Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…
Some friendships are so strong, they last through middle school awkwardness, cross-country college acceptance, marriages and kids.
Others barely survive happy hour.
You know the good ones. You stand up at one another’s weddings, finish each other’s sentences, and can fall into a giggling heart-to-heart talk even if five or 10 years have passed.
As you age, you realize how rare these special connections really are. So, if you’re doubting a new friend’s motives, or even questioning a long-time pal’s loyalty, take a deep breath and check out this list of seven unforgivable friendship sins…
1. She throws negs (insults disguised as compliments) at you
Is your friend better than Nene Leakes at throwing shade? A fake friend loves to dish out backhanded compliments, or “non-pliments,” on the reg. These can be comments about your career: “I wish I had a job that paid me to drink coffee all day.” Or your weight: “Oh my gosh, you look so skinny! What happened??” Or even your kids. “It’s so great to see Charlotte graduating the fifth grade. I knew she wasn’t as slow as the teacher said.”
2. She disappears when the going gets tough
Ever notice that when you get a raise or have a party, your friend list is endless? But when you have a flat tire or need a shoulder to cry on, do your friends answer your texts? As the great Paula Abdul said, “Everyone is your best friend when you are successful.” But who’s there for you when you’re down on your luck? A true friend is available even when there are no free adult beverages or goodie bags involved.
3. She abandons you the second she gets a boyfriend
Some pals make great wingwomen until they reach their secret goal: landing a man. Then suddenly your up-for-anything Girl Friday would rather watch the game than attend your weekly mani-pedis. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to couple up, but there’s a second reason not to trust these wily husband hunters. And that’s number four…
4. She flirts with your man
This just in: women are competitive with one another because, baby, we were born that way, researchers say. We’re hardwired to reproduce and therefore must find a suitable mate – even if he already belongs to our bestie. In fact, across 137 societies, 91% of women’s competitive acts against other women were usually over men’s attention, according to a landmark study in Cross-Cultural Research. Does that excuse your BFF’s game of seven minutes in heaven with your date? Certainly not. Best not to introduce your new squeeze to your girlfriends until you’re both committed to one another.
5. She never asks you about your life – like, ever
It’s great to find a friend who doesn’t pry into your life, but if she blabs endlessly about herself and rarely, if ever, inquires about you, that’s a red flag. I was friends with a fun but vain party girl who never asked me about my background, career, education or even what kind of day I was having. It didn’t bother me until a year later when I excitedly announced I might be interviewed on TV for a local news segment. “Why would they put you on TV?” she asked me, incredulous. Her amazement and disdain made me realize how little she knew me at all. (Because I have a journalism degree and an area of expertise?)
6. She broadcasts your secrets (and laughs about it)
Does your friend get a cheap thrill from revealing your secrets? If so, you’re in deep frenemy territory and need to cut her loose pronto. Some women have a “Secrets Are Currency” philosophy and will sell you out if it benefits them or their social standing. Unfortunately, you can’t force friends to sign non-disclosure agreements, although Lala Kent on Vanderpump Rules certainly tried. So, it should be understood, that, after high school, there needs to be a safe space between you and your besties. If someone in your inner circle is spilling confidential information and then minimizing the betrayal by saying, “What’s the big deal?” Or “Stop being dramatic,” she is a major backstabber who can’t be trusted. (The laughing is optional.)
7. She lies, and then lies about lying
People lie for all sorts of reasons. Maybe she’s mad at you but is scared of confrontation. Maybe she knows she did something wrong and doesn’t want to face the consequences. Maybe she’s planning a spectacular birthday trip for you at a Las Vegas penthouse! (Not likely, but we can dream, right?) The hard truth is if you catch a friend lying once, no matter how much she denies it, she’ll probably do it again.
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Comment: Have you been betrayed by a friend you trusted?