1. The Drama Queen.
You’ll recognize her initially as the classic one-upper. You have a cold? She’s got pneumonia and requires IV antibiotics at the ER. Have a bad day? She’s had a bad year and cuts you off to tell you about how she got there—not that you asked. If you even hint that you’re remotely interested, she’ll tell you her entire over-the-top, woe-is-me life story. The Drama Queen gets a high off of any opportunity to make a scene unnecessarily. She thinks you’re her perfect audience, but you often end up feeling exhausted and embarrassed after being around her.
2. Miss High-Maintenance.
She gives you crap for not returning every single phone call promptly. There’s always an edge of passive aggressive resentment in her “hey stranger” greeting when it’s been too long (by her standards) since you last spoke. She lectures you about spending too much time with [insert love interest] and accuses you of “ditching your friends.” She doesn’t seem to function well independently, seeking approval before she makes a decision about everything from what neighborhood to live in to what pizza toppings to order. She’s never spent a Friday or Saturday night by herself for fear of becoming “a total loner.” Her insecurities, dependencies and self-loathing are the reasons she’s hooked on you, and she somehow manages to make you feel responsible for her happiness. You’re not.
3. The Non-Committal Crush.
You’ve spent loads of time together and have that powerful connection that makes you giddy just thinking about the next time you’ll see each other. But you just can’t seem to get a read on the status of your relationship, and you’re too scared to bring it up. You know he likes you and that’s been good enough—until now. Whenever you address the future, he changes the topic. If he’s vague about dating you seriously after he knows how wonderful you are, it’s time to move on. Anyone you’re spending great amounts of time with should appreciate your greatness.
4. The Eternal Flake.
He cancels at the last minute. Or his plans are constantly tentative until he ends up canceling last minute. He’s late for any plans he actually does keep, and reliably shows up armed with a lame excuse like, “You know I’m always late,” or “Traffic.” He doesn’t care enough to follow through because he knows you’ll always end up calling him again. When you try to address the situation, he makes a lot of promises that he never actually fulfills. Time is a valuable commodity, especially the older you get—don’t waste it on people who don’t value yours.
5. Debby Downer.
Before you can ask how her day is, she’s complaining about the weather, her hair, her job, her apartment, her friend, her mother and body. If the sun were directly shining rays into her face while she was lying on a warm beach with a cold drink, she’d find a way to make it rain. She’s doom and gloom at all times, and she can never be happy for anyone else, finding a way to put a damper on even the happiest occasions. Some people choose to be miserable. Let them do it without you.
6. The Constant Taker.
This person is always asking for something—advice, money, the keys to your car, help with an errand—but is never willing to give you anything in return. She’s stopped recognizing your willingness to provide things as a favor and instead exploits your generosity as if it were an endlessly renewable resource. If she’s in trouble, which seems to be the case fairly often, you’re the first person to drop everything and come running to her rescue. But when you’re in trouble (which is rarely the case), she’s a ghost. Your friendship hasn’t been truly reciprocal in ages but you’ve remained friends out of habit. This year, no more free-loading.
7. The Toxic Family Member.
Every family has one or two of these individuals. Your family dinners and get-togethers are routinely hijacked by their venting sessions. Don’t get involved. Put your earmuffs on, nod and listen, but avoid giving feedback. Trying to engage one of these family members in conversation is the equivalent of standing behind a horse’s legs, tickling its rear-end and waiting to get kicked in the face. There’s no sane purpose for it.
8. The Confessional Boss.
Yes, you need to pay your bills and build a career. But don’t let your boss dump all of his or her problems onto you just because you’re paid to do what they say all day. If you repeatedly allow your boss to confide in you about non-professional matters, you’ll end up doing twice as much work as you’re contracted to do. It’s not your job to be your boss’ therapist or to make them feel better about life. You wouldn’t stay in a relationship in which your kindness was exploited, so don’t let a wanna-friend boss do it either.
9. Everyone Else Who Sucks.
If you don’t feel loved, supported and appreciated by a friend, stop wasting your time with them. Fill your free time with those who make you laugh and seek you out because they truly understand you and enjoy your company. Forget the non-contributing zeroes who had absolutely nothing but negativity to your existence. You deserve better.