Some friends aren’t worth the effort.
As the year winds to an end I’ve found myself reflecting back on my friendships, in particular, the ones that have fizzled. At the start of 2015, I made a vow to myself to stop running myself ragged being the friend in my group who was always hosting people at her house for drinks and organizing get-togethers and nights out. I figured it’d give me a chance to save some cash and distinguish the truly invested friends from the disinterested ones.
It taught me a lot of things. First and foremostly that I was spending literally thousands hosting friends at my house every weekend (I saved $10,000 in the first six months without consciously putting anything away) and secondly, and less pleasantly, that some of my friends weren’t interested in hanging out when the arrangements (and food and booze) weren’t handed to them on a silver platter. As such, friends I saw as often as weekly quickly became friends I only saw every few months. But I also discovered the many true and valuable relationships I’ve been fortunate enough to forge in my lifetime, as a special few eagerly took over my reigns and began being the ones to ask me round for drinks, arrange nights out and plan weekends away.
So if you have a friend in your life who hasn’t been pulling their weight in the relationship this year, now’s the perfect time to ditch them so you have more time to dedicate to the ones who actually show up. And if your dodgy friend is one of the following seven types of people, you can cut them loose guilt-free…
1. The friend who constantly bails last minute via text
Here’s the thing: when you text someone to bail on the day you made plans because you’re too tired/busy/something came up, chances are they’re already dressed up, made special arrangements or left work early to make your date. Quite often I’ve even gone and spent money buying drinks, food, or a gift for our catch-up and have turned down multiple other requests to do equally enjoyable things that night in order to stick to my arrangement with you.
Everyone is busy, it’s the reason we have to schedule time to be with the people we really care about; it’s a crucial part of maintaining a relationship. So if you have a friend who can never get their shit together to hang out with you when they say they’re going to, it may be time to give them the flick. Your energy should be spent on people who value time with you as much as you do with them.
2. The friend who only wants to hang out when her SO is unavailable
It’s perfectly acceptable, and to be expected (though equally shitty), that you’re going to see less of a friend once they’re attached. However, what’s utterly unacceptable, is a friend who acts like you no longer exist once she’s loved up, unless her boo is out of town or too busy to have a smoochfest with her. Or a friend who does the douchey thing and cancels your plans to run into the arms of her man the second he comes calling, à
Balancing friendships with your romantic relationship is difficult at the best of times, so friends who still make an effort to call, text and hang out with you once they’re loved up are worth hanging onto. And friends who literally only want to see you if they absolutely can’t be with their SO are not worth your friendship.
3. The friend who never asks you about your life anymore
I have a friend who when we hang out, speaks only about her job and what’s going on in her life. I honestly can’t even remember the last time she asked how my job was going or what I’d been up to. While I constantly make an effort to remember details about her work and ask her about them, I don’t even think she’s read a single thing I’ve written.
While I get that it’s all too easy to get lost talking about yourself for hours (if I didn’t need to pause for air I doubt I’d ever stop), an important part of showing you care about a friend’s life is by asking them specific questions about it, and then taking the time to listen to what they have to say, even if it’s painfully mundane. If you spend every exchange talking about yourself, you’re never going to truly get to know someone, and that’s no basis for a meaningful relationship.
4. The friend who is completely unreliable
We all have at least one person in our lives who, almost immediately after they commit to doing something, we mentally note not to count on them. Whether it’s vowing to help you move house or saying they’re totally up for going on a holiday with you, you know that person simply won’t show. Sometimes without so much as a word of warning or a half-assed excuse.
This friend is, quite simply, a flake. They’ll forget birthdays and special occasions, constantly make promises you both know they have no intention of keeping and generally leave you wondering if they are interested in participating in your life at all. Which is why it’s generally best to avoid emotionally investing in them.
5. The friend who’s no longer compatible with you
I had a close girlfriend I used to constantly hang out with and chat to and for hours about all the things we had in common, who, once becoming attached started going weeks without asking me to hang out and when she did, stopped wanting to chat about anything other than painfully superficial things like the weather and work. Whether she was preserving her time and personality exclusively for her SO or lost herself in the relationship wasn’t clear. What was clear though, was we could barely maintain a convo for longer than five minutes without it getting really uncomfortable anymore, and I honestly had no idea who she was as a person anymore.
I have another friend who, on having a child immediately changed her Facebook profile image, along with her personality, to her child’s. While I was happy to chat with her about motherhood, hanging out with her while every conversation revolved entirely around her child whilst never once coming up for air to talk about anything we had in common became strained. In both situations, we eventually started hanging out increasingly less until I only heard from either of them once every few months.
The fact is, sometimes, for a variety of reasons, people change. A lot of times it’s hideously depressing, but it is a reality of growing up. So if your conversations are becoming increasingly sporadic or strained, it may speak to your growing incompatibility, and signal it’s time to move on.
6. The friend who’s always negging you
If you’ve ever made an exciting announcement to a friend, be it that you just got a new job, haircut or boyfriend, only to be met with a response that sounds suspiciously like a veiled insult, ie: “Your hair looks great red! I’m so glad you got rid of the blonde, it never suited you.” then chances are, it was, and you’ve been negged – aka – thrown a negative comment aimed at bringing you down a peg.
Unfortunately, there are always people in our lives who, regardless of what we do, can never be happy for us, these are known as jellyfish friends: seemingly harmless on appearance, but get too close and they’ll sting you. Case in point: I once splashed out hundreds of dollars buying exxy champagne for a party I was hosting only to have a friend comment, “It’s not like it’s Dom Perignon.”
So if you constantly walk away from interactions with someone feeling worse than when you went in, it could be a red flag that it’s perhaps best to part ways.
7. The friend who flirts with the guy you like
Perhaps one of the biggest violations of the girl code is making eyes for the guy you’re full aware your friend has the hots for. If you’ve made it clear you’re interested in someone, only to discover your attention-hungry girlfriend later flirting up a storm with him, it’s a blatant indication your friend doesn’t respect you, or the sanctity of the girl code, and in those situations you have two options.
You can confront the friend and call them out on their poor behavior, or you can call it quits before someone gets their heart broken, someone who is likely to be you.
Images via giphy.com and tumblr.com.
Comment: Have you recently had to dump or distance yourself from a friend for doing one of the things on this list?