Friendships can be complicated. Sometimes we wonder whether the friends we once cherished are actually friends to dump. It doesn’t matter whether they’re or not they’re aware of their toxic behavior. You have the right to protect yourself and you’re own pursuit of happiness. Sometimes that means cutting out toxic people.
1. Judgmental friends
Friends who can’t accept you for who you are friends to dump. They might give you scrutinizing looks during conversations, make fun of your interests, try to change you, or even straight-up insult you. Pay attention to those red flags. Real friends can look beyond their friend’s mistakes, or at least gently correct them. You shouldn’t walk away from an interaction feeling crummy.
Maybe they’re superficial or maybe your values/personalities just don’t mesh. Either way, it’s not going to work out.
2. Friends who never have time for you
No response is also a response. No one is ever “too busy”. Some people might be more introverted and expect to hang out less, but they still keep it consistent. If your friend pretends to be happy when they see you but also avoids you, never calls or texts you, never invites you out, or keeps canceling over and over, they probably don’t care about you as much as you care about them.
No friendship should be one-sided. If they don’t have time for you, they aren’t worth your time.
3. Friends who always talk about themselves
A friend only talking about themselves is a bad sign. They constantly talk about their problems, their accomplishments, their aspirations. Even if they occasionally ask about your life, the might only be doing so out of politeness, rather than out of genuine interest.
I had a friend in college who was always having something dramatic happen in her life and was always happy to talk with me about it. She was an interesting person and her stories were entertaining, but I realized that I was just playing therapist, exporting so much emotional labor without getting any support in return. It was actually really draining and time-consuming to spend time with her, and I felt a lot better once our friendship tapered off.
Keep this anecdote in mind when analyzing your own friendships and consider which friends to dump.
4. Friends who don’t stand up for you
Have you ever been the only person who doesn’t fit in with the rest of the group? If you’re hanging out with your friend and her friends, and her friends start being mean to you, she is expected to say, “Hey, be nice to so-and-so”. This might be an uncomfortable situation for her since she’s caught between two friends, but that’s no excuse for not standing up for you. It implies that she doesn’t care how you feel.
5. Friends who are competitive
Some people just have to be the best at everything. In healthy friendships, friends can compete against each other without putting each other down. Toxic friends will keep trying to one-up you while shutting down your arguments, putting you down, and down-playing your accomplishments. Don’t torture yourself by enduring this kind of treatment. Competitive people are friends to dump.
6. Friends who stereotype you
If they introduce you as their “gay friend” they’re friends to dump. Close-minded people don’t are poor choices in friends. Whether they stereotype you based on your race, sexual orientation, gender orientation, income level, or anything else, they aren’t a good friend. You can’t have a healthy friendship with someone who only sees you as a caricature rather than who you are as a person.
7. Friends who are negative
Negative people can be incredibly emotionally draining, sucking out all your energy and leaving you in a bad mood. This type of person might overlap with “friends who always talk about themselves” because they’re constantly complaining about their own lives and don’t care to ask about yours. If you want to be happy, cut out negative people like these from your life.