Sound familiar? It may be time to cut ties.
It’s so simple on Facebook: You just click on that “unfriend” button, and—boom!—you’re done. You no longer have to see your former friend’s ranting, bragging, or negative vibes clogging up your feed. In real life, however, unfriending someone is much more complicated, involving either a painful discussion or a slow and steady retreat. Either way, here are some people who may be adding more stress than sweetness to your life.
The Ultra-competitive Friend.
Life is not an Olympic sport, but your friend seems to be on a constant quest to outscore you. You found a great new pair of shoes on sale? Well, she found an even better sale, and bought two pairs! You got a promotion at work? That’s nice, but she’s expecting to be named VP any day! All we can say is, Chill, girl!
The Debby Downer Friend.
Some people have a unique talent for finding the dark side to every ray of sunshine in your life: “You’re redoing your kitchen? Oh, sorry, what a pain, dealing with contractors is the worst.” If you find you leave every conversation in a darker mood than when you said hello, it’s time to move on.
The Friend Who Cancels Every Single Time.
Sure, things come up. We’ve all taken a rain check on a lunch date when we’re stressed with deadlines or chosen a frozen burrito and Game of Thrones over a night on the town. But if you are constantly finding yourself with blank spots in your date book where she canceled on you without a good excuse or a sincere effort to reschedule, she’s not worth the effort (and it’s possible she’s trying to unfriend you, so why don’t you help her out?).
The Indulge-Your-Bad-Habits Friend.
She knows you’re trying to quit smoking, but offers you a cigarette every time you hang out. She tries to convince you to blow off your spin class to meet her for a milkshake. Whether she’s afraid you’ll succeed where she’s failed, or she’s just trying to stir up trouble like a mischievous little imp, this is not a friend you need in your life.
If your friend is constantly bad-mouthing mutual friends when you’re together, you can bet she’s saying some choice things about you behind your back. Ask her to cut out the friend-bashing, or cut her out of your life.
The Roller Coaster Friend.
One day she loves you, the next she’s pissed off for no apparent reason, or blowing you off to hang with someone else. This was bad enough in middle school, but no full-grown adult needs to deal with this kind of hot-and-cold friendship.
The It’s-All-About-Me Friend.
It’s flattering that your friend respects your worldly advice, but when every conversation turns into an hours-long gripe session about all the problems in her life, she may be treating you more as an unpaid therapist than a friend. If she never gets around to asking about your day, or you’re completely drained from dealing with all her angst, consider whether you’re getting anything out of this relationship in return for your help.