Making friends isn’t always super easy, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to settle for being friends with just anyone. Some people aren’t solid friendship material. While nobody’s perfect, and neither are you, there are definitely limits as to what type of crap you should have to put up with in a real friend. Here’s a list of friends that you shouldn’t be friends with. If you are currently in a friendship with someone on this list, send them a text message and say that you don’t think your friendship is working out anymore.
1. Friend that always needs money but never pays back
I’m not saying you have to be a total Scrooge McDuck here. Obviously it’s all right to lend your friends some money if they need it. But what happens when your friend is constantly hitting you up for cash? Sometimes it might not even be totally obvious. Ask yourself, when you buy a round of drinks at the bar, and your friend tells you, “Thanks, I’ll get the next one,” is there ever a next round? When you guys go out to grab a bite, and your friend says, “Oh jeez, I think I must have left my wallet at my place. Can you spot me and I’ll get you back later?” is there ever any attempt at restitution?
If you’re scratching your head, or even if you’re just afraid to go back and do the math, it’s obvious that your friend is taking advantage of you. You need to drop this person from your life, because if you’re always paying for this person’s friendship, it’s not really a true friendship at all. It’s basically like friend prostitution, or a friend escort service, which, call it whatever you want, but both don’t sound much fun at all, do they?
2. Friend that always likes to gossip about all of your other friends
Sure, gossip is fun, just a little harmless chitchat, right? Wrong. When you badmouth people and they’re not even there to defend themselves, that’s called character assassination. Are you friends with someone who’s constantly talking about everyone else? Just because you don’t engage in your friend’s gossip doesn’t mean you’re not complicit. Yes, it can be awkward to be the person who insists on a change of subject, but your loose-lipped friend should respect your wish not to gossip. And if they won’t, then kick them to the curb.
Because do you really think that person isn’t gossiping about you behind your back? I used to be friends with this guy named Pete, and one time we got really drunk. Pete went to go to the bathroom, but he was blacking out. He wound up peeing in the closet, all over my brother’s PlayStation 2. In the morning he was like, “Oh man, I’m so embarrassed, please don’t tell anybody about this.” And I didn’t. But then later that summer, one of my other friends told me that Pete told him that I was the one who peed on the PS2. What a jerk, right? I cut Pete out of my life immediately.
3. Friend that borrows your stuff and never returns it
Again, the point of this article isn’t to be like, “You should never share with any of your friends,” but a real friend is supposed to give your stuff back after a while, or at least when you ask for it. Because what are you, some sort of a free thrift store? No, don’t put up with people who treat your possessions like an extension their own personal belongings.
Did I ever tell you about my friend Derek? One time he came over to hang out, but it started raining right before he tried to go home. He asked to borrow my umbrella, and I said no problem. But then weeks went by, and then months. This was a nice umbrella. I mean, it wasn’t ridiculously expensive or anything, but it wasn’t one of those cheap-o five dollar umbrellas you buy on the street when you’re caught in a storm. “Dude, can I get my umbrella back?” and he’d always be like, “What umbrella?” and I tried to remind him, “The good one I lent you that time a few months ago? It had the tiny flashlight built in to the easy grip handle?” and he’d just be like, “Uh, yeah, sure,” before trying to give me some half-broken piece of garbage he’d obviously found lying around his apartment. Whatever, I’ve let go of the umbrella, I’ll probably never see it again. But I’ll definitely never see Derek again, because I’ve written him out of my life forever.
4. Friend who asks you for a ride to work every day but never chips in for gas or tolls
Come on, that’s not even a friend, that’s just a coworker being a total mooch. So why pretend like you’re friends? Because you’re the same age? Because you work together and occasionally go out for drinks with all of your other coworkers?
Yeah, this is based on personal experience. I used to be in this exact same situation. “But come on,” he would say after explaining that he didn’t have any money to chip in for the ride, “can’t you just be a friend?” It was horrible, appealing to my sense of friendship. Because of course I want to be a nice guy, and yeah, I’m driving to work anyway. But then I’m waiting outside your apartment in the morning while you take an extra ten minutes to get ready, and then at the end of the day I have to wait around for you to finish up doing whatever it is you’re staying late for. Come on man, what do I look like, a taxi? Take a hike.
5. Friend who borrows your dog and then loses the dog on purpose
I should have seen this one coming. What kind of a person asks to borrow your dog? Still, I wanted to look for the good in everyone, and so I took a chance on a friend. Maybe he needed some companionship. Maybe he was thinking about getting his own dog, but wanted to try it out first. Maybe he just wanted to pick up chicks at the dog park. Regardless, you can imagine how bummed out I was when he returned later that day with just a leash, holding his hands out and saying, “I lost him.”
He told me not to worry though, he’d help me get him back. “The first thing you need to do is post flyers around town, and make sure you post a big reward.” How big? “Big, like five hundred bucks.” I didn’t have five hundred bucks to spend, but my friend pressured me, “If I had a dog, there wouldn’t be any amount of money I wouldn’t spend to get him back.” Whatever, I posted the reward, and wouldn’t you know it, later that day some dude came back with my little buddy. I forked over the reward money, worrying about how I’d make ends meet for the foreseeable future. Money was so tight that I had to sell my car, I couldn’t even afford a MetroCard to take the bus. And then one day later that week, I was walking home from work, I passed by this ridiculously fancy restaurant. Guess who I saw eating shrimp cocktail and drinking martinis on the street-side patio? Yeah, it was my “friend” and the guy who returned my dog. What the hell man, you went through all that just to get five hundred bucks out of me? You’re not my friend, man, you’re just a dick.