7 Types of Toxic Friends to Watch out For

two girls at a table

Friendships are an important part of life. Friends can motivate you to follow your dreams and teach you how to be a better person. They also are fun to spend time with and can cheer you up when you are down. But when you have the wrong types of friends in your life, your alliances with them can do you more harm than good.

As a result, it is important to choose your friends wisely. Be sure the people who are closest to you are the ones that make your life better, not worse. Remember, good friends improve your life, while toxic friends destroy it.

The User

This type of friend is sometimes called a fair-weather friend. The User seems to be there for you, make plans with you, and even invite you places—that is, until something better comes along. This friend is always looking for a way to improve their social status or to find a romantic partner. They also do not want to be alone on the weekends. But once you have served your purpose, they will be gone.

You deserve a friend who is friends with you even when they are in a relationship or while other friends are vying for their attention. With a User, you are just a friend of convenience.

The Leech

This type of friend always needs you and expects you to drop everything when they call. While it is important to be a supportive friend, with this type of friend, you have to set boundaries. If you do not, after a while, this type of friend will drain your energy and your time.

The Negative Nellie

This friend is never satisfied with anything they have. As a result, they spend a lot of time whining and grumbling about how the world is so unfair.

Negative Nellies also tend to have negative opinions about almost everything. Not only is this type of friend negative about their life, but they also direct that negativity toward you as well. They may criticize everything from the clothes you wear to the people you talk to. They also struggle with jealousy and envy at times and will never compliment you.

Look for friends that can be happy for you and supportive. Avoid those who are negative and critical.

The Drama Queen

This friend’s life is like one long soap opera. Every day there seems to be disappointments, letdowns, heartbreaks, and sadness. With this friend, you become the problem-solver. But remember, they are probably not really interested in changing because they actually thrive on the drama.

What’s more, this type of friend is typically self-absorbed and is not interested in hearing about your issues or concerns. A Drama Queen is so wrapped up in their life, they never notice when you might need an encouraging word.

Good friends have healthy outlooks on life. They also are there for you when you need them.

The Critic

This friend is mean and controlling. They make little jabs and digs, often in front of others, and pass their comments off as “jokes.” Instead of letting it get to you, remember this is their way of making themself feel better while trying to make others think less of you.

Keep in mind, though, that true friends do not ever put each other down. So, if you have a Critic in your life, you may want to cut ties to this friendship. Or, at the very least, call them out on their critical nature.

The Gossip

You know that friend who is always in the know? The Gossip is the one spreading rumors and engaging in gossip. This friend is dangerous because if they are talking about others, then they are likely talking about you too. It's important to be able to recognize when talking behind someone's back is potentially harmful and detrimental to their character.

Your secrets are not safe with this type of friend. Be very careful what you tell them.

The Rebel

While hanging out with this friend seems adventurous and exciting, it is also very dangerous. The Rebel will surely get you into trouble. The instability and unpredictability of this friend can be draining after a while. Most likely, you will also deal with peer pressure from this friend on more than one occasion.

If at all possible, it is best to avoid this type of friend. Even though hanging out together will seem exciting at first, in the end, this person’s lack of responsibility will start to weigh on you and damage your own life in the process.

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Amati V, Meggiolaro S, Rivellini G, Zaccarin S. Social relations and life satisfaction: the role of friends. Genus. 2018;74(1):7. doi:10.1186/s41118-018-0032-z

  2. Hendriksen E. 7 questions to ask yourself to decide whether to end a friendship — for good. Business Insider,

  3. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Peer pressure.

By Sherri Gordon
Sherri Gordon, CLC is a published author, certified professional life coach, and bullying prevention expert.