Breaking Up with Your Bad Friend

Bad best friend? Chances are good (or, should I say bad?) that you have been there and done that. But how many times do we let these bad friends continue to be in our lives and continue in our misery of trying to make up for the qualities they lack? If you are feeling down about your friendship and are feeling stuck, then you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a chair and go over this simple Bad Friend check-list by obich to determine if your friend warrants a kicking to the curb.

  1. Is your friend unreliable? If you always find yourself waiting for that call they said they’d give you, being stuck with no ride to work when they said they would pick you up, and having to pay a stranger top rate because you were left with no babysitter at the last minute, then you may want to re-evaluate your friendship. Unreliability is a terrible character trait and is often hard-wired into their DNA. Face it – you’re not changing them. On the other hand, if your friend is dependable and can be counted on then there’s a sliver of hope. You may want to weigh other negatives with that positive and decide from there.

  1. Do they listen or is it always about them? If you find you can’t get a word in and are always interrupted, then you have a poor listener on your hands. If your friend can’t seem to stop talking about themselves, it’s time to give them a dose of their own medicine or move one.
  1. Are they simply around when convenient for them? Do you have the dreaded friend that always calls to talk about their problems, but yet when you have a problem you need help coping with they are nowhere to be found? If so, you may be being used as a tissue box and nothing more. Don’t let someone take advantage of your graciousness and ability to listen. You deserve to be heard and should demand that from your friend if the scale is unbalanced.
  1. Do they ever initiate get-togethers? You can’t – and shouldn’t – initiate every encounter you have with your friend. Friends should have a mutual desire to be around each other…even if it’s just a phone call. If you’re always the one to schedule that Friday night dinner, try backing off for a while and seeing if they make the effort. If they don’t, they may be comfortable not having you in their life; in that case, you shouldn’t feel the need to be in theirs.
  1. Are they comfortable sharing secrets with you? Good friends don’t mind sharing personal details and revealing their skeletons. If they seem secretive, that’s a sign they aren’t trusting you.

It’s never easy to let go of a friend, but having an unreliable, selfish, distant, and secretive friend is not easy either. Weigh the pros and cons of your relationship and decide whether it’s better for you to keep them around or “kick them to the curb.” But how do you go about doing that? It depends on your friend and their personality. If they are very confrontational it may be best to simply cut back on time spent with them until you’re eventually spending none at all. If they are a somewhat reasonable person, then simply lay out the problems you’ve been having and let them know that you aren’t dealing with it anymore. If they are unwilling to change – or if you are past the point of waiting for that to happen – then tell them that and cut contact.

After severing ties, you will probably experience a bit of sadness or “break-up remorse.” Remember that it’s normal and is part of the grieving process of losing a friend. Try to focus on the reasons you made the decision that you did and stick to it. If you find that you feel you made a mistake, go to your friend and see if you cannot come up with some sort of rules to stick with. For example, if their problem was never initiating your encounters, then perhaps you could establish that they must initiate your get-togethers from now on.