Friend or Foe

As people grow older, friendships start to become more important. If those friendships are toxic, they can have a profound effect on one’s well-being.


Diya Schon

Letting go of a toxic friend can lead to a weight being lifted off of your shoulders and can result in a more positive look on life.

As one transitions from a child to an adult, different people become important to them; according to psychology teacher Tony Borchert, friends become the priority in peoples’ lives when they become older. Some benefits of teenage friendships are self-validation, an improvement of social skills and self-discovery.  According to Sophomore Joaquin Barba, who has been in toxic friendships previously, a toxic friendship is the exact opposite. 

“A toxic friendship is a friendship where only one person is receiving joy,” Barba said. 

Recognizing toxic friendships can be a challenge. Sophomore Eva Zack was once in a toxic friendship, and she struggled to realize it. 

“The beginning was pretty normal… but her toxicity rubbed off on me,” Zack said. “My friend often made dark jokes and comments, and she would specifically pinpoint my other friend and me.”

When jokes between friends become insulting, it can be a sign that a friendship is toxic. Borchert believes that toxic habits in one friend (such as making deprecating jokes) can negatively impact the other friend.

“If you have a really, really close friend who is toxic, it has a profound negative impact on you in many ways,” Borchert said. “You definitely are in danger of picking up bad habits from toxic friends.”

If a friend’s toxicity is impacting the other friend, it could mean that it is time to take action. Sometimes it can be difficult to decide if it is better to fix or end a friendship. According to Thought Catalog, the best way to fix friendships is to have a conversation.

“Talk it out with the friend and get their side of the situation,” Noble Newman of Thought Catalog wrote. “If they’ve become a different person, there may be a reason.”

If talking with the toxic friend doesn’t work and it seems as though the friendship cannot be fixed, one may decide that ending the friendship is the best decision. If that’s the case, Barba recommends that people distance themselves from their toxic friends.

“I would slowly stop talking and hanging out with them,” Barba said. “I wouldn’t completely cut them off, as that gives them a way to make themselves the victim. That makes it harder to end the friendship.”

While dealing with toxic friendships can be challenging, one may find that they are happier when their toxic friendships are either fixed or removed from their lives.