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Do you know if your relationships are toxic? Here are 10 signs your friends aren't healthy

GETTYArticle By Mary Anderson // EEW Magazine // LIFESTYLE

If you want to do God’s will and soar to the heights He has for you, you have to ask yourself, Who am I connected to?” and “Are they helping me grow?”

Here are 10 signs your friends aren't healthy.

#1 They are a gossiper.

“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” (Proverbs 11:13 NIV)

If they gossip about others to you, they’ll gossip about you to others. Gossipers divulge private matters. They lack discretion and can be very messy. Often, they spread rumors—whether purposely or accidentally—because they enjoy sharing bad news. You can’t trust them to hold anything in confidence.

#2 They are a busybody.

“…And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.” (1 Timothy 5:13 NIV)

Busybodies are always meddling in the affairs of others. They don’t have enough going on in their own lives, so they stick their noses in places they don't belong. They offer advice when no one’s asking and are always found scavenging for scraps of information. They aren’t healthy and feel they have to know everybody’s business and interject their two cents. Their “How are you?” is not a genuine question. It is loaded with hopes of getting juicy insights about your personal matters.

#3 They are a constant critic.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

Have you ever met those people who find the worst in everyone? They are classic criticizers. Instead of looking for good and praiseworthy qualities in people, they immediately point out the perceived flaws. Sad thing is, critical people often struggle with their own esteem. Instead of getting healthy and see themselves as God sees them, they try to chop people down to make themselves feel better. Steer clear of critics. They will find the worst things, even in the best things.

#4 They like to needlessly quarrel--always.

It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” (Proverbs 30:3 NIV)

If you don’t like to argue, a quarrelsome person will drive you up a wall! Although we all get into squabbles from time to time, quarrelers are a special breed. They enjoy controversy. They blow up quickly. They like being disagreeable as a general rule. That’s just their way of being. Quarrelers, in some cases, can be very dominant communicators who keep the verbal wars going until you agree with them or simply wave the white flag of surrender.

#5 They've got a constant chip on their shoulder and like holding grudges. 

The Bible says love “keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV)

A person who is unable to forgive can’t have a healthy relationship. Grudge-holders tend to be merciless and keep a record of wrong locked away in their heads. So even if you apologize and think you have resolved the issue, the moment something goes wrong, they break out the list and re-hash all the old drama. This is exhausting!

#6 They are way too carnal.

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6 KJV)

Carnal individuals are not interested in spiritual growth and maturity. They want what they want and live to find ways to cater to their fleshly whims and desires. They are detrimental to your spiritual growth and will often call you “too deep,” “holier than thou,” and “self-righteous,” when you disapprove of and refuse to engage in carnal acts.

#7 They are stuck up and arrogant. "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble." (James 4:6 NIV)

Never build friendships with those who look down on others and think they are the best thing since sliced pie. They tend to mistreat people, refuse to heed sound advice, and stubbornly reject criticism of wrong behavior. They want people around them who praise their wonderfulness and meet certain socio-economic standards to roll with them. Say no thank you to prideful, stuck up, arrogant people.

#8 They are way too jealous.

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” (James 3:16 ESV)

Jealous people are very possessive, mistrustful, envious and smothering. Because they aren’t in a healthy place within themselves, they develop unhealthy ties to others. Sometimes, they can be emotionally abusive, too. In addition to holding on too tightly, they will attempt to diminish your value so you won’t see your worth, and realize you deserve better than them. As the saying goes, "Misery loves company."

#9 They are judgmental and hold shortcomings over your head.

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;” (Luke 6:37 ESV)

True believers don’t make a habit of sinning. They also admit mistakes when they make them. Once the confession and repentance phase is complete, however, the last thing you need is a judgmental person reminding you of how terrible you are for stumbling. A real friend will help you make the right decisions, pray for you and encourage you. Love and understanding is needed in your moments of weakness, not condemnation.

#10 They are a flatterer and won't tell you the truth about yourself.

“A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.” (Proverbs 29:5 ESV)

Flattery gets you nowhere. If you want to be the best you, surround yourself with people who are willing to tell you the truth in love. This is not the same as constant criticism and negativity. It just means you don’t want a bunch of “yes men (or women” in your space. If you are wrong and veering off the right path, a flatterer will say whatever you like to hear to stay in your good graces and get what they want out of you. Truth-tellers are absolutely essential to your spiritual and emotional health.

Take a look around you and get honest about the people you have embraced as your closest friends and confidantes.

Do they have Godly character that will motivate you to live the way God intended for you to? If not, it’s time to get rid of old connections and ask God to send you better, healthier ones.

ALSO READ: 5 ways to effectively share the gospel with the broken

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