Friendships are a lot more delicate than we’d like to think they are. Usually, you find this out the hard way, that rude awakening that signals an uncomfortable truth: Your BFF is drifting away from you, you no longer have much in common with that friend you’ve had since kindergarten, the crew that you hang out with at lunch and birthday parties is fracturing, etc. This is especially the case when you’re a teen, that time in life when you’re most likely to fall in and out of friendships within a single academic school year. Friendships themselves can be easy going and fun, but maintaining them is hard, especially when it is so easy to ruin one.
A friendship doesn’t just turn into shambles because of TV show level drama–fighting over a boy, starting a rumor as petty revenge–which is why its destruction can seemingly come out of nowhere. But hindsight is 20/20, and when you look back at a friendship that bit the dust, it’s easier to see what went wrong. Whether you’re in the denial stage about the death throes of one of your best friendships or you want to make sure that your friendships don’t end poorly, it helps to know whether or not you could be part of the problem. Here are nine things you do that’ll make you lose all your friends. If any of these points sound a little too familiar, try to fix ’em before it’s too late.
Pressuring Them To Do Things With Or For YouI'm not just talking about intense peer pressure, like doing hard drugs, stealing mom's car. Even little things can make a friendship tense. For example, guilt tripping your girl into hanging out with you when they're not able to, or constantly fishing for compliments. This all seems relatively harmless, but it can all add up, and you can quickly become someone your friends are hesitant to chill with. Jawbreaker
Letting Yourself Be Walked All OverOn the flip side, you're not doing yourself any favors in a friendship if you have a friend who has a tendency to boss you around, and you don't call them out on it. Maybe this friend is actually a terrible person to be around, or they really just don't understand how pushy they can be. Hopefully it's the latter so that standing up for yourself and being real about how awful they've made you feel won't go on deaf ears. Skins
Seeing Them As CompetitionWhether they're competition over a crush, grades, or beauty, seeing your friend(s) as someone you have to constantly outperform reeks of insecurity. Insecurity is natural, but don't take it out on a friend. My Mad Fat Diary
Not Being Honest When You're Rubbed The Wrong Way By Something Your Friend SaidIt's so scary to let a friend know when you've been hurt, but it's paramount to avoiding passive aggressiveness, pettiness, a subtweet hell hole, etc. Start off with, "Hey, I want to be honest about something. When you said [blank] I felt really [blank]." If this friend isn't receptive, maybe you're better off without them. But don't let miscommunication end a perfectly good friendship. My So-Called Life
Teasing Them About Topics They're Sensitive AboutWhether it's their weight, sexual orientation, ethnicity, relationship status, whatever, you might not mean to make your homegirl feel bad, but that doesn't mean she's not feeling like garbage when you make sly jokes. Sure, your friend might laugh it off to avoid conflict, but they might feel like garbage on the inside. I had friends who always used to mimic everything I said with a "blaccent." I never called them out on it, though, and that's why they got away with it for so long. I don't look back at them fondly, for obvious reasons. Please, avoid being that person. The Craft
Not Being Able To Apologize When You Were In The WrongLook, we all eff up. Sometimes we eff up and say something we shouldn't have to our friends. It's hard to swallow our pride and say sorry, but when a friendship's stability is on the line? Is apologizing worse than a friendship ending? Probably not. Pull up your big girl undies, apologize (with meaning), and you can all move on. Clueless
When You Flake Out (Too Much)Nobody is guiltless when it comes to flaking out. We all do it every now and then, and it's often nothing personal; sometimes we're just lazy! But when flaking out becomes a habit, don't be surprised when you're trying to make plans and, somehow, nobody can join you. Don't put your friendships on the back burner. Oh, and if you do flake out on somebody to do something else instead, at least try not to get caught! My BF's friend recently flaked out on him, but my BF found photos of him on Facebook hanging out with some other friends. Yikes. 10 Things I Hate About You
Only Hitting People Up When You Want SomethingYou might not think that you're a user, but if you only make plans with a friend when you need them for something, that's sketch AF. For example, that one friend you always flake on when they want to hang out, but when you have nobody to go to some concert with, you expect them to roll up without question. Uh, I think not, dude. YouTube
Being Judgmental AFWe're all a little judgmental, especially if our friends start to change or do something we don't approve of. If your friend is getting up to activities that are harmful to themselves or others, it's fair enough to be upset and disappointed. Otherwise? Don't be a hater just because your friend starts dressing differently, or because they're suddenly sexually active, or anything like that. Don't let little things like that splinter your relationship. Freaks And Geeks
Have you ever been in a friendship that you know ended because of you? Tell us in the comments!