Warning signs of an abusive friendship and what to do about it

Friends are our support system like no other. They help us get through a difficult phase with emotional support and share our joys. The best thing about good friendships is that you can be yourself without feeling judged. However, friendships can also be abusive and while you may not realize it at first, a manipulative, controlling, or unpredictable friend can disrupt your mental health and make you doubt your sanity. It is possible to develop a deep friendship with someone who may be trying to control every aspect of your life, isolating you from others or blaming you (directly or indirectly) for everything that goes wrong in their life. (Also Read: What Does False Hope Look Like In A Relationship)

Abuse in friendships should never be minimized or ignored (Freepik)
Abuse in friendships should never be minimized or ignored (Freepik)

“Friendship abuse should never be minimized or ignored. Unfortunately, many people associate abuse only with romantic relationships or family members, leaving out the harsh reality of friendship abuse. It’s harder to recognize and more complicated to deal with. Often, the abuser can be the person. Use manipulation, guilt-tripping, and gaslighting tactics to control the victim’s actions or behavior. It’s important to remember that friendship shouldn’t feel like an obligation or a burden. If your ‘friendship’ includes unspoken rules or constant worry, it Maybe. It’s time to rethink your relationship. Remember that abuse comes in many forms, and it’s important to surround yourself with healthy and supportive relationships,” says Dr. Chandni Tuganite, MD (Alternative Medicine), Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Business Coach, NLP Expert, heeler. , Founder and Director – Gateway of Healing.

Dr. Chandni shares some red flags of abusive friendships:


An abuser constantly and unfairly blames their friends or loved ones for their failures, weaknesses, and disappointments. They may also make unnecessary criticisms or judgments that harm other people’s self-esteem and identity.


Abusers often try to control every aspect of their partner’s life, including what they wear and spend time with. They can also manipulate their peers into believing that their behavior is appropriate and worthy.


Abusers will try to isolate their victims to gain more power over them by preventing them from forming meaningful relationships with others and keeping them dependent on the abuser.


Abusers may use threats of physical, psychological, or emotional harm to control their victims. If the demand is not met, they may even threaten suicide.


An abuser’s behavior can be erratic and unpredictable, making it difficult for their partner to know what they are capable of or when they will lash out. This constant fear and worry can affect a person’s emotional well-being and mental health.

If you recognize these red flags in your friendship, there are several steps Dr. Chandni suggests you can take to protect yourself and protect yourself from abuse.

Reach out for help

Reaching out for professional help is essential if you are in an abusive friendship or relationship. You can contact a doctor to get the help and guidance you need.

Create a safety plan

Developing an action plan that outlines what to do if your partner is abusive can help keep you safe and make it easier to leave if necessary. This should include a place to stay, access to transportation, and ways to communicate with trusted people who can provide emotional support during difficult times.

Establish boundaries

Setting clear boundaries with your partner can help reduce their power over you and indicate that certain behaviors will not be tolerated. Make sure these boundaries are clearly communicated so your partner knows what is acceptable and unacceptable.

Practice self-care

Recovering from an abusive relationship requires taking care of yourself emotionally and physically. Make sure you prioritize activities that bring you joy, peace and relaxation. It is also important to stay in touch with supportive friends and family members who can provide support during difficult times.

“Finally, remember that abuse is never okay, and it’s not your fault if you find yourself in an abusive relationship. If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, reach out for help today,” concludes Dr Chandni.

Leave a Comment