Home » Toxic Friend

Toxic Friend

Asked by on with 1 answer:

Hi, one of my friends that I have is becoming very toxic to me and I don’t know what to do.
She and I met over a decade ago when we worked in the same place.
She is on the one hand, tries to be nice, loyal, helpful if I have a difficult situation, knows me well, etc. but on the other hand, she is a very bitter, critical and harsh person- and lately doing it to me as well.

I can’t blame her, she is all alone except for her dh and her father (she doesn’t get along w/ her father). She has no children and no job, and has a hard life. However, every time I talk to her, she criticizes me, or the way I do thing, or she is the only one who knows how to do xyz, everyone else is stupid etc. As it is, I have low self confidence and this is very hard for me to take. For example- she’ll ask me how I make a certain dish, and when I tell her-she says in an amazed voice- ‘that’s how u make it. ugh’. (mind you, everyone says I’m a great cook.) And of course if she gives me advice or says I made a mistake, she says she tells me the truth to be helpful, because she cares- but she is so tactless, its almost nasty.
I don’t want to cut her off totally- firstly bec I feel bad for her, and also bec. then I will have no friends. So how can I become more immune to her comments?

Toxic Friend

Answered by on -


It is time for new friends. While I don’t recommend a complete cutoff I do think that everything you’ve said indicates you need to find more people to connect with. Try taking a class, joining a group, volunteering, attending free lectures, etc. In other words, start increasing your contact and connection with other people so you have more choices. Once you have options it will be easier to deal with your friend.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Toxic Friend

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Toxic Friend. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.