Advertising
Advertising

3 WARNING Signs of a Bad Friend

3 WARNING Signs of a Bad Friend

Once you hit 20-something and over, you reach a point where your time becomes your most precious asset. A bad friendship can drain our energy, so we seek to avoid them as much as possible. This manner of prioritization tends to put our relationships into prospective, by subconsciously implementing The Two Laws of Adult Friendship.

1. I will only spend time on/with subjects of obsession – Just like your obsession with running, painting, or growing your own tomatoes, most of us will only initiate friendships with those who make the most of our time.

2. I must recognize realistic variables – Yes, adult friendship is like a real life math problem—helping us set realistic expectations. Sometimes we want to be closer with others, but we foresee responsibilities that can get understandably in the way.

Advertising

What is the probability of Person X + (1 Husband + 2 Kids + 1 Kitten) /Full Time Job have of going out dancing with Person Y Friday night?

Somehow, you might find those few friends who get past this litmus test, but really aren’t worth the energy you are wasting on them. You might feel like a bad person when these types of thoughts start popping in your head. If this is a constant concern in the friendship, rest assured that it’s probably for the best. Here are the 3 facts to consider if you think someone is a bad friend.

Lack of Eye Contact

It says something about a person when they can’t look you in the eye. Having a bud that stares at you intensely is pretty creepy, but avoiding your gaze altogether is even worse: it’s a sign of lacking intimacy in the relationship.

Advertising

Take a notice of how many times your friend checks Facebook updates and tweets while you’re in the middle of a conversation. Or maybe there are more subtle instances, like avoiding eye contact while they breathlessly monologue in what’s supposed to be a shared dialogue. Paying attention to body language will trigger that they are being rude and should probably do a little listening, so they avoid your gaze out of selfishness.

An amigo who doesn’t value you enough to pay the slightest subconscious attention to your needs of communication isn’t a real friend to you.

Self-Centered Interaction

The strength of friendships is based on our interactions with one another. It’s about what you enjoy about them, and what they enjoy about you. That’s why you can spend hours with your closest friends while literally doing nothing; you’ve built companionship that doesn’t require more than the other’s best interest.

Advertising

Bad friends couldn’t care less about your well-being or interest, and this shows in the context of your interactions. They’ll hang out when it’s convenient for them or generally ask surface level questions, if they ask any at all. Getting to know you isn’t important—they just ind you a convenience for the moment.

Remember, a good friend will let you rant on a bad day, and an even better friend will tell you when to let something go without dismissing your feelings for the sake of their own good mood.

Seeking Validation

There is a 50/50 chance about how the last major sign will show up in a weak friendship. It’s a mystery as to why it doesn’t scream in the moment that this relationship might be toxic, but the fact is, those who are poor at maintaining friendships often know it. One of the few times they will look at us in the eye is when they admit “I’m a bad friend.”

Advertising

It’s not a statement that comes up once or twice when they admit to messing up. Toxic friends will keep telling you this just to hear you validate their behavior. We’ve all been guilty of doing it, so that the cycle continues on.

The other 50 percent might be so diluted by their selfishness, that they feel it’s OK to take you for granted. In either circumstance, the best way to be a real friend to a faux one is to tell them—in a loving way—that they suck.

Telling them that their behavior is OK isn’t going to help them or you; it will only make things worse. We will say something when friendships really matter to us, unless we are just as bad as they are. That’s the double-edged sword to this revelation. Recognizing these traits in others might be hard to admit, but it’s even harder to acknowledge that we might be the bad friend who needs to change.

More by this author

3 WARNING Signs of a Bad Friend 3 Ways to Improve Your Productivity by Working Out

Trending in Communication

1The Gentle Art of Saying No 217 Ted Talks for Kids to Inspire Little Minds to Do Big Things 310 Toxic Persons You Should Just Get Rid Of 4Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts 5Being Self Aware Is the Key to Success: How to Boost Self Awareness

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

Advertising

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

Advertising

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

Advertising

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Advertising

Read Next