If You Find Yourself Doing These 13 Things, You’re Probably Not A Good Friend

If You Find Yourself Doing These 13 Things, You’re Probably Not A Good Friend

Friendship is a two-way street that requires effort, understanding, and empathy. Sometimes, without realizing it, you might engage in behaviors that are not conducive to a healthy and supportive friendship. If you find youreself doing any of these things, you might not be a great friend after all.

1. You Only Reach Out When You Need Something.

If you find yourself contacting friends only when you need a favor or support, it might be time to reassess your approach to friendship. Good friendships are built on mutual support, not just one-sided convenience. If you’re always on the receiving end, your friends might feel used rather than valued. Try to reach out just to check in on them, or offer your help without them having to ask. It’s about showing that you care for them as much as they care for you.

2. You Don’t Listen During Conversations.

Listening is a key part of any friendship. If you’re often distracted during conversations, or if you tend to steer the discussion back to yourself, it can come across as disinterest in their lives. Good friends listen actively, showing genuine interest in what the other person has to say. Try to focus more on what your friends are sharing, and less on how you’ll respond. Remember, a conversation is a two-way exchange, not a platform for you alone.

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4. You Often Cancel Plans Last Minute.

Regularly canceling plans at the last minute can be a sign of a lackadaisical attitude towards the friendship. It’s important to respect the time and effort your friends put into making plans. Of course, emergencies happen, but if flaking out becomes a habit, it might signal to your friends that they’re not a priority. Try to honor your commitments as much as possible, and if you must cancel, do so with ample notice.

5. You Share Their Secrets with Others.

Trust is the foundation of any strong friendship. If you’re sharing your friends’ secrets or personal matters with others, it breaks that trust. Even if it seems harmless or if you’re sharing with someone you trust, it’s not your information to share. Always respect your friends’ privacy. Keeping their confidence is a fundamental part of being a good friend.

6. You’re Competitive Rather Than Supportive.

Healthy friendships are about support, not competition. If you find yourself feeling jealous of their achievements or trying to one-up them, it might harm the friendship. Instead of competing, try celebrating their successes as you would your own. Friendship is about lifting each other up, not about seeing who’s doing better.

7. You Don’t Apologize When You’re Wrong.

Everyone makes mistakes, but not admitting them can be damaging to a friendship. If you find it hard to apologize when you’re wrong, it might come off as arrogance or insensitivity. A simple, sincere apology can go a long way in maintaining healthy relationships. It shows that you value the friendship more than your ego.

8. You’re Not There for Them in Tough Times.

A key part of friendship is being there for each other through thick and thin. If you’re absent during their tough times, it can leave your friends feeling abandoned. Try to offer your support and presence when they’re going through hardships. Sometimes, just being there and listening can make a big difference.

9. You Often Dismiss Their Feelings.

Dismissing or minimizing your friends’ feelings, especially when they are upset or excited about something, is a significant misstep. It’s crucial to acknowledge and validate their emotions. When you brush off their feelings as overreactions or trivial, it can make them feel unheard and undervalued. Good friends empathize and try to understand, even if they can’t relate directly to the situation.

10. You’re Quick to Judge Their Choices.

If you find yourself often criticizing or judging your friends’ choices, it might be worth taking a step back. Friends are meant to provide a safe space where one can share without fear of judgment. Offering unsolicited advice or opinions, especially in a critical manner, can strain the relationship. Instead, try to offer guidance only when asked, and do so with kindness and respect for their autonomy.

11. You Often Focus on Their Flaws.

Focusing on your friends’ flaws, rather than their strengths, can be harmful to the friendship. If you’re constantly pointing out what they do wrong or what you don’t like about them, it can come across as demeaning. Try to focus on the positive aspects of their personality and your relationship. Celebrate their strengths and accomplishments instead of dwelling on their shortcomings.

12. You Rarely Express Appreciation.

Expressing gratitude and appreciation is essential in any relationship. If you rarely acknowledge or thank your friends for their support, kindness, or presence in your life, they may feel taken for granted. Regularly express your appreciation for them – a simple “thank you” or acknowledgment of their importance in your life can mean a lot.

13. You Dominate Conversations with Your Own Problems.

While it’s normal to share your problems with friends, dominating every conversation with your issues can be overwhelming for them. It’s important to maintain a balance in the give-and-take of support. Make sure to ask about their lives and listen genuinely. Show interest in their experiences and challenges, not just your own.

14. You Don’t Celebrate Their Successes.

If you find it hard to be genuinely happy for your friends when they succeed, it could indicate envy or a competitive streak that’s unhealthy in a friendship. True friends celebrate each other’s successes without jealousy. Try to show genuine excitement and pride in their achievements. It’s about being supportive and happy for them, just as you would want them to be for you.

Sinead Cafferty is a writer who has authored four collections of poetry: "Dust Settling" (2012); "The Space Between" (2014); "Under, Under, Over" (2016); and "What You Can't Have" (2020). She's currently working on her first novel, a dystopian romance set in the 22nd Century, that's due out in 2024.

Sinead has an MFA in creative writing from NYU and has had residencies with the Vermont Studio Center and the National Center for Writing.