Who among us hasn’t had their fair share of bad friends? If you say that you’ve never had a bad friend, one, I’m jealous, and two, I don’t believe you. A toxic friend can be almost as bad as a toxic significant other. Terrible friends can leave you feeling a different kind of heartbroken, and just like with a romantic relationship, it’s something that can be avoided if you know the warning signs to watch out for. Sure, some new friends come into your life, seem great all around, and then out of nowhere do something awful. But more often than not, they showed signs of being a crappy BFF – it’s just that you didn’t notice them, or you didn’t want to notice them.
I can relate to that! A few years ago, I got really close with a girl I had recently met. We seemed like we had a lot in common, and I thought she was cool, so we hung out and talked all the time. At first, things were fine… but after a while, I started to notice certain things she would do that would make me second guess her intentions and her character. I had fun with her, though, so I ignored the signs, thinking our friendship was stronger than that. Of course, it wasn’t. She ended up treating me really terribly and hurting me a lot, and it sucked. That doesn’t have to happen to you! This Ask Reddit thread discusses the warning signs that someone is going to be a bad friend, and it’s super helpful. Check them out so you can try to avoid your own friend breakup.
They're Always Talking About Drama On Social MediaFriends with this person on social media? Take a look through their pages. A Reddit user who has since deleted their account said, "If I see any Facebook memes to the tune of "Now I know who my REAL friends are" or any content about always being stabbed in the back, often coupled with professions of how they hate drama, I nope right out of there." A person's social media personality can tell you a lot about them. If this person is constantly using Facebook or Instagram to air their dirty laundry and complain about their drama to everyone else on the site, then chances are good that they are surrounded by that drama, all the time. And even if they make it seem like they have nothing to do with it, they probably help cause it. Oh, and remember: if anything bad happens with you guys, they'll probably make that info public. Source: iStock
They Don't Have Many Other Close FriendsIf you meet someone who doesn't have a lot of close friends, or doesn't have any close friends, try to figure out why. User jerisad says, "If she's lived in the same place for years and doesn't have any good friendships older than a year. And it's surprisingly easy to become her best friend. And it seems like bad things are always happening to her and people are screwing her over even though she's sooo nice. I ignored a lot if red flags in that friendship." Some people just don't have a lot of friends, and that's fine. If this person is shy and kind of awkward, maybe that's why. Or maybe she recently had a big falling out with her friends, or they moved or something. There are exceptions. But if their reasoning for not having friends is that people keep screwing them over, it could be a sign that they are actually the ones destroying friendships. Source: iStock
They Seem Obsessed With Your LifeIf you've met a new friend who seems to love everything about you and seems weirdly obsessed with you, watch out. User fifthchevron says, "If they have a weird fixation with who you are as a person, and always point out things you do/say/wear, they're usually jealous. Have experienced this twice." Personal story: In college, I became friends with a girl I worked with, and we got super close. We were together every single day and talked constantly. My other friends would make comments about how she was obsessed with me, and I knew it was odd, but at the same time, it was nice to have someone constantly complimenting me and being interested in what I was doing. After a while, though, the obsession got annoying. She would get mad at me if I started to get close to another friend, she got mean if she seemed jealous of something, and she was too possessive. When I met my current BF, she was so pissed that we stopped being friends! Watch out for someone this intense. Source: iStock
They Are Constantly ComplainingNegative people are super, super draining. User Oleander10 says, "For me personally, if every little thing that happens in their life is a tragedy, travesty, or major disaster then I can already tell they are going to be too much for me." If your new friend complains about everything and makes everything a huge deal, then chances are good she's going to do that with your friendship too. Another personal story: I have a friend who never seems satisfied with anything. When we first became friends, I noticed it as an annoying tick... and now it's so bad that we don't hang out that much anymore. After a while, she started getting like that about our friendship. She would become offended by silly things, she would get insulted if she wasn't invited everywhere, and she would be furiously hurt if I didn't want to hang out constantly. It's exhausting! Source: iStock
They Act Like Your Best Friend As Soon As They Meet YouSometimes you meet a new friend, and you guys become super close super quickly. It's fun, but... it's not always good. User fairybreadsandwich says, "Ignoring my boundaries, like hugging me even though I ask them not too. And telling me all their deep dark secrets within like a day of knowing me." Again, it's nice to form an immediate bond with someone, but sometimes it's a warning sign. If they're going to go from 0-100 that quickly, they can probably end a friendship that quickly too. People who make someone their BFF immediately usually skip from best friend to best friend... and you don't want to be caught up in that. Source: iStock
They Make Sure To Point Out That They Don't Normally Like GirlsUser MostlyALurkerBefore says, "I don't usually get along with women" or any variation on that." If you hear a new friend say, "I don't like girls. I only have guy friends!" run far away. Seriously! These girls are... kind of the worst. They usually create their own drama, make things difficult, and then blame it on everyone else. I had a friend who said this all the time, and it always made me roll my eyes. She would go on and on about how she couldn't be friends with girls because they were too much work. And then she was a terrible person to be friends with who required a ton of attention! Every girl I've met who has said stuff like that has been a bad friend. Source: iStock
They Gossip About Whoever Isn't Near ThemOkay, let's be real: most of us gossip. It happens. Still, it's something to watch out for. User harpy-eagle23 says, "When they gossip about other women as soon as they leave the room." If your new friend can barely wait two seconds to start shit talking someone who just left, you better believe they are doing that about you too. If they start gossiping to you before you guys have even formed a bond, that's a sign that they'll talk about anyone to anyone - and that's not the kind of person you can trust. Source: iStock
They Compete Over Stupid Little ThingsAs a competitive person, I know that this can sometimes be something people struggle with. Still, a good friend will be able to tone it down. User _BabeWithThePower_ says, "Ultra-competitiveness. They try to one-up everything you do, and they subtly put you down when you do well." I had a friend like this recently. She always had to one up me with stories and claimed she had done everything I had ever done... it was weird. If something good happened to me, she barely congratulated me and couldn't even pretend to be happy for me. Instead, she would just ignore it. I noticed it when we were playing a dumb trivia game app - she would make sure she won through cheating (she thought I didn't know) and then she would brag about it. It was so lame. A person like this won't support you through good and bad times - and that's not a good friend. Source: iStock
They Make Fun Of You Around Other PeopleUser blackkatemoss94 says, "I've had a few friends that have tried to belittle me or compete with me in the presence of men. It was so hurtful and annoying. Definitely watch out for women like that - they are not your friends." This is the WORST. If your new friend is great when you're alone, but condescending and kind of mean around other people, especially guys, get out of that friendship. That's not a real friend! A real friend will lift you up and be there for you - not tear you down for their advantage. Source: iStock
They Always Cancel PlansUser Thomzzz says, "Flakiness. Cancelling plans more often than following through, making no effort to reschedule. I understand everyone's busy and I'm not your #1 priority, but have some respect and forethought." Honestly, yes. If someone has to cancel once in a while, that's one thing. If they cancel every single time and don't answer texts, they're unreliable. They won't be there when you really need them, and that's important for a good friendship. People get busy, it's true, but a real friend makes time for you. Source: iStock