Seriously, these are super useful tidbits that everyone should have in their back pockets. Here's what they said:
1. "Someone who doesn't cheer you on in life. I have a friend who decided to go into the same career as me. I got a summer job in my career recently. So I told her, and her response was silence and then a remark about how I might not be good at it."
2. "I feel kind of bad about this one, but if a person is in their twenties or thirties, and they say their best friend is a person they just met, be on guard. Because where are their other friends from the rest of their life?"
3. "Subtle, underhanded criticisms or put-downs that they make in order to make themselves feel good or powerful. It's obviously something that bullies do, but I've found that some 'friends' often do it as well, even if they like the person, probably out of insecurity."
4. "When they try to get you involved in their drama that you have no place being involved in."
5. "If you feel the need to change the way you act around them, they probably aren’t a real friend. I used to do this all the time. I acted like I was interested in all the same things as them and even tried to mimic the way they talked and stuff, but I never felt a connection because they were just friends with a 'fake' me. I started acting normally around them, and within a week or two, they wouldn’t even talk to me. Real friends should like you for who you are."
6. "This one’s just for us male-presenting folks: If they say completely different things when women aren’t around, and expect you to be 'in' on their code-switching, that means they’re misogynists. And besides the ick factor that comes with misogyny, this indicates that they’re going to be low-key toxic in their interactions with you. Don’t spend time around men who don’t respect women, even if you’re not a woman."
7. "Someone who says something offensive and then plays it off as a joke. My ex-friend said my clothing style was ugly. Then, when I told her that that isn't nice, she told me to relax and that she's just joking."
8. "The biggest sign for me that a friendship isn’t healthy is if I feel like I’m lowering my moral standard to be in it — that I’m a worse version of myself, behaving in ways that go against my stated values. For me, a healthy friendship is one that helps you be the best version of yourself — a person you can be proud of."
9. "When your friend is always on their phone whenever they’re with you, but whenever you text them when you’re not with them, it's always, 'Sorry, I just saw this. Haven’t been on my phone all day.'"
10. "I had a friend who legit said to me, 'Everyone else is busy. Can you hangout with me?' I knew right then and there that I was last option for her."
11. "Centering themselves/making themselves the victim. I’d also like to add from experience with a former friend. She apologized after she stood me up with a text, saying, 'I’m such a terrible person!' Major red flag. I didn’t notice it until later when I realized she never genuinely apologized to me. She was making herself a victim, so I would be trying to make her feel better about standing me up. Yeah, no."
15. During an argument, these two comments are made, or variations thereof, in this exact order: 'Stop talking to me' and 'Why are you ignoring me?'"
16. "I had a friend who would always tell the most embarrassing story about me to anyone new — my friends, her friends, people we just met. After I asked her to stop, she just kept doing it because it was so funny to her."
17. "Giving your honest opinion is fine, but it should always be done in a loving, respectful way. If someone is always giving 'harsh criticism,' it will lead to hurt feelings and arguments."
18. "If you feel like you need to keep your guard up around your friend and constantly patrol your boundaries, that's a pretty bad sign."
Well, there you have it. I'm definitely keeping an eye on this stuff. Have you ever had a friend who did some of these things? Let me know in the comments below!
Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.