Learning how to recognize -- and exit -- a toxic friendship is important. But we're often taught to look at the other person as the "toxic friend," not ourselves. Healthy friendships are hard, but it's even harder to ask, "Am I the problem?"
Recognize any of these habits? Don't worry, you can change.
1. You want your friend to change
Spoiler alert: There are a million things your friends would change about you that you'll never know about, because that's not how friendship works. You bring people into your life as-is, not under the condition they become different people.
It didn't work when you did it with that disaster you were dating, and it's definitely not going to work now. Everyone has weaknesses, but that's why you have other friends with strengths that make up for it.
2. You tell your friend everything -- no, really, everything
You want to be able to go to your friends with any issue, but that doesn't mean you should. Word vomit is real and it happens to the best of us.
Whether it's constant updates on your feelings or sharing every deep dark secret, TMI can place a burden on any friendship -- especially if your friend already told you that she doesn't want to hear this kind of stuff. In which case, swearing her to secrecy about it is just adding unfair pressure.
3. You're overprotective
When it comes to romantic (and even other platonic) relationships, no one is good enough for your friend. Or at least, that's what your possessive streak tells you.
You may have the best of intentions when you get between your friend and everyone else in her life, but sorry, you're not letting your friend live her own life. It makes you more high-maintenance than you realize. Save it for when you have legitimate concerns about your friend's well-being, and maybe you won't come off as so controlling.
4. You're a crisis magnet
Admit it, drama is just fun sometimes -- but when you act like every minor frustration is an emergency, it's not healthy. It's especially toxic if you expect your friend to always rescue you...and if you get angry when she doesn't.
Relax and rely on your own problem-solving skills, and your friend will be there when it really matters. But even then, understand that she may not have the answers either.
5. You both always get too drunk together
It's fine to let loose and party with your friends. But like with any relationship, if you're only having fun when you're trashed, it's not good for either of you. There's a fine line between a fun friendship and an enabling one.
6. You keep score
Being competitive may be helpful at work or on the field, but there's no place for it in friendship. Vocally comparing yourself with your friends will make you sound either arrogant or jealous. Stop pretending to be happy for them when they succeed, and just be happy for them. Like a friend.
7. You NEED them
Everyone needs companionship, but actively needing a specific person -- who's not your mom or dad, anyway -- is the most toxic thing you can do in any relationship.
Friends aren't life coaches or therapists, and they have their own stuff to worry about. Work on setting healthier boundaries, because friendships are supposed to serve a much lighter purpose: Enjoying each other's company.