No one consciously sets out to be a bad friend… but that doesn’t mean you aren’t acting like a bad friend. Sometimes people just grow apart, other times they carry over bitterness and anger from a situation that could have been resolved if it were confronted. Regardless of the reason, it can often be way easier to see that someone else is acting like a crappy friend instead of admitting that you are the one acting the wrong way. Yes, it’s true: you can be a bad friend without even realizing you’re doing so. Or you might realize it on some sub-conscious level, it’s just that you don’t want to admit that to yourself. And that’s where we come in!
Look, no one can be an amazing, A+ friend 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We all get in bad moods and say the wrong thing sometimes. We all get to a point where we feel extremely annoyed at a friend and need a break from their antics. And we all get in stupid fights that never needed to happen once in a while. But if you’re acting like a terrible friend more than you’re acting like a good one, that is obviously a problem. A friend deserves respect, kindness, and honesty. If you’re treating them in a lesser way than they deserve, you’re doing the wrong thing – and it’s really important to confront that in order to save any relationship you have, platonic or romantic. So, how do you know if you’re the one your friends are complaining about behind your back? Her are 10 signs you’re acting like a bad friend without even knowing you’re doing it:
You Pretend You're Not Mad When You AreAvoiding confrontation and pretending you aren't mad when you're actually furious is a ticking time bomb of resentment and bad feelings waiting to explode. When your friend asks if you're mad at them, and you truly have something you'd like to get off your chest, tell them! Your friend is intutiive enough to know that something's wrong and that you aren't feeling right, so just be honest with them. Don't play down your feelings just so you can bring this incident back up later when you need to use it against them, address it head on when it happens so you can clear the air. If you never speak up about it, one day, it's going to come out - or it will come out in passive aggressive actions along the way. Either way - not cool. Source: iStock
You Make Everything About YouYup, even your friend's grandmother dying SO reminds you of this one time [something unrelated] happened to you and it made you feel [this way] so you totally understand where they're coming from because you've blazed this path before them and you're here to Yoda their way through their personal experience. I don't care if you broke up with the same person, let your friend have this. Spinning everything back to you, even though well intentioned, is just another way to seek attention and communicate that this friendship is one-sided and should always focus on you. Give your friend the space they need and let them speak for themselves and feel for themselves. There's no need to insert your opinion or personal experience in to every situation. Source: iStock
You Get Incredibly Jealous When Your Bestie Has Other BFFsHaving a best friend isn't a monogamous relationship, and you have no right to be possessive over them. Your friend is allowed to have other friends. You don't even have to like this person's other friends, you just have to respect these other relationships they have in their life. Don't get hurt if they do something without you, or if they feel close to someone else - it's a natural feeling, sure, but it's not fair to expect your friend to care about you and you only. Now, feeling that your friend isn't spending enough time with you or is constantly ditching you - those are different circumstances. But the fact that your friend finds a similar comfort and depth of friendship with other people is not a good reason to make them feel bad or guilt trip them about it.Source: iStock
You're Flakey Too OftenIf you make plans, keep them. Bailing, especially last minute, is in bad form and is disrespectful to your friend, your relationship, and the time they put aside in their lives to hang out with you. If you know you double booked yourself, don't wait until the last second to tell your friend you can't hang. This somehow goes double for people who only want to hang out when it's convenient for them. Anything outside of your acceptable time frame is "really hard to make work" because you're "so busy" and have "so much going on." Yeah, no. Part of friendship is compromise. Don't bail out just because something is inconvenient for you. Source: iStock
You Downplay Their Accomplishments And AmbitionsYou have to lift your friends up, not take them down. Jealousy is a totally normal and okay feeling, but you have to force yourself not to act on it. If you make mean comments when your friend is excited about something, or you push them away when you're jealous about an accomplishment, that is definitely not you being a good friend. If you feel the need to compete with your friend over everything and take them down constantly so they never surpass you in any way, shape, or form, you're being toxic. Even if you don't outright dismiss their successes, it's the same if you belittle them or make light of it. NO! Celebrate your friend - they're awesome. That's why you're friends in the first place, right?Source: iStock
You Talk About Them Behind Their BackEven if you're talking about them to your other friends, what you're doing isn't right. If you have a problem with your friend, confront them. If you're just doing a little venting, do it to a partial party, like a family member or significant other. Don't run around talking badly about your friends to anyone who will listen. Source: iStock
You Encourage Harmful BehaviorOf course, keep your friend's secrets and hold things in confidence that they ask you to, but when it's about her doing something that's hurting herself, you need to tell someone. For example, if your friend tells you she has an eating disorder and not to tell anyone, you're doing her more harm than good by keeping that a secret because by not telling someone, you're allowing her to keep harming herself and you're being an enabler. If your friend is a chronic cheater, don't introduce her to new people you know she finds attractive. If your friend smokes, don't hide her cigarettes for her. It's as simple as that. Good friends look out for their friends' best interest, even if it's not what they want at the time. Source: iStock
You Have Something Negative To Say About EverythingWay to be a downer, dude. Nothing can ever be positive because you have to drag it down by finding the negative side of something and bringing it to everyone's attention. It's not that pessimistic or sarcastic people can't be good friends, you just have to know when and where to voice your opinions. If you see that your friend is happy, let her have it. When she tells you who she has a crush on, you don't need to bring up the receipts of everything bad this person's ever done as evidence of why she shouldn't be with them. If you all plan on having fun this weekend, go have fun - there's no need to bring up every single thing that can go wrong. Source: iStock
You're Constantly Mooching EverythingEverything from clothes to food during lunch to money, you're always leeching off of your friends in a one-sided manner where they're getting nothing in return - including the stuff you mooched in the first place! You never pay them back, return their clothes, or offer goods when you have them. You might not realize it or even feel this way, but you're using your friends. It's important to give back. I'm not one for keeping a tally of who owes who what, but in a friendship, it's important to be honest about these debts and inequalities on your end so you don't leave your friend hanging on the line about low key having you as a dependent all of a sudden. How weird is that? That's not what friends do.Source: iStock
Dropping Off The Face Of The Earth For BaeOkay look, this happens all the time in the beginning of a relationship, but rewiring your life when you're suddenly coupled up is different. This burns even more when your friend resurfaces after the break up and demands emotional support even though they haven't been there for you for the entire duration of their relationship. Yeah, no. Be a good friend consistently, not just when you're single. Ditching your friends for bae, always bringing them along to friend hangs, or not texting back because your relationship is the priority is not okay. Your friends deserve more respect than that. Source: iStock
Are you a bad friend sometimes? Did you know it at the time? Do you have a bad friend who does these things? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.