Alice Weil Novels

Pinnacle Book Achievement Awardee

Signs of a Bad Friend

Having a friend is one of life’s greatest treasures. However, not all friendships are created equal. As children, we learn the concept of friendship through the people we spend time with at school and on the playground.

As we grow older, we realize that just because we spend a lot of time with someone doesn’t mean they’re the most reliable companion. If you’re wondering what makes a “bad friend,” here are some warning signs to take note of:

  1. They are unreliable.

Friendship, like most relationships, includes giving and taking. Suppose you’re always giving your time, effort, and money to a friend to help them but receive nothing in return. It may be a sign that they’re using you for their gain.

It also helps to reflect if you exhibit the same behaviors. If you find yourself using your friend as a person to lean on but refuse to return the favor, you may be in danger of being a bad friend yourself.

  1. They are only there for the good times and leave during difficult times.

Friends are part of a person’s social support system. While happiness is best shared with the people you love, sharing your problems and burdens can also make it easier to deal with issues.

If you find your friends around only during good times, then it’s easier to see why they’re your friends in the first place. However, when things go wrong, like financial or relationship issues, and they are nowhere to be found, it may be a sign that your friendships aren’t as deep and intimate as you thought.

  1. When they put you down instead of lifting you.

Light teasing and playful banter can be a great way to lower people’s guard. It also creates a sense of intimacy where people with strong bonds make their language. However, everyone is limited to what they can tolerate during banter.

Say, for instance, you’re sensitive about your weight and want to lose a few pounds. If your friend cracks a joke at your expense in a mean-spirited way, it may be a sign that they don’t consider your feelings.

If this happens once, it’s best to confront them privately and be honest about why their teasing hurts you. If they apologize and are willing to change, they are true friends who acknowledge their mistakes. However, if they dismiss your feelings and label you as the problem for being “oversensitive,” it may be a sign that they think there’s nothing wrong with crossing people’s boundaries and issues.

  1. When they encourage you to do bad habits.

Friends provide support and make life easier. However, find yourself interacting with people who encourage negative behavior and values. They don’t have your best interests at heart.

Remember, an ideal friend wants you to succeed and lift you so you can be the best person you can be.

Bottomline: A meaningful friendship can be a beautiful part of life. However, real friends are hard to find, especially if you don’t feel like you can be yourself with them. When choosing real friends, it helps to be patient and honest about who you are, what you value, and what you can give to the other person. Only some friendships last, but that doesn’t mean we won’t learn something valuable during the experience.

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