A Raider’s View - How to know if you are in an abusive friendship

Domestic violence, relationship violence and abuse is prevalent in relationships nationwide and can also happen in the comfort of something as simple as a friendship. 

Violence in friendship can be tough to notice, but can have the same warning signs as violence in a partnership. 

Unhealthy friendships can often be overlooked, and the victim may make excuses for their friends to try to convince others that  this is just “how they are,” and not to worry about it. 

Some warning signs and red flags for unhealthy friendships include: 

Gaslighting — To manipulate someone in a way that the abuser forces the victim to question their own sanity. 

Isolation — When the abuser manipulates the victim into not hanging out with other friends, making excuses why those friends are not good friends and even turning those friends against the victims with lies and coercion. 

Jealousy — When the abuser always wants to be included in outings, and gets furious when the victim hangs out with other friends. This also falls into the category of possessiveness and insecurities. 

Bossiness — Normally bossiness can be misconstrued to seem docile, but can inflict panic and fear in the victim if they do not listen to the abuser. For example, the abuser tells the victim they need to do a certain task like helping them with homework or driving them somewhere, and has an explosive temper when the victim refuses. 

These warning signs can be dangerous if left unnoticed. If nothing is done about the behavior of the abuser, they will continue without thought, because they are not being told what they are doing is wrong. 

Even in cases where the abuser knows what they are doing is wrong, they will continue because no one is calling them out on it, therefore they can continue their plight of manipulation. 

If you or anyone you know is dealing with unhealthy friendships, if your friends are manipulative and make you feel worthless or that you can never do anything right, notice the signs and do your best to get out of that situation. 

If you or anyone you know needs help or resources, they can be found in the SU Counseling Center as well as the Women’s Center. 

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