Real friendship is more than happy hours and playing the part of a “yes woman.” Sometimes, it’s about caring enough to be candid, and saving a friendship from going into that uncomfortable grey area that steals the color from vivacious, joyful friendships.
It’s with this in mind that we share 10 things your friends may be trying to tell you, but in more subtle ways. Don’t feel bad if one or more of these things hit home; we’ve all been guilty at one time or another.
1. Your negativity is exhausting.
Everyone has bad days and setbacks, and complaining about them is just a part of the process. But whining and moping about something every single day (or worse, about every single thing) is going to blur the line between what’s actually worth venting about and you being a downer. Life isn’t always amazing, but keep the unnecessary “mehs” to yourself.
2. We don’t want to be a part of your toxic relationship.
Every relationship has its ups and downs, but if you’re constantly fighting, crying, complaining, and are on an emotional rollercoaster with someone who mistreats you, it’s time to really think about what you want out of your love life.
While good friends will absolutely be there to help you get out of a bad situation, it’s completely unfair to bring them into (and then push them out of) the chaotic relationship you’re ultimately choosing to be in. It’s one thing to ask for an ear now and then, but they don’t need to endure a draining play-by-play just because you need to vent every Tuesday.
3. Do something about your problems or accept them.
Want to apply to school, lose or gain weight, see the world, write a book? We’re all for helping you to achieve your goals and build a better life, but hearing you go on and on about how you want to do this and that for months (or years), and seeing you never take a step forward, gets old.
It’s especially frustrating when we’ve taken the time to help you achieve these goals, only to find out that you weren’t willing to do your part.
4. Do unto us as we do unto you.
A quality relationship goes both ways and being friends with someone who’s only good at the “taking” part feels terrible. Step up, learn how to listen, give compliments and support, ask us how our day was, and make us feel as though we’re friends with someone who cares about us, too.
5. Ghosting isn’t only immature and hurtful — it’s an assh*le move.
The idea that someone would claim to love and respect you and then treat you as if you don’t exist is ridiculous. Friends talk about things, try and work things out, and see if they can move forward.
Ignoring someone, hoping whatever “problem” will go away along with them, says far more about the quality of the friend you are than anything else.
6. We aren’t comfortable being miserable.
We all have our own lives to live, and there are moments of triumph and setbacks in all of our lives. Keep this in mind the next time we come to you with some great news or want to share a happy moment, hope, or thought with you. Hating on our happiness or getting irritated that we’re in good place isn’t cool.
7. When you make it all about you, we want to strangle you.
We send you a Gchat about our boss tearing into us and you jump into telling us about last night’s date … What?!
8. Stop making us Plan-B.
When we invite you to something, it’s because you matter to us and it’s important to us that you’re there. If you’ll join, say yes; if you’re holding out for something better, say no.
Having us sit around and wonder if we’re the best option for you feels awful. We aren’t proposing to you; we’re inviting you for drinks. You can say “yes” or “no” on the spot.
9. Your flakiness is making us question our friendship.
We need to be able to count on the people in our life to do what they say they’ll do, be where they say they’ll be, and follow through. If you can’t do that by now, please move along.
10. We love you, but you’re needy.
We love spending time with you and we want to be there for you in every way possible, but the reality is that we’re not your therapist, mother, chauffeur, landlord, travel agent, or whatever else you have us replacing. Being supportive is one thing, but we aren’t looking for a second job.