How to Recognize Friendship Abuse

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Whenever we hear about abuse, we think of romantic relationships. But, there is friendship abuse, and from asking my followers on Instagram, many have experienced it or was the abuser themselves.

So, what exactly is friendship abuse, and why isn’t it talked about it often? While there is no exact definition of friendship abuse, there are signs that could fall under friendship abuse. I believe it’s not talked about often because we all have friends, whether it’s a lot or a few, and we usually wouldn’t think that those friends would hurt us, be mean purposely, or intentionally betray us. But it happens more often than we think.

I wrote a blog last year about friendship’s value, and I mentioned having an unconditional friendship and a connection with that friend. Do you have any conditional friendships? Let’s take a look at some signs of friendship abuse.

First Sign – Constantly Lying

Do you have a friend or had a friend that spread rumors and lies about you? Maybe they try manipulating others to believe what they are saying about you. What about a friend that has no problem with lying to your face, and when you confront them about it, they lie again to cover up the other lie? Another might be that they lie to others and try to put you in the middle of it and expect you always to play along?

None of that is fair to you, and you cannot have a friendship like this because friendships are built on trust, just like any other relationship. A friendship is a type of relationship, and it needs to be nourished in order to grow. But that’s not going to happen with all these lies. Also, having rumors spread about you by someone you consider a friend hurts, and I know first-hand how that feels.

Second Sign – Controlling

Do you have a friend that makes you feel lesser than they? Maybe they are always saying specific comments to make you feel some type of way, or it seems like they are always in competition with you. These actions are common in people who are controlling.

They might try to control what you do, what you wear, and sometimes even who you hang out with. They will tell you who you can and cannot hang out with or act differently when you are going to hang out with other people. It could be the opposite; they act differently towards you when other people are around—trying to bully you in front of people.

A true friend wouldn’t mind you hanging out with other friends, or they would try to meet them and get to know them. Also, they wouldn’t try to make you feel any less. A true friend would encourage you and support you.

Third Sign – No Respect /No Boundaries

This friend doesn’t keep their promises, they hurt your feelings and make it seem like it’s your fault, or they break boundaries as soon as it is a benefit for them.

They don’t respect your time by constantly changing plans last minute without consulting you, or they cancel. Sometimes they will “forget” that they had plans with you, or they might purposely not include you at all. 

Does the friendship feel one-sided? It seems like they need you for EVERYTHING, and you always help them, but when you need a favor, they are not available. This is also a lack of respect. You are still making sure that they are okay, but they are never making sure you are alright? This can be very draining because friendships should be like a two-way street. You scratch my back, and I got yours.

Know When and How to Walk Away

In an article on, Dr. Walfish feels that it’s best to leave quietly and not confront your abuse. Although it is said to have open communication or honesty is the best policy, in this case, she says, they will most likely blame you.

Let others know about the situation, other friends, or family members, and let them know that you will no longer associate yourself with this person. Just like it’s not easy to leave an abusive relationship, it’s not going to be easy to leave an abusive friendship.

In the same article, Dr. Gail Saltz says that one may need therapy after leaving because this relationship may have caused damage to your feelings, self-worth, and therapy will help to not fall into another abuse friendship.


One might think that this happens to only kids or in high school, as in the movie Mean Girls, but this can very well occur in adulthood. I know I’ve had my own experiences with friendship abuse, and it hurt. Because you love this person, and you trust them, but then they go and abuse you.

 God calls us to be in community, but we need to be careful of those enemies dressed up as “friends.”

1 Peter 3:8 (NIV) – Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 

With Love,


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What Is the Value of Friendship?

five women laughing
Photo by nappy on

How would you define the value of friendship?

We all have friends, from the time we start school, and sometimes before that, if our parent’s friends have kids around our age, those kids usually become our first friends. And if we are lucky, those friends we have at that young age grow up with us and that friendship is for a lifetime. Many would consider those friendships more like family because you grow a bond with that person that is deeper than a friendship.

As we get older, we meet more people, like when we go from elementary to middle school, and middle school to high school, and then to college, and new friendships are created. Even in our workplace, we develop friendships that can become very close. But what is the value of friendship?

Value in friendship is the connection you have with that person.

In other words, an unconditional friendship. You are not trying to gain something out of this friendship because that would mean you’re not a true friend, you’re trying to benefit from knowing the person. Knowing that you can count on that person no matter what the situation is. Knowing that you can be vulnerable with them, and you won’t be judged. Knowing that you can be authentic with each other. That comfort with the person is valuable in a friendship.

This is why many times we are told to build a friendship with someone before entering a romantic relationship with them because friendship is the foundation of many relationships.

Another way to know the value of a friendship is if this person is helping you become a better version of yourself. A true friendship has support, helps you flourish, and will build you up. You should be doing the same for them.

What is the difference between a friendship that is valuable and one that is not?

A friendship that isn’t valuable is draining. You give and give, and nothing is reciprocated. They only come to you when they need something, or they come to you with the same issues each time you provide them with advice, and the next time it’s the same thing again, like a broken record. That gets tiring.

Be intentional with who you spend your time with because many times the enemy disguises himself/herself as ‘friends.’ Just like the Bible tells us……

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

We have people we meet in different stages of our lives, and we share different memories. There are friends that you don’t have to speak to every day to know that you are still friends, but when you do get together is like no time has passed. The connection is the same, the love is the same, and friendship is the same.

Sometimes some people you meet do not become your friend, sometimes they can just be an acquaintance or someone who is known to you but not known in a personal way. Not everyone you meet is your friend or will be your friend, and that is okay.

Do you have any friends you haven’t spoken to in a while? Check up on them and let them know that you appreciate their friendship.

Value those friendships that are true.

With Love, Heidy

Proverbs 27_9 Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul_ _ The Message (MSG) _ Download The Bible App Now

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