As you go through life, it’s inevitable that you’ll lose some friends along the way. You might go to different schools, move to different places, or simply lose touch. There will also be friends that you may hang on to for years, which is great! Those are the people you can depend on, hang out with, and share all your fond memories with.
But I’ve also learned that just because someone is willing to be your friend, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should stay friends with them. You should be okay with cutting certain people out of your life—there is nothing wrong with it at all. Not to mention you’d be expertly following the tenets of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight.
Some people are simply too toxic to interact with, and that’s the reality of it. Staying friends with demeaning, abusive, or downright rude people can seriously poison your well-being. Whether it’s with negativity or sadness, some “friends” bring you down, and some of them do it on purpose. Does that really make them your friends?
Not. At. All.
“Staying friends with demeaning, abusive, or downright rude people can seriously poison your well-being.”
This is when you should consider dropping someone as a friend and why it can make a huge, utterly liberating difference in your life.
With Them, It’s All About “Me, Me, Me”
As friends, it’s typical to vent your endless problems to one another. Venting isn’t bad in and of itself; a friend should be someone you trust enough to unload your bad days and problems on, and they should be willing to help you with those issues.
This should be reciprocal. Your friend should let you talk about you once in a while, too. You have problems, too. You have things in your life that you want to talk about. You need to surround yourself with people who can not only talk about themselves, but be willing to listen—if they aren’t, they don’t care about your feelings all that much, do they?
They’re Extremely Pessimistic
Nobody can be happy 24/7. There will be times when you’re in an awful mood, and you can’t always help it. But in order to be happy, you need to have friends who are uplifting and generally positive. If someone is extremely pessimistic all the time, the only thing they’ll accomplish is bring you down with them. Be smart enough to recognize a friend who is just having a bad day compared to a friend who can never seem to have a good one. If you suspect your friend has mental health issues, by all means, stick around and do what you can to help. Otherwise, they’re either begging for attention or actually enjoy being miserable, and you don’t need that in your life.
You Feel Like Shit When You’re With Them
This one should be a given, but mistreatment isn’t always obvious. I’ve personally remained friends with people even though I felt like they didn’t treat me well. There are lots of reasons for this—maybe you’ve been friends for a long time and find it difficult to cut ties, or maybe you feel too bad about their feelings (or afraid) to speak up.
“If a friend disregards your feelings, only speaks to you when they need something, and rarely invites you out, that person isn’t a friend. ‘Leech’ is more accurate.”
Nonetheless, you need to realize if someone is treating you badly. If a friend disregards your feelings, only speaks to you when they need something, and rarely invites you out, that person isn’t a friend. “Leech” is more accurate.
Know the difference between someone who cares about being in your life and someone who’s just using you. You shouldn’t be afraid to show someone like this out the door. They aren’t doing anything positive for you. Having them gone will only bring upon relief.
Melodrama is Their Full-Time Gig
Who wants to live in the midst of perpetual, petty high school drama? You don’t need people who are always gossiping to you about others (which, 95% of the time, means they’re talking behind your back, too).
Save yourself the complications. Why stress yourself out with someone else’s over-the-top drama? You need genuine friends. Having two or three amazing, loyal friends is always a million times better than having fifteen friends who do nothing but talk smack about one other behind closed doors.
By being aware of these negative traits, you can learn how to surround yourself with the right people. Don’t let just anyone into your life. You control who stays and who goes. Don’t be afraid to cut people out if it is going to improve the way you feel about yourself and the way that you live your life. You deserve friends who act like friends. Nothing less.
Ever experienced toxic relationships like the ones mentioned here? Are you in one right now? Talk to us about it in the comments below.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.