Whether we’re diving into a new relationship, making new friends, or just watching as our old ones grow and change through life, sometimes it’s hard to tell if people are no good for us. They might occasionally do things that rub us the wrong way, or make us think that they’re not a good influence on us, but we let it slide — burning a bridge with anyone is not an easy task. But these six things are clear deal breakers that, if said person should commit them, warrant a total void on the contract of your romantic/platonic relationship.
1. They insult people’s appearance.
While we all occasionally slip up and make comments about others that aren’t as nice as we’d like, we should all be striving to keep whatever criticisms we’re going to lob above the belt (and that doesn’t mean just making fun of their boobs). If you’re hanging out with someone and a perfectly nice girl comes in, only for this person to make a snide, unwarranted comment about how she is “fat,” “ugly,” “skanky,” or anything of the like — you know you’ve found an utter loser. And if a man is referred to as looking “gay,” “weak,” or “like a fatass,” the sin is equally grave. The point is that, unless you walk around with a constant photoshop team behind you, no one is perfect — we all live in glass houses. And even if we were flawless (which we’re not), calling someone brutal names based on their physical appearance is an insult they a) didn’t do anything to earn and b) are probably profoundly insecure about, as we all are. Only the most unimaginable losers actually make fun of people for things they can’t control, least of which physical appearance, as that has absolutely no bearing on their person. It’s an ugly behavior, and we shouldn’t be hanging out with people who do it.
2. They treat waiters like crap.
I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation once or twice where we’re at a table with someone who is clearly being an absolute ass hat to the waiter — making them wait, making snide comments, not tipping, blaming them for things that aren’t their fault — and we just want to crawl in a hole and die. There is nothing more embarrassing, and even going up to the waiter in question and apologizing on that person’s behalf is not enough, should it come to that point. But beyond just making the waiter’s life miserable for the hour or so spent in the restaurant, this person clearly holds service jobs in general in extremely low esteem — something that should essentially be punishable by death at this point. They’ll say, “Oh, they’re just a waiter,” or make assumptions about their education level or income. It’s amongst the most classist, petty displays of arrogance and ignorance someone can demonstrate, and let’s just hope that their food is consistently spit in.
3. They participate in “hipster bigotry.”
If they are white and call people “my n*gga” and go on and on about how much they just love that word and how it’s just so cool — they’re awful. If they are straight and refer to people as “f*ggots,” even in jest — they’re awful. If they call women “cunts,” “bitches,” “sluts,” or “skanks” to be funny and ~provocative~ because they really respect women, and this is a total joke you guys — they’re awful. Beyond just the ugliness of the words themselves, the idea that someone gets to sit atop Mount Asshole and decide what everyone else is allowed to be offended by is almost comical in its obliviousness. If they’re really so pressed for humor and personality that they have to walk around yelling the n-word ironically at everyone they’ve ever met, they’re probably not worth your time.
4. They genuinely look down on others for their music choices.
We all have different taste in our entertainment, and that’s awesome. Some people enjoy horror films, some enjoy rom-coms, and some enjoy period dramas. We’re all allowed to like what we like, and generally seem to remain at least minimally respectful of each other’s preferences. But then there’s music, the arena in which some people arbitrarily decide that they are the Grand Master of all things audible and will now deign to tell us exactly what is and isn’t “acceptable” and/or “cool” to listen to. If you like really obscure electronic music from the less-touristed areas of Europe — awesome! But that doesn’t give you a right to be genuinely snide to people who like to listen to southern rap or Enya. There are few things worse than people who’ve deemed themselves some kind of authority about anything pop culture, and who have thus gone on to make actual judgments on who other people are as a person based on whether or not they listen to Daft Punk.
5. They refer to high school or college as “the best years of [their] life.”
It’s one thing to have enjoyed your formal education — not all of us did, but that’s fine! We all have phases in our lives that go more smoothly than others, and adolescence/early twenties are some particularly choppy waters to navigate. That being said, if you openly proclaim that your entire being peaked between the ages of 14 and 22, during a time in which you were almost entirely dependent on your parents and ate a constant combination of mystery meat and Ramen, that is just super bleak for you. The people who romanticize their education as the best time they lived through are also inadvertently admitting that the rest of their life is a slow, crumbling downhill roll towards some kind of unmarked grave, hopefully near the school football field upon which they were once a star. The fact that they have just stopped trying to improve things, and are resigned to a life in which the curious, interesting parts are long since passed, is nothing short of horrifying. We’ve all been pulled aside by a particularly exhausted middle-aged person during high school or college and told, with a certain degree of urgency, that “it’s not going to get better than this.” Yikes. The thing is, you meet people who clearly peaked during their formative years, and you meet those who are continuing to evolve and learn and adventure until the day they die. Do you really want to hang around with the former?
6. They make you work for it.
We’ve all had those relationships and friendships where you feel like you’re perpetually on a job interview. You’re constantly vying for their affection and approval, trying to be the person you think they want, because they’re important to you and you want to be around them. An unfortunate reality of life is that there will always be these lame, lame people who get their rocks off — and make no mistake, people do this intentionally — leaving other people hanging. It gives a sense of superiority, of control, of having the upper hand in things. And sometimes, these people can be the most alluring and interesting, and the masochistic part of us will want to win them over somehow, even though we know we should be forgetting about them completely. And whether it’s the ethereal party girl friend who knows everyone or the gorgeous guy with the chest tattoo who won’t meet our parents, we have to understand that we’re better than that — that we deserve someone who reciprocates the effort we put in and makes us feel loved back. Above all else, if someone is making you feel badly about yourself just for existing, you should not be giving them the gift of your company.