1. You’re giving more than you’re getting.
If your friend always seems to need your help, but can’t return even the smallest favor, then chances are they’re toxic. You can tell, Bonior says, when "there's a big imbalance between what you're giving and what you're getting." Case in point: that friend who always monopolizes the conversation with what's going on in her life, but as soon as it's time to talk about you, suddenly remembers that she just has to be somewhere.
2. You no longer trust them.
Friendships are built on trust. After all, if you can’t rely on your BFF, what’s the point of having one? So, Bonior says, "If you don't trust that they have your best interests in mind... that's often a sign that something's not working." For example, a toxic friend might say "they’ll pick you up at the airport and then back out at the last minute," according to clinical psychologist Jill Squyres, Ph.D. Granted, sometimes people have to break promises for a legit reason, and that’s totally fair. But if "you constantly feel let down by them… it's gonna be hard for you to have the level of affection for them that could truly keep a good friendship going."
3. You dread checking your phone.
Technology has made it so easy to keep up with your friends—for better or, uh, worse. You’ll know it’s the second option "when the person calls or texts you [and] you feel a dread in the pit of your stomach instead of happiness," says Squyres. A good friend shouldn’t make you freak out whenever your phone buzzes, so it’s probably time to hit that "Do Not Disturb" button.
4. You don’t enjoy spending time with them.
If you did a happy dance the last time they cancelled plans, it’s probably because you’re tired of putting in more work than the friendship is worth. "It feels more draining; it feels like a chore," Bonior says. You also might notice "an increase in anxiety, headaches, or stomach disturbance when you’re with her," according to clinical psychologist and author Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D.
5. You don't like yourself when you're with them.
A toxic friend has a knack for spreading their toxicity to others, according to Bonior. "When you're with that person, they bring out behaviors in you that aren't your best," she explains. Maybe you're drinking too much, gossiping, or being passive-aggressive with them when you're normally super-chill. Those are all signs, she says, of a toxic friendship.
6. You know they talk sh*t about you.
While “there's a spectrum of talking about people behind their back,” according to Bodior, if your friendship is starting to resemble an episode of the Real Housewives, it’s probably toxic. The key, she says, is knowing if your friend is speaking out of genuine concern for your best interests or not. “It's one thing for some friends to be like, 'You know, I really don't like that guy Shelly's dating. He seems like a jerk, and I'm concerned about it,” Bodior explains. “Once it launches into 'Oh my god, Shelly always dates the dumbest guys,' and [they’re] kind of laughing about it and making fun of her—that really veers into cruelty.”
7. You compete with them.
There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition between friends—emphasis on the little. This is especially true if you happen to be in the same field or have kids at the same time, Bonior notes, "but at the end of the day, you should still have good feelings toward your friend and want what's best for them overall." While it’s totally normal to feel jealous from time to time, if you feel like you’re in "a constant fight that you want to win over and over again," that can be toxic.
8. You don’t think they have good intentions.
Even the best of friends are nowhere near perfect (obvs), but they always have good intentions. And that makes a big difference. "Whenever we make mistakes in a friendship, that's when the intention really matters," Bonior notes. While a good friend might accidentally hurt you when her intentions were good, "that's a lot easier to forgive" than when a toxic friend intentionally hurts you.