Often, we spend hours upon hours mulling over a decision to break up with a significant other, when maybe the place we need to do some spring cleaning is in our friendships. When you are in high school, you think those friends will be your best friends forever. Then you get to college and realize that changes, and your college friends will now be your best friends forever. But what you don’t realize is that college is a time when people grow and find themselves. Suddenly your BFF is a whole new person who treats you terribly, but you take it, because you think you have to be married into this friendship forever. The good news is you don’t. We all do stupid things and the great thing about friends is that they have your back and don’t bail on you for it. But there is a gigantic difference between exchanging a few words in an argument, or spilling a deep secret while drunk versus actions that show they are genuinely not good people. These are the signs of friendships that have reached the point where you need to cut the cord.
1. They lie… a lot.
And I don’t just mean that they lie to you. Sure, that in itself is awful. But I mean they lie to others, and you watch them do it effortlessly as if it’s second nature. If they are pathological liars to people around them, then chances are they are also lying to you (you just don’t realize it because they have got so good at it and probably have themselves convinced it’s true, too.) Lying is a trait, it’s not something that changes from person to person. People who are capable of looking someone they love in the eye and lying to hurt or deceive are not the kind of people you want to keep company with. Just because you don’t actively see them doing it to you does not mean it isn’t happening. If you visualize them doing it to other people they say they care about on a regular basis, you need to dump them.
2. They gossip about other people constantly… to everyone.
We all have best friends who we gossip and vent to. That’s normal. What’s NOT normal is a friend who gossips about other friends’ personal lives to everyone they meet. Like their mouth is just a constant running machine, spewing stories that are most likely half true and half lies for added appeal. Trust me, if you see them tell the same juicy story to 3 different people who probably don’t need to know it, then you should be aware they are doing the same to you. That story you told them last week about your awful date is probably circulating a social circle somewhere. I knew a girl like this, and she was nothing but trouble. Every moment I was in her presence, she was airing dirty laundry about people I hardly knew. I might not know Ashley, but I did know her boyfriend cheated on her and then she threw his clothes off a balcony. It’s just TMI. Some things are personal, and as a best friend it’s your duty to keep it that way. If you have a friend like this with a huge blabbermouth and an obsession for talking about others, walk away. It will save you a lot of heartache. Remember, “What Susie says about Sally says more of Susie than Sally.”
3. They get handsy with your significant other.
This isn’t acceptable just because they are your best friend. Some people think it’s okay to cross a line or two with their BFF’s boyfriend or girlfriend because it’s harmless fun. It is not harmless fun when your friend constantly flirts with your boyfriend or grabs his ass. Being funny and goofy is one thing — you obviously want your BFF and your significant other to be pals — but there is a very clear line there. I have seen it crossed many times, and it’s all fun and games until one day the sexual tensions comes to fruition. Your best friend (if they were REALLY a friend) would never go down that road. The problem in these situations is that you are expected to be okay with it. You feel as though if you say something, you come across looking crazy, or perhaps your friend will convince you it’s all in your head. It has nothing to do with if they would actually cross the line or not, it’s just the fact that it’s wrong. Plain and simple. And if they don’t think it’s wrong then you have a red flag. And you should cut them out of your life as soon as possible.
4. They drop your friendship when a boyfriend/girlfriend comes along.
Okay, I know we have all been there. You have a friend you do everything with, and the moment they get a significant other, they are gone like the wind. But once their relationship ends, they expect you to be there to pick up the pieces. This is self-explanatory, but seriously…RUN. It’s obvious that having a significant other means some changes will happen, but there is a serious divide between slight changes, and totally disappearing. I was in a 4 year long relationship and I prioritized my friends always. I never missed a group dinner, or mani/pedi dates, or anything of that nature. I would go hang out with my friends and meet up with my boyfriend afterwards or vice versa. I had a life before he came along and he wouldn’t ever change that. Conversely, I had a “friend” who did this to me twice, and I am not sure why it took two times for me to open my eyes, but finally I kicked them to the curb. This person called me and inform me that their then-significant other didn’t like me, so we couldn’t be friends anymore, and then expected me to be cool with it. I should have probably taken heed the first time around and learned my lesson. So now I’m telling you… RUN. These are the kind of people you do not want in your life because they are opportunists. They feed off of what you have to offer, but they don’t stick around when something better comes along. Not worth it, move on.
5. They bail during the tough times.
We are all going to experience trials and tribulations in our life. Some might be minor, like a break up, and others might be major, like losing someone you love or battling an illness. Some friends are what I like to call “party friends.” They are around for the good times, the parties, the trips, the high points in your life. They support you when you get a promotion at work and want to celebrate, they go to the bars with you every single weekend, and they are around for other noteworthy moments. However, when the bad stuff happens and you really need them, they are nowhere to be found. Sometimes you might not realize it because they check in via a text or a call and have an excuse for their absence that makes you feel almost guilty for accusing them. You somehow tell yourself that they are just really busy and you are being selfish thinking they would drop everything for you. Honestly, think again.
A real friend is there through thick or thin. The friends who only want to share the glory but never want to share the pain are not genuine. It might be hard to see if they put on a good charade, but think back to your last trying time and look around at who was present. And I mean really present. Who was bringing you ice cream and offering you a shoulder to cry on? Who was checking in on your multiple times and offering you words of support? Who got involved in your problems and made them their problems? If your “friend” didn’t make the cut on this list, then it’s time to let them go. I had friends like this, but I didn’t see the signs until I had a really seriously devastating period in my life hit. Half of them were nowhere to be found at the level that I needed them. They didn’t want to talk to me about what was happening, they didn’t ask questions or want to be around me when I was at a low point. My lesson was most definitely learned. These are friends that you can keep at an arm’s length if you feel you must keep them around. But from personal experience, I can tell you it’s not worth it. You are just keeping room in your heart for someone undeserving and that closes the door for other awesome amazing people to come in it.