Have you been friends with someone for awhile, but somehow feel off about your friendship? Maybe things don’t feel as fun as they used to and maybe you’re feeling more down than usual. Could you be in an abusive friendship? Here are some steps to find out.
- Compare your friendship with other friendships. What is different? What compares? Make a list of pros and cons about your friendship.
- Question if there is any physical abuse. Things like punching and kicking are obvious, but sometimes some may mistaken physical abuse to teasing. Things like flicking, pinching, and grabbing are physical abuse and do count.
- Question the mental abuse. Does your friend constantly put you down? Are you ridiculed? Think about your conversations with said friend. If you speak of things important to you, how do they view them? If anything you are passionate about seems insignificant to them, this is also a form of mental abuse. Friends should be supportive.
- Do they go out of their way to hurt you/make fun of you? How often do they do it, if they do? In abusive relationships, this tends to be an everyday sort of thing.
- Are they obsessed with you? Think about whether or not they stick around you constantly and if they become jealous of you being with other friends. Often times the other party can become severely jealous of “outsiders” and may try to wreck your friendship. This is not cool.
- Do they communicate with you? Does this friend openly communicate yours and their feelings with you? Try to communicate problems with them and take notice with what happens. Most of the times an abusive friend will shut you out entirely.
- Examine your relationship with this person on the outside. Think about it as a stranger would. Does the friendship seem normal to you or does it seem to be a destructive one? You decide and always trust your instincts.
Take necessary action to fix the relationship or walk away for good. Though they say most people never change their ways, one should always have a bit of faith in a friend. Try to make them open up and understand where you are coming from. It may take time or may not work, but know that it is always up to you to make things right in your own life.