Negative Effects of Abusive Friendships

May 31, 2024 | Relationships, Mental Health | 0 comments

In one of the articles, we have already discussed abusive friendships. But how do they affect us? What are the negative effects of abusive friendships?

We all want to have good friends in our lives. Good friends support us, reduce stress levels, and boost our overall happiness.

But unfortunately, life is not a fairy tale; toxic people can become our friends. There are many reasons why this happens. It could be a result of your childhood—perhaps one or both of your parents were abusive, and you instinctively seek people who are similar to them. Or maybe you have low self-esteem due to other factors, which ‘attract’ abusers into your life, much like how a wounded animal attracts a predator.

First of all, I want to assure you that you are not the problem, and you are not a bad friend. You can work through this.

How Do Abusive Friendships Impact Our Lives?

Have you ever noticed how you feel after communicating with an abusive friend? Most of the time, you probably feel worse than you did before talking to them.

Sure, sometimes they can make you feel better, but this is what all abusers usually do. They give you a little bit of attention, and you grab onto it like a breath of fresh air. But don’t fool yourself. If you want to refresh your memory, you can always revisit the article about abusive friendships on our website and reread the warning signs.

Doubting Self-Worth

If a person you consider your friend says something negative about you, embarrasses you in front of others, or repeatedly makes offensive ‘jokes’ about you, it can make you believe in it. Even if it is not true, it makes you question and doubt yourself.

Increased Stress Levels

A friend who makes all your communications about them can make your head spin. You start to feel overwhelmed. Their attitude towards others and themselves can be draining.

Drowning in their problems and unnecessary drama, often created out of thin air, takes a lot of your energy.

And guess what?

You’re not getting anything in return—only more stress.

Moodiness (irritability)

When you are overwhelmed for long periods of time, you become more moody. Additionally, abusers love to artificially make your mood swing from positive feelings to negative feelings.


Abusive friends manipulate you. One of their techniques is to make you feel guilty. They can get offended for no reason and leave you sitting there, wondering what you did wrong.

Other Negative Effects

The overall negative effects of an abusive friendship are similar to those of emotional abuse:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Insomnia
  • Loneliness
  • Depression

Listen to Your Feelings

emtional intelligence

Do you feel better or worse after communicating with such a friend?

Do you feel like yourself?

Do you really need this in your life? Do you need to solve someone else’s problems while getting almost nothing in return? Of course, all of us need support from time to time, but in abusive friendships, you are the only one providing it. You are the only one who offers support.

Are you ready to spend the most precious thing you have—your time—solving someone else’s problems, gossiping, or getting involved in absolutely unnecessary drama?

The Bottom Line

The negative effects of an abusive friendship are a threat to your well-being. Stress alone can cause numerous health issues. But you are not only facing physical and mental health problems; you are also losing time. Time that you could spend on yourself or on people who truly care.

A Few Words of Positive Motivation

confident woman

Sometimes we outgrow our friends. Maybe in the past, you shared the same trauma with someone and became friends, but you worked through it while the other person is not letting you move on easily. This is called ‘crab mentality’—’If I can’t get what I want, then I won’t let you have it either.’

Or maybe childhood trauma led you to that friendship.

In any case, if you are reading this article, you are working on yourself. You want to be happier and healthier, and that is what matters. Self-reflection is a gift.

Remember, you are in control of your life. Don’t let other people ruin it. If you decide to end an abusive relationship, you will only benefit from it. It will be tough and challenging at the beginning, but after some time, you’ll be happier! If you have trouble going through it alone, you can always work with a professional who can help you through it. But it is worth it. Your life and your well-being are what really matters.

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