We don’t get to choose our families, but we do get to choose our friends- and it’s important that we treat them the way we would want to be treated. Sure, no one is perfect, but there are a few things that you can do to make sure you’re the best friend you can possibly be. Here are some things you should stop doing to your friends, ’cause it’s probably not not-annoying to them.
1. When You Share Their Secrets
We’re starting off with the number one rule of friendship, and that is to NEVER reveal your friend’s secrets to anyone. If your buddy or bestie tells you something in confidence, you should take it to your grave, unless there’s a possibility that your friend could cause serious harm to themselves. Other than that, say nothing.
2. When You Use Their Secrets Against Them
But sharing them is not the only way you can betray a friend with their secrets. By using what they’ve confided in you against them, you are damaging your friendship in a way that may be unfixable. How would you like it if someone tried to control you, blackmail you or even constantly remind you about something you trusted them with?
3. When You Get Them Into Trouble
It’s fun to get into a bit of trouble every now and then with a friend, but that trouble should never involve physical altercations, law enforcement or the use of illegal objects and substances. What a person does, even in their free time, can have a huge impact on their livelihood. So please don’t put your friend in a compromising situation.
4. When You Put Them In Awkward Situation
And speaking of compromising situations, don’t put them in any awkward ones either. Sure, it’s inevitable that a few awkward things happen, but don’t argue with your significant other in front of your friend and ask them to choose sides. Doing things like that can easily breed resentment.
5. When You Bring Your Drama Into their Lives
And more than the average awkward situation is the drama. If your friend is as loyal as we think they are, they’ll want to defend you should anyone speak badly about you. If you can avoid getting into arguments, please do, and if you can’t, don’t involve your friends.
6. When You Throw What You’ve Done Back in their Face
One of the worst things you can do is to throw something you’ve done back in your friend’s face. Doing that will make it seem like your actions were never genuine and that you did them a favor just to hold it over their head.
7. When You Compete With them Aggressively
Friendly competition should always be welcome- it’s fun and can challenge you and your bestie to do and be better. But when it gets aggressive, it needs to stop. Aggression + friendship never mix, so keep things light and fun.
8. When You Bail on Them
Things come up- it’s just how life works. But if you’re constantly bailing on your friend, you’ll be referred to as a flake. Your friends won’t be able to trust you. If you can’t make it, let your friends know, tell them how sorry you are, and make plans to hang out again AND FOLLOW THROUGH.
9. When You Ditch Them Constantly for Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend
To elaborate further on the bailing, the worst reason to constantly flake on your friends is because of your significant other. Your friends were there before your girlfriend or boyfriend and they’ll be there to help you pick up the pieces if it fails. So make them a priority.
10. When You Call Only When You Need Something
Your friend is not and should not be treated as if their sole existence is to serve you. Because that’s not the way it should be. It’s really annoying to feel like your buddy only calls when they need something.
11. When You Speak Only About Yourself
Another common occurrence is when people make themselves the center of everything. Sure, your friend will want to hear about what’s new in your life, but they’ve probably got some things to share with you too. Instead of talking, listen.
12. When You Put Them Down
If you’re human, and we’re guessing you are, then you know how it feels when someone makes you feel bad. There’s no reason on earth why should do it to your friend, even if they’ve done something to get you mad. Verbal abuse is not something a good friend does.
13. When You Put Them Down In Front of Others
You shouldn’t put your friends down, to begin with, but doing it in front of others takes it to a whole new level, and not in a good way. If you have nothing nice to say, especially about or to your friend, don’t say it in a group setting- save it for later when you guys are alone.
14. When You Don’t Celebrate their Achievements
When someone succeeds in doing something, nine times out of ten they’d like to be congratulated. As a friend, it’s your job to make your buddy know that they did a good job and that you’re proud of them. Wouldn’t you want the same?
15. When You Talk About them Behind their Backs
Gossiping about your friend is a big no-no, and it has nothing to do with sharing their secrets. You should never talk badly about your friend to anyone. Don’t laugh at them, start rumors about them or even comment on the things they’ve done that you don’t like. Just stay away from any kind of negative conversations about a friend, unless you’re talking to that friend.
16. When You Are Disingenuous
For the life of us, we can’t understand why anyone would want to be disingenuous unless they’re trying to get revenge. Either way, it’s a waste of time and someone is bound to get hurt. So be real, be sincere and be vulnerable. You’ll be a better person for it.
17. When You’re Not There When They Need You
There will probably be a time where your friend will need you and you won’t be able to be there for them. But don’t make it a habit. You wouldn’t want to get the reputation of being an unreliable friend, now would you?
18. When You Let Them Date No-Good People
It’s great to let your friend date who they want to date, but share your concerns with them if you see some behaviors that aren’t in your friend’s best interests. If they’re with someone who shouts at them, puts them down, is using them for money or is just an all-around scumbag, let them know!
19. When You Exclude Them When You Hang Out with Mutual Friends
We’re not sure if you know this, but deliberately excluding someone from an activity is a form of bullying. We’re not saying that you always have to invite a particular friend out whenever you want to have fun. What we’re saying is to be careful that you don’t make them feel left out.
20. When You Confront Them Aggressively
Disagreements will happen in any friendship; it’s how you approach and handle them that’ll determine whether your friendship will last or not. Even if you’re furious with your friend, you need to be careful to not approach them aggressively. You never want a misunderstanding to get physical.
21. When You Shut Them Out
Sometimes life hands us lemons that we can’t make lemonade out of. When that happens, it’s okay to want some time for yourself. But don’t disappear on your friends. Give them a heads up and tell them that you’re not okay. Tell them you need some space and that you’ll get back to them when you’re feeling better. Shutting them out will hurt them.
22. When You Judge Them
When your friend tells you they’ve done something that you don’t necessarily agree with, it’s very important to not judge them. Tell them that their actions sometimes worry you and that you love them and want the best for them. Make it clear that you’re not judging them- it’ll only make them not want to share things like this with you anymore.
23. When You Discourage Their Goals
The world is a difficult place to live in and chances are your friend already has enough naysayers in their life without having to add you to the list. If you think their goals aren’t realistic, voice your concerns, but don’t downright discourage them. Try to make them see where you’re coming from, suggest things you’d think they’d be better suited for, but never make them feel bad or stupid for wanting to achieve something.
24. When You Lie to Them
Lying to your friends is never good, even the tiny white ones. Don’t tell them that their outfit looks great when it doesn’t or that they were right when they were wrong. Believe it or not, you’re only setting your friend up to look like a fool. Besides, you can tell your friend anything if you say it the right way.
25. When You Act Jealous
Jealousy can strike even in the tightest of friendships- after all, we’re only human. When this happens, it’s okay to let your friend know how you feel, but it’s important that you own your jealousy, and work toward determining whether it’s worth the energy. It may not be your friend’s fault that they got a promotion, have more money than they know what to do with, or met the man or woman of their dreams. Be happy for them and know that your time will come.
26. When You’re Petty
We’ve never seen or heard of a friendship where pettiness resulted in a happy ending. You have to learn to let the small things go, especially when it comes to someone you care deeply about. If you can’t get over the little things, how will you deal with big disagreements?
27. When You Hold Grudges
Speaking of big disagreements, you also need to learn how to deal with these as well. If there’s something that your friend has done to upset you, let them know. Sit down and talk to them about it. The last thing you want to do is sweep them under the rug. And after you’ve spoken about it, let it go. If you can’t, let your friend know so you can figure something out.
28. When You’re Just A Social Media Friend
Being a good friend is more than just posting someone’s pictures online and tagging them in your stories. If you’d rather comment on your friend’s picture than actually spend time with them making memories, then you’re doing it wrong.
29. When You Constantly Cut Them Off
Can you imagine being cut off every time you opened your mouth? Chances are that this has already happened to you and you didn’t like it. So why would you want to do it to someone you care about? Now there are instances where you could be doing this without even realizing it, so try to be more self-aware when you guys are talking.
30. When You Post Embarrassing Pictures of Them
Unless you and your friend have an agreement where neither of you minds the other posting crazy pictures of yourselves, then doing this is not okay. You also have to be careful that you don’t post pictures where you look good, but your friend doesn’t.
31. When You Let Them Do Stupid Things
This is not so much annoying as it is reckless. You can’t call yourself a good friend if you let your friend drive home drunk or call an ex who didn’t treat them well. We’re not asking you to control what your friend does (see #48 and #49), but don’t let them do things that could come back to haunt them.
32. When You Don’t Give Them Advice
Where #31 talks about reckless behavior, this one refers to everyday advice. Be the friend that lets their buddy know they have a booger in their nose, that they have more potential than they know or that they need to pick up the slack. Not holding them accountable or giving them advice will hurt both of you.
33. When You Count Everything
Some friends have more money than others. It’s just how life works sometimes. If you’re well off and your friend isn’t, you shouldn’t throw your wealth in their face, or expect them to keep up with you. There’s nothing wrong with buying two or three rounds while your friend buys one, because they’re not in the best place financially- especially if it was your idea to hang out.
34. When You Expect Them to Pay for Everything
On the flipside, just because your friend is financially well-off doesn’t mean that you should take advantage of them. It’s wrong on many levels and it’ll make your friend feel used. It’d mean a lot more if you could take them out once in a blue moon instead, or create new experiences instead of riding along all the time.
35. When You Ignore Them in Favor of New Friends
Making new friends is something that’s bound to happen. But you should never ignore your old friends for your new ones. It’s not fair to do that. If you find yourself growing and changing and no longer have the same connection with your older friends, let them know. Do not exclude them because you prefer your new, shiny buddy.
36. When You Blame Them For Everything
Playing the blame game has probably ended more marriages and friendships than we care to admit. Can you imagine being blamed for every single thing that goes wrong in a friendship? It’ll get old REALLY quickly. The simple fact of the matter is that you shouldn’t do anything to your friend you wouldn’t want them doing to you.
37. When You Flirt With Their Significant Others
This one goes without saying, no matter how comfortable you and your friend are with each other: significant others are absolute no-nos. Don’t touch them in a loving manner, wear little to no clothing around them or make comments you know can be taken the wrong way.
38. When You Brag, Excessively
If your life is going better than your friend’s, financially, marriage/relationship wise or professionally, it’s not nice to brag about it all the time. Sure, your accomplishments should be acknowledged and celebrated, but don’t talk about it to the point where it makes your friend uncomfortable. Besides, bragging is not cute.
39. When You Randomly Stop Talking to Them
Communication is key for the survival of any kind of relationship. If your best friend has done something or things to upset you, talk to them about it. Don’t hold it in and then stop talking to them all of a sudden. They’ll be confused, you’ll be upset and neither of those things will fix any of the issues.
40. When You Want More than You’re Willing to Give
One-sided friendships are the WORST, always for the friend who gives more,-and we’re not talking financially. The two of you should have the same amount of love and respect for each other. Don’t expect your friend to cross oceans for you if you’re only jumping over puddles for them. It’s just not fair.
41. When You Force Your Opinions on Them
People are allowed to have their opinions, and it shouldn’t be up to you, as a friend, to force what you think or believe on someone else. You and your friend will value different things, come from different backgrounds and even have different religions. Yours should not be right while theirs is wrong. It’s okay to have a conversation, but agree to disagree instead of shoving your way down their throat.
42. When You Make Them Feel Stupid Because of their Opinions
Most of us never forget the face of the person who tears us down. The sad part is that that person can sometimes be a “friend.” If your friend is wrong or doesn’t think the way you do, you won’t be strengthening your bond by laughing at their ideas, or ignoring them because of it.
43. When You Embarrass Them With Your Actions
If you’re deliberately trying to embarrass your friend or make them look bad, it’s about time that you stop. Not only is it “bad friend” behavior, but it’s also mean. Are you their friend or a bully?
44. When You’re Not Present Even When You Are Present
In an age where we’re mostly consumed by technology, it’s important to be in the moment with your friend, when you guys are together. There’s nothing more annoying than having an almost one-sided conversation with someone who’s constantly on their phone.
45. When You Give Them Ultimatums
The great thing about having a really good friend is that you can ask them to do things or help you out in ways that other regular people would never consider doing for you. But it is still a friendship, and if your friend is unwilling to help, you should NEVER give them an ultimatum. They will resent you for it.
46. When You Don’t Relate To Their Situation or Even Try To
The beautiful thing about friendships is that people from totally different background, races, socioeconomic statuses and upbringings can find each other and form a bond. If your friend is going through something that you can’t or don’t know how to relate to, put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself how you would feel if the same thing happened to you. Not doing this can cause cracks which will eventually lead to fractures in your friendship.
47. When You ‘Silver-line’ Their Situation
Sometimes, all your friend needs is for you to listen to and empathize with them. While it’s sweet that you’d want to look on the bright side when something goes wrong, it can be incredibly annoying and hurtful if you say “well, at least…” when a friend is pouring their heart out to you. Instead, it’s often alright to leave it at “I’m so sorry this happened to you,” or “I’m here for you if you need me.” That way, you aren’t downplaying their situation by making it look like what happened to them wasn’t as bad as they’re making it out to be.
48. When You Control the Friendship
A lot of us love being in control; it’s so much easier to get what we want that way. But friendships should never be like that. Friendships should be almost effortless in the sense that two people who love each other enough or share enough in common should be able to get along without one of them holding the reigns.
49. When You Control their Life
If you’re old enough to be reading this post, then chances are you’re an adult, or close enough. While it’s great to give our friends advice, it’s not that great if we try to control their lives in the process. Even if you’re just trying to look out for them, it’s not okay to dictate who they can talk to, hang out with, date, or even what they can or can’t wear. You’re their friend, not their parent.
50. When You Leave them On Read
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “leave you on read,” allow us to explain what it means. If you’ve realized, these days just about every form of communication (via cellular phone) allows you to see when someone has read your message. Leaving someone on read means that you’ve read their message and did not respond. While we can get busy sometimes, don’t make a habit of doing this to your friends- it’s just not cool.