Best Friend Trying To Change You? How To Spot The Red Flag In Your Friendships

Red flags don't only happen in romantic relationships. You might notice red flags on the first date with a romantic partner, but it can be more complicated to identify red flags within already-established friendships. If you're noticing that your friend is treating you differently than before, or you're not feeling comfortable within your friendship, there might be some red flags you've been missing.

If someone is trying to change who you are, it could be time to think hard about your friendship with them. Healthline warns that this type of behavior could be perceived as a red flag. Beneficial, healthy friendships include helping each other work on yourselves — alternatively, a toxic relationship with a friend might include someone pushing you too quickly or telling you that you should change. The person might also fail to offer support in other ways or listen to your feelings. There are a few things to consider in order to identify red flags in your friendships. 

Consider what your friend wants from you

Some red flags in friendships manifest themselves in the form of your friend disrespecting your boundaries. They might always ask you for something and then make you feel guilty for not giving it to them. "Even if you've told them that you have prior commitments or can't be available, they'll still ask for your availability and make you feel guilty for not showing up for them at the time they want," licensed therapist Karina Aybar-Jacobs tells Today. In a healthy friendship, you shouldn't feel guilty about making time for other relationships or self-care. 

"If someone is actively telling us who we are, how we laugh, or what we think is not allowed, that's not a relationship — not a healthy one at least," licensed marriage and family therapist Rachel Wright tells Well+Good. If your friend doesn't seem to like you when you're being yourself, that's also a red flag. True, healthy friendships include people who like each other for who they are.

Think about the way you behave and feel while with your friend

Another way to spot red flags in your friendships is to think about the way you feel when you're around your friend or while you're talking to them. Clinical psychologist and author Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo tells Women's Health that if you are happy when your plans get canceled, that could be a warning sign. She adds that when hanging out with them, "It feels more draining; it feels like a chore." If you don't feel good about who you are when you're with your friend, you might also be recognizing a red flag. Additionally, if you always feel like you're competing with your friend, that's something to keep in mind.

If you're noticing multiple red flags, it might be time to break up with a friend or cut them off to protect your own peace of mind.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.