Where would we be without our friends? Well, if those friends are rotten, the answer might just be “in a much better place.”
When you’ve known someone for a while, it can be hard to see that they’re really bad for you. Because the signs aren’t always obvious.
So what do the sages of Reddit think we ought to be on the lookout for? Let’s gear up with knowledge and protect ourselves.
1. Shifting treatment
Treating you differently when you’re around other people- acting embarrassed, disgusted, condescendingly, reserved.
It happened to me personally and it took awhile for me to understand it fully, but babes don’t stick your necks out for someone who wouldn’t even lift a pinky for you
2. The one-sided treatment
I had a friend I met while we were both around 15 weeks pregnant. She gave birth 2 weeks after me. At first our friendship was great. We texted all the time (Covid times), and because we were new moms, and up at all hours of the night, sometimes until 2 or 3 in the morning. It was amazing: we vented about “new mom” problems, spousal troubles, hating “Covid-times”, and the good ‘ol days.
But then it became more and more 1-sided. She started complaining every day about her marriage. (Her husband was a decade younger than her, and freshly 20 years old being married with a new baby, was still not acting the part). It was relentless. He would do these childish things like: 1. Spend their stimulus check on a motorcycle he didn’t know how to ride or have a license for, without telling her 2. Come home from work and (if you’re a mom you’ll understand) complain about how she has it easy taking care of an infant, or that she spends all day on the couch 3. Play video games when he wasn’t working, even with his baby in his lap 4. When the baby would cry and she was in the shower, he would bring the baby into the bathroom to ask her to get out of the shower to take care of it.
This guy was a s**t bag. She told me so many times how she wanted to move back home to get some help from her mom and sister (who live 8 hours away). I told her to do so, she was really struggling mentally. She did for a week or two, and had to come back early because her husband said he was going to kill himself. Every day she texted me long paragraphs, one after the other, saying she felt trapped with a child-husband, and an infant. I was on the brink, me having a stable, absolute saint of a husband who is the best dad and partner, and having to listen and give advice that wasn’t being listened to.
The moment when it because too much: she told me she was pregnant again. It was a month after she told me (so she’s 3 months pregnant with a 9 month old).
I talked it over with my husband and he told me I was in a 1-sided friendship. I was doing so much for her at this point; taking her to appointments, buying her food, and ultimately, giving asked-for advice she wasn’t listening too. It was enough. I removed her from all social media, and told her that I couldn’t do it anymore. It’s been a couple months. I hope she’s doing better, because I’m certainly doing better without all the negativity in my life.
3. Unquestionable support
Some people I know have a very loyal group of friends and it drives me insane and I really want to keep my distance from that bunch.
Because I know what happens if any of their friends once criticizes them – they are able to cut off friendship altogether at once because of that.
Most of my friends tell each other harsh criticism and insult each other all the time and I think we have much more trust in each other because of that.
4. Zero responsibility
A refusal to accept responsibility for anything.
No matter how small the conflict is, it is never their fault.
Doesn’t necessarily have to blame you every time
5. How do you react?
It’s not always what they do. It’s often times how you react to what they do.
When you start overlooking red flags because you really like someone it’s important to recognize it and allow yourself to make a rational decision.
So many non obvious red flags happen because we don’t want to see them. We are happy and don’t want to believe them.
But it’s better to be rational early then realize your stuck later on.
6. You only see them when they need something
People who only come around only when they need something. I like the call them “friends of convenience”.
Like for example if the car broke down, I’d hear from them. Pipes bursted and water is all over the floor? Ring ring. I kinda took note of those kind of people and just ignored them after a time.
7. The cold shoulder
I guess this might be a little obvious, but if they do something wrong and end up giving you the cold shoulder because you get mad at them for it, and you end up being the one to mend the bridge even though they were the one who did something wrong… yeah that’s a bad sign.
8. When they constantly interrupt you
We all interrupt sometimes, but when it’s frequent and one is unable to finish even a story, opinion, or train of thought then it’s pretty obvious that friend is not interested in you, not really.
9. Always tearing folks down
If they’re always talking s**t about mutual acquaintances, you can be pretty sure they talk s**t about you too when you’re not around.
Similarly, if they’ve had big fallouts with lots of past friends or they’ve had an unusually high number of “best” friends.
10. Pointless arguments
You always come put of an argument feeling exhausted and nothing was really solved
This CAN be obvious, but it’s also easy to write off as the conversation not working out. Getting to the root of the problem is important, the people who fight against that are generally going to be pretty toxic, whether they mean to be or not
11. Consistent exclusion
They have another group of friends you’re never invited to hang out with even though you invite them to hang out with your other friend groups.
– [deleted user]
12. Ignoring advice
Asking for advice then telling you what they’ve decided in the same convo… they’ve already made up their minds, why not just start with that instead of going through the hoops of a discussion?
13. Not embracing change
When you make positive life changes and they say things like “you didn’t used to be like that”
this is what a now ex friend said to me after I told her I had stopped drinking. I realized how much better I felt physically and mentally and loved that I was saving so much money. later in the convo she said we should go get bottomless mimosas…not to mention this friend was on the receiving end of some of my outbursts and said that her last birthday “was a disaster” when the only disastrous thing that happened was me storming out because I had reached my alcohol and social limit and was going to head out, and she tried to make me stay because everyone was Sharing Uber’s home within the hour. It was already past midnight.
– [deleted user]
14. Major FOMO
I had a friend that’s a year and a half younger than me.
She asked me if I was sad that I wasn’t married with kids yet… then told me I shouldn’t get married or have kids before she does.
She would also go out with friends that she met through me… without inviting me.
I guess she had major FOMO and always needed to one-up me.
Them flags are lookin’ mighty red.
But what about you? Do you have anything you would add to this list?
Tell us in the comments.