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Silouettes of two women arguingAny relationship that you find yourself in – dating, family, friends or otherwise – should be enhancing your life, not bringing you down or causing you stress. As I pop my kettle corn and sit in front of the TV to watch shows like Real Housewives of Atlanta or Basketball Wives, I cringe every time a friend turns foe. Almost every other episode, these grown women want to claw each other’s eyes out or bad mouth one another. Most of this is for entertainment purposes, but life imitates art.

Most of us have experienced a toxic friendship or two. Sometimes you may not know it when you see it, but after some time goes by, you begin to realize that not everyone you keep close to you has your best interest at heart. Remember, some people like to keep their enemies closer to them than their friends. In case you’re feeling frustrated in certain friendships, here are 5 tell-tale signs that you need to leave your friend in your past and move forward.

Self Love: There’s a difference between a chatter box and a self-important friend. If your friend goes on and on about herself and you find yourself not being able to talk about you, then you’ve got a self-absorbed fan. Is she always talking about her own wants, needs and problems while skimming over or completely disregarding yours? You need to think twice about that friendship. You should have a bond that goes beyond a one-sided conversation.

Not So Friendly Competition: Friends should never compete. Friendship is not a battle that’s looking for the last man standing. However, women have this unspoken competition going on between most of us. Mild competition between friends translates into motivation to do and be better. But there’s a thin line between inspiration and straight up battling. When you compete, there has to be a winner and a loser. In the end, you both lose because when you compete with your friends, you lose…your friends.

Broken Promises: There’s nothing I hate more than broken promises. Sometimes your friends get a pass because they can’t make it to something they told you they would come to or they can’t do something they told you that they would, but honestly when it’s all the time, you’ve got to cut that one loose. Who wants to always be frustrated by a friend? Frustration breeds anger and if you’re finding yourself lowering your standards of friendship because you know your friend will either cancel or not show up, you’ll never be happy with this person.

The Critic: If your friends can’t be honest with you, who can? You should always count on your friends to give you the 100% truth. However, being too honest can sometimes come off as criticism. The only thing wrong with criticism is when it crosses over from constructive to destructive. You can tell the difference. If your friend is constantly telling you things that you need to change or fix about yourself and they aren’t able to take any type of criticism from you, your friend is destructive. Think about it, do you want to constantly feel defensive when your friend is  “only trying to help”? (You know, that popular phrase your criticizing friend uses.) I think not.

Blabbermouth: Your friends always get to know the nitty gritty about you and your life. You trust these people with your deepest darkest secrets, or at least you should. When you tell your friend something and it somehow magically makes its way back to you, you know for sure that it was that friend who spilled the beans. This is unforgivable. Trust is everything in any relationship and once that’s broken, it’s difficult to get it back.

Follow me on Twitter @Rhapsodani

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