7 Signs You're Being Undermined by a Friend ...


Have you ever missed the signs you're being undermined by a friend? Sometimes the very people we trust the most are not behaving as a friend should. People may deliberately try to undermine you, or not even be aware that they're doing it. But sadly your friend may not really be that good for you. Here are the signs you're being undermined …

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Please subscribe for your personalized newsletter:


They Undermine Others

One of the signs you're being undermined is that they do it with other people. If they behave like this with someone else, take it as a warning sign. They could very well be doing the same to you. Who knows what they're saying behind your back? And if you know for a fact that they talk about you behind your back, ditch them - a true friend would never do that.


When someone consistently belittles or dismisses others in front of you, it's only a matter of time before you become the subject of their derogatory remarks. Pay attention to how they recount stories involving others—do they twist the narrative to portray themselves in a better light or to make the other person look bad? Those tactics indicate a pattern of behavior focused on self-aggrandizement at the expense of others' reputations. In such cases, it's vital to reconsider your bond with this person, as trust and respect are cornerstones of genuine friendship.



You're hearing comments concerning you from other people that just aren't true, and the information is coming from your friend. Perhaps they think that what they're saying won't get back to you. If you tell them something in confidence, and they pass it on to others, you really can't trust them.


Gossip can be harmful, and when the source is someone you consider a friend, the betrayal feels even sharper. Imagine sharing your dreams and fears, only to have them used as conversation pieces at the next gathering. This breach of trust erodes the foundation of your friendship. It's vital to confront such behavior, but doing so with care. Approach your friend with how you feel, rather than accusing them outright. Communication is key, but if patterns persist, it may be a sign to reevaluate the strength and authenticity of the bond you share.


Nice but Negative

Be wary if your friend has a habit of saying apparently nice things that aren't so nice when you really look at them. Some people are skilled at cloaking their true meaning with compliments or concern. This is a way of having a dig at you while appearing nice, and can have a serious effect on your confidence. Because it must be true if your friend says it, right?


This subtle form of undermining, often referred to as backhanded compliments, can truly throw you off balance. Imagine your friend saying, "You're so brave to wear that outfit, I could never pull off something so... unique!". On the surface, it could be mistaken for praise, but the undertone is anything but. These comments may seem gentle and well-intentioned, but the sting is hidden in the twist of words. Over time, this can erode your self-esteem as you start second-guessing your choices, based on these cleverly disguised jabs wrapped in faux admiration.


Puts You down

Sometimes the undermining tactics aren't so subtle. Many of us have had a friend who is always putting us down. If you think about it, you'd wonder why you're friends with them. This kind of behaviour often stems from a lack of confidence; they make themselves feel better by putting you down. A real friend would never want to make you feel bad about yourself.


Often, this type of friend will disguise their insults as jokes or give backhanded compliments that leave you feeling dejected. They might belittle your achievements or constantly compare you unfavorably to others. It's important to remember that true friends lift each other up; they don't rely on diminishing someone else’s light to shine. If you're feeling routinely criticized rather than supported, it's a strong indicator that the friendship is skewed and perhaps toxic.


Your Weak Point

Undermining friends are probably very familiar with your weak points. They know exactly what chips away at your confidence and will use that knowledge against you. This is the type of friend you really don't need. Real friends will reassure you and help you build your confidence up.


These friends might casually highlight your insecurities during conversations or in group settings, often disguised as light-hearted teasing or backhanded compliments. They exploit your vulnerabilities under the guise of humor or concern, but the intent is to belittle or embarrass you. It is important to recognize these subtle jabs for what they are—a reflection of their own insecurities. Embrace who you are and consider distancing yourself from those who do not genuinely support your growth and self-esteem. True companions should make you feel valued and respected, not inadequate or small.


Driving a Wedge

One point that undermining friends will often work on is undermining your relationship. They will attempt to drive a wedge between you and your partner, and try to convince you that he is not the one for you. This may be because they want to be the focus of your attention and don't like someone else having a claim on you. They may also try to be your best friend and slowly push out your other friends.


They might plant seeds of doubt about your partner's intentions or highlight their flaws, subtly shaping your perspective and causing rifts. Beware if they seem overly interested in intimate details or conflicts within your relationship. Their advice, while masked in concern, often serves their own interests by creating isolation. If you find your partner being critiqued more than celebrated, it's time to reflect on the friend's true motives and the impact on your personal life.



Attempts at undermining you may extend to outright sabotage. Everything from your career to your love life will be in their sights. They don't want you achieving something that they haven't managed or doing better than them in any way. They'll try to stifle your ambition and drive.

If you have an undermining friend, work out whether they don't realise what they're doing or if they are working against you. If it's the former, you can explain to them how you feel when they undermine you. If it's the latter, the friendship isn't worth having. Have you had a friend who behaved like this?


Being undermined by a friend can be an incredibly difficult situation to be in. It can lead to a range of negative effects, such as feeling isolated, anxious, and resentful. It can also damage your self-esteem and make it difficult to trust other people.

Sabotage is one of the most extreme forms of undermining. It can take many forms, such as spreading malicious gossip, sabotaging your projects, or trying to undermine your relationships. It is an attempt to take away your power and control, and it can be incredibly damaging.

It is important to remember that it is not your fault if someone is trying to sabotage you. You should never feel like you have to put up with someone’s undermining behaviour. You have the right to set boundaries and protect yourself from this kind of behaviour.

If you suspect that someone is trying to sabotage you, it is important to take action. Talk to someone you trust about what is going on and find out if there are any steps you can take to protect yourself. You can also look into getting professional help, such as counselling or therapy, to help you cope with the situation.

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I agree, I try to cut negative people out totally! I do have a "friend" that I'd LOVE to cut loose but we all get along with her hubby. I just try to keep a distance when she is around.

one of my best friends came to town to be a bridesmaid in my wedding, and she was SO terrible to me the whole week that it actually ruined and ended our friendship of over 10 years. She pretty much did every thing in this article to me the entire week of my wedding, including my wedding day. After everything she did, I couldn't carry on our friendship even if I wanted to. She's obviously not a true friend and I'll never forget that.

Ditto Catherine....totally empathize

this is exactly like a friend that I just 'dumped' as you may say. out relationship was starting to get toxic. the problem is that we have a lot of mutual friends. I'll never be able to escape her

this means I should reevaluate 2/3 of my friends

I have a"friend" like this at school and if I ditch her I will see her everyday (im swedish so excuse my english:)


Aw i treat my friends how i would someone to treat me

I had some toxic friends too and I ditched them all. Most of the time, these 'friends' just envied me because of my intelligence, skills and wardrobe.

it's called narcisim. look it up

Related Topics

my boyfriend is mad because i dont trust him signs you are in a bad relationship what makes someone a bad friend how do you know if a guy is serious about you hopeless romantic traits signs you found the one signs of a bad realtor what to do when he needs space how do i know if a guy wants to kiss me he doesnt open the door for me

Popular Now