic friend has treated you. Your neutral confidant can offer some advice and give their own take on the situation.
  • Take a temporary break from the friendship. Over the next few days or weeks, space yourself out from the toxic friend in question by contacting them less and politely declining their invitations to hang out. During this break, check in with yourself and see how you feel—do you feel more refreshed and happy without this person being around? If so, they’re probably a toxic or negative force in your life.
  • Talk to your toxic friend using “I” statements. “I” statements allow you to share your feelings without assigning blame to another person (“I really appreciate being heard. When I was growing up, my dad didn’t listen to me and it made me feel so bad. When you hear me and really listen, I appreciate it so much.”). In general, using “I” statements gives you a lot of freedom to discuss your feelings in an open, respectful, and non-confrontational way.
  • Give your friend another chance if you think they can change. Sometimes, people don’t realize they’re being toxic until you address their behavior. If your friend seems genuinely apologetic and willing to change, it might be worth giving them a second chance.
  • Let the friendship fade on its own if you doubt anything will change. Don’t go out of your way to hang out with them, and avoid texting them and interacting with them on social media. In the meantime, focus on spending more time with friends who value you and treat you with respect.
  • End the friendship quietly. If the friendship is not working, it is acceptable to quietly move away without saying anything to them. If the person asks (which most likely won’t happen), you can decide if you’d like to explain your feelings candidly. In this scenario, you might say “I really don’t think we’re compatible as friends, and I don’t think we should hang out as much.”

Reader Success Stories

  • Shivali H.

    Shivali H.

    Jun 28

    "It's actually great. I totally thought that I was the problem in the friendship, but it's totally false...." more
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