Friends are an important part of one’s life. From your play-school days to your workplace, they play many roles in your life. They act as protectors, mentors, and partners in crime, all in the name of friendship. However, not all “friends” are worthy of the title, and some may do more bad than good. Here are five types of so-called friends to avoid, and a few tips to help you identify these unhealthy friendships, and weed them out of your life:
1. The Competitive Friend
When a friendship becomes more of a competition, things may get very ugly, and it might be time to end things. These type of friends are always finding ways and excuses to compete with you, and do not always have the dignity to simply congratulate you on your accomplishments.
The whole friendship turns into a game of one-upmanship. Instead of your friend sharing your happiness with you, they take every chance they can to ceaselessly brag about their own accomplishments and achievements. A good friend, on the other hand, surely does not keep a tally of losses and victories.
2. The Debbie-Downers
A good friend can provide you a wealth of support and comfort. However, there has to be a balance in friendship for it to be healthy. It shouldn’t be that your friend’s needs are met, and yours are mostly overlooked. With the Debbie-Downers, you may find your friendship to be like a never-ending therapy session.
You attempt to share some positive news, only to have your friend counteract with the negative. More often than not, you find yourself soothing their insecurities instead of receiving support for your problems. There is a difference between looking to a friend for support and using that friend as a personal ego-booster.
3. The Promise Breakers
Your friend calls you and asks for a ride home from work. You readily agree, and a few weeks later, when you find yourself in the same position and whip out your phone for your friend’s help, they promise to be there in five minutes. Five minutes turn into ten, twenty, and then forty, and your friend doesn’t show up.
The Promise Breakers are types of friends who are constantly breaking their promises but still expect everything at the fullest from you in return. These are friends you don’t need to keep around and surely must avoid.
4. The Mood Killers
The Mood Killers are friends who tend to spoil your mood as soon as they enter into a conversation with you. They always criticize you and seem to find a flaw in everything you have or do, be it your clothes, your love life, your attitude, or anything else. They are like a dark cloud hovering over you on a sunny day, and nothing positive ever comes out of their mouths. They are also never short of depressing thoughts and sarcastic comments.
5. The Swinger
This type of friend is very difficult to understand, because their mood changes from being extremely nice to totally snappy in seconds, and usually without any provocation. This friend may just use you as a punching bag to express their feelings, be it anger, frustration, or happiness. You do not need to be around someone whose moods tend to swing like a pendulum.
How to Get Rid of Them
Here are some tips you can use to get rid of such friends:
Some friends just may be going through a difficult phase in life and don’t mean to act this way. However, when you are helping a friend and just end up getting hurt in the process, it is high time you start saying no.
Have “The Talk”
If setting boundaries doesn’t work, you need to make a choice, either to end your friendship or to give it one last ditch effort by having a talk with your friend. Be prepared to explain and to listen. Your discussion may provide you with feedback, as well. But most importantly, do not expect “the talk” to be one-sided. Be firm, consistent, and fair.
Slowly Drift Away
End things slowly, focus on true friendships, and keep yourself busy with those friends. Say you are busy and cannot meet up, and if they are smart, they will get the message and leave you alone.
Pull a Houdini
The best way to avoid or to get rid of such friends is to pull a Houdini. Disappear for a few weeks, and avoid talking to them.
It might sound a bit harsh to avoid someone, but life is too short to spend with people who have a bad influence on you. So choose your friends carefully and always make sure that the friends who are closest to you are those who can make life better for you, and not worse.
Friends are crucial in our social exchanges and they can be found anywhere, but remember connect with those who add to your life, your well being, and highlight your strengths. People come into your life for reasons, seasons, and, some, very few, for a lifetime; but with each, you will grow, learn, and eventually, become stronger.