Our friends are supposed to be our closest confidantes and support network. But for many of us, they can be more hindrance than help.
According to a new survey, 84 per cent of women struggle with so-called 'toxic friends' who are self-absorbed, emotionally draining, critical or backstabbing.
Men did not fare much better, with three-quarters admitting to having had such a friendship.
Sixty-five percent of those polled complained of having a self-obsessed friend, and 59 per-cent accused their closest acquaintances of being emotional 'vampires' - draining all their energy reserves.
The poll, of 18,000 women and 4,000 men by Today.com and Self magazine found just over half had an over-critical friend, while 45 per cent reported backstabbing behaviour and barbed comments.
Thirty-seven per cent of people questioned also admitted to being turned off by friends who were unreliable or flaky.
Irene Levine, professor of psychiatry at New York University's School of Medicine and creator of The Friendship Blog told the Today show: 'A number of studies have shown that close friendships reduce stress, lessen the risk of depression, improve health outcomes and even enhance longevity.
'Not only do we get practical advice and logistical support from friends, but the benefits of feeling understood and supported are immeasurable.'
Though a third admitted that they would end a friendship with someone who was untrustworthy, 83 per cent said that they had let a friendship drag on longer than it should have done because the prospect of 'breaking up' was too daunting.
Instead, 37 per cent blocked those they didn't like on Facebook, while 53 'downgraded' friends from people they saw regularly to just occasionally.
Dr Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital, added: 'The reason it's hard to dump a toxic friend is the same reason people stay in all kinds of dysfunctional relationships. There's something in it that you find compelling or familiar.
'Depending on the nature of what's going on in the relationship, you may feel guilty. Or it could be that the person has implied you need them in some way - that you would be a bad person to walk away.'
TOP FIVE TOXIC FRIEND PERSONALITY TYPES