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  • Writer's pictureThe Archivist

Signs Your Friendship is Toxic and You Are In a Cultship

Updated: Oct 11, 2022



We have all heard of the horror stories of cults, and the cults that emerged around us that didn’t seem to be “cult-like” in the beginning. But the thing is, you don’t have to be in a cult in order to feel like you are part of one. Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt like you were in a cult? Below are some signs to be aware of if you feel like your friendship is toxic and may be exhibiting signs of cult culture.


Signs:

  1. You feel that you are obligated to tell your friend everything.

  2. You are obligated to spend time with them and give them priority, if you do not, you are shamed for spending time with others.

  3. There are no boundaries in terms of the time you spend together, the things you tell each other, and your level of involvement in each other’s lives.

  4. They shame your other friends and family members and try to pit you against them.

  5. They will make you feel special by saying how you are better than all of those other people because you are different than them and are so special.

  6. They make you believe that their friendship is superior to all other friendships.

  7. They make you believe that the trust that is in your friendship supersedes all others.

  8. You find yourself isolated from other friendships and people.

  9. They must approve all of the minor and major decisions in your life, and if they don’t you find yourself emotionally shattered because you have become dependent on their approval.

  10. They will force you to divulge about your personal life but they will not do the same back. This establishes a power dynamic where one person is vulnerable to the other based on information imbalance.

  11. They gaslight you for your feelings anytime you confront them about how they treat you.

  12. They will establish certain rules, religious rules, social rules, rules that if you do not follow them, you are considered bad/improper/etc. They will make fun of others for not following those rules. But they will not follow these rules themselves at times.

  13. They will love bomb you with gifts, food, sentimental items and moments, confusing you whether you should justify their behavior because they must be so kind and seem to be genuinely sweet.

If you felt any of the above signs resonate with you, pause for a moment and evaluate your friendship/relationship. These signs can be found in a new relationship as well as an old one. Sometimes it is easy to not notice the signs, which makes it even more important to check in with yourself from time to time. Are you the victim of a cultship?

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