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Bad Friendships: 45 Signs You Have Bad Friends & Need to Get New Ones ASAP!

Bad friends can ruin your faith in friendship, but once you recognize them, you can move away and look to build connections with the right people. 

bad friends

We come across many people in life, at work, through mutual acquaintances, and even the occasional friend of convenience you bump into and stay connected with. But in all of these associations, there are a few types of bad friends you can definitely do without!

The sooner you weed out the bad ones, the better you’ll start to feel about your life and your future. So which “friends” should you finally let go of? [Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 was to build lasting friendships]

The good side of having good friends in your life

Good friends can be your greatest allies in life. Besides supporting you and providing helpful advice, they are also meant to be there for you through both good times and bad.

They can act as your support group, your shopping buddies, the shoulders to cry on, and the ones you can spoil and do little favors for, just because. If you have people like these in your life, count yourself lucky!

But along with good friends, there may be a couple of toxic ones lurking in your social circle. Bad friendships really are the worst.

They’re the ones who bring you down and make you feel unwanted. They’re the types of friends who bring nothing but trouble. And they’re the ones who are so selfish that they think the world will unconditionally love them.

But most importantly, they’re the ones you should want out of your life. [Read: How to be a good friend – 49 traits and friend codes that define a real pal]

Why you should never tolerate bad friends

If you want to make your life better and richer, surround yourself with positive people who really care about you. That’s really the basis of a good, happy life.

That’s why you should never tolerate less-than-amazing friends. If they’re not adding anything to your life or not building you up, they’re not worth it. [Read: Toxic friends – 22 types, 54 signs, and ways to end friendships that hurt you]

Here are the reasons you should never tolerate terrible friends:

1. They’re exhausting

When you’re around negative people, they act like an “energy vampire.” In other words, they suck all the life out of you. 

When you spend time with them, you feel drained and unhappy. But life is simply too short to be so exhausted. [Read: What is an energy vampire? 19 signs to spot them in your life]

2. They drag you down

If they are so tiring, then that will drag you down too. Maybe they are always complaining and being negative. 

Well, that might be making you into a negative person too just because you’re around them so much. And that’s not healthy for you.

3. They’re disrespectful

Everyone deserves to be respected. But if you have a bad friend, you don’t get the respect that you need. So, why would you want to be around someone like that? It’s nothing short of a bad friendship.

It’s much more refreshing to be around people who treat you right. [Read: Fair-weather friends – 20 signs that your friend doesn’t care about you]

4. They affect your mental health

Because you are drained by them and they are dragging you down in this bad friendship, it can ultimately affect your mental health.

They might make you anxious or even depressed. This negativity can also manifest in your physical health if it goes on too long.

Do you really need to jeopardize your happiness to be with these friends?

If you don’t have friends, you’re considered a loner or just plain weird. You may even be shaking your head and telling yourself you need friends even if you know deep inside that they’re not good for you.

But just for a second, think about this. As much as you’re having fun with this person, are they still making you feel miserable, needy, or just less than happy in your everyday life?

Is it worth spending a few hours with someone if they make you feel worse every other day of the week? A bad friendship just isn’t worth your time or effort. [Read: Is a friend using you? 40 signs and bold ways to confront and handle them]

Bad friendship signs to spot so you can drop them ASAP

If you’re growing a little suspicious of those people you refer to as friends, you may need to know a few bad friend signs to indicate that they’re not actually good friends at all. 

1. You’re always the first to initiate a hangout

When you’re the only person reaching out and, well, caring, it’s a problem. A friend who never wants to spend time with you probably isn’t a good friend.

If they don’t reach out just to catch up and see you, they likely only reach out when they need you. [Read: Woah there! Signs you’re coming on way too strong]

2. Your texts go unanswered

Whenever you send out texts, you hardly get replies. Then maybe a week later you’ll get a text apologizing, only to realize it’s because they need something from you. 

These types of people are bad friends. They don’t truly care about you or they’d respond no matter what.

3. They get mad at you for stuff they do all the time

This is a sign of a major bad friend. They have so many double standards. They can ignore your texts but if more than a couple of hours goes by without you responding, they get pissed. This isn’t a true friendship.

Ditch them. [Read: 34 signs to know how and when to end a friendship that’s toxic and hurting you]

4. They don’t support your goals

Anyone who doesn’t fully support your goals doesn’t belong in your life. As long as what you want to do is moral and doesn’t harm anyone else or yourself, they should be on your side. 

They shouldn’t be sitting there making passive-aggressive comments about it. Nor should they doubt you.

5. They’re talking bad about you behind your back

If people tell you that others are talking behind your back, then you clearly have really bad friends. They’re not friends if they’re being mean to you and this is one of the bad friend signs to look for.

Sure, friends can be annoyed with you but actually talking bad about you is a whole other, more harmful thing. [Read: 23 signs of a mean person, why they’re bitter and how to handle them]

6. They talk badly about people you care about

On the flip side, they might be talking trash to your face, just about other people you still like and care about. And you shouldn’t ever tolerate that. It’s terrible.

It can be your family members or just other people. If they’re talking bad about others to you, they’re probably talking bad about you to others. Get rid of those terrible friends.

7. They prevent you from having fun

If they’re just full of negativity, they’re going to prevent you from having a good time. That’s just how those types of people work.

Whenever you go out for a good time, they end up making it horrible and they spoil all the fun. [Read: Negative Nancy – what makes one, 18 traits, and ways to deal with their attitude]

8. Their drama always leaks over into your life

Even if you have nothing to do with their other group of friends, you somehow end up tangled in their drama. When a person makes your life worse instead of better and just adds more harmful things to it, they’re not good friends.

9. You feel like you don’t really have friends

Even though you have people you call “friends,” you don’t feel like you truly have a friendship. If you feel lonely even when you’re surrounded by those people, we hate to break it to you, but you have awful friends. 

No true friend would ever make you feel this way. [Read: How to not feel lonely – 30 ways to chase the lonely blues away]

10. You feel judged for your choices

Most people understand the feeling of being judged. You feel afraid to open up to your friends for fear of them judging you too harshly and making you feel bad for things. 

If that’s the case for you, then you don’t really have good friends.

First of all, you should always feel comfortable going to your friends with anything. That’s the whole point of having friends, right? For them to help you out.

If they make you feel judged, they’re not the type of people you should be spending your time with. [Read: Lessons to deal with judgmental people]

11. They don’t make you feel better when you’re upset

One of the best things about having good friends is being able to confide in them. When you can’t do that or you know your friends will only make you feel worse, then they’re not good friends.

What’s the point of having friends when they don’t do good things for you when you’re upset? If they’ll only make rude comments or tell you how wrong you were, get new friends. [Read: One-sided friendship – 15 signs it’s time you cut them out of your life]

12. Your problems don’t matter to them

If you’re going through a crisis but your friends don’t care, you don’t have friends. You have people who just call themselves your friends. More than likely, they’re just very selfish people.

They don’t care about your problems but the second they have an issue, they expect you to be right there. Ditch these types of “friends” and find better ones. [Read: 29 signs someone is detached and doesn’t care about your feelings]

13. You’d rather just relax by yourself than be with them

If you’d rather not see your friends and spend your time alone just because of how negative you feel whenever you’re around them, that’s a big red flag. 

You should want to spend time with your friends. You should want to be around them and have fun with them. If you’d rather be by yourself, there’s a real problem here.

14. Other friends are pointing out the problem person

If your other friends are continuously telling you that a specific person is an issue, listen to them. They aren’t just telling you that to make you mad. They might just see that those people are negative even if you can’t. [Read: 27 fun ways to make new friends and mistakes to avoid]

15. They always leave you waiting

If you have bad friends, they are probably always late when they meet you.

You show up on time but they leave you waiting there for them for what seems like forever. And of course, you get angry because you could be doing something else with that wasted time.

It doesn’t matter if it’s two minutes or two hours that they keep you waiting, it’s just plain rude. There is no reason to keep people waiting unless they’re on a power trip. [Read: Is a friend using you? 40 signs and bold ways to confront and handle them]

16. They give you the silent treatment

If your so-called friend is angry with you, they might not even tell you. They think you should have to figure it out when they give you the silent treatment. 

Even when you ask what’s wrong, they either won’t tell you or they won’t accept your apology.

Giving someone the silent treatment is disrespectful. It’s even worse than yelling at them, because at least when you are yelling at them, you are acknowledging their presence. But when they give you the cold shoulder, it’s like they are pretending you don’t even exist.

[Read: Silent treatment abuse – how it’s used and 40 ways to respond to it]

17. They are not self-aware

Everyone else can see how negative they are. You all see their bad behavior, and it’s pretty obvious to you, but not to your so-called friend. They have no idea how they are behaving because they have zero self-awareness.

They don’t know how their behavior is negatively affecting other people. And if they did, they probably wouldn’t even care. They are so busy criticizing other people that they never take a look in the mirror to see who they really are. [Read: Codependent friendship – the bad signs and why it’s unhealthy for you]

18. They’re selfish

This is certainly a sign of a bad friend. Some people are “givers” and some people are “takers.” If you are a giver, then your bad friend is probably a “taker.”

They have no problem being selfish. Everything is all about them, and they don’t care about your needs at all.

The relationship is always one-sided with you always giving, and them always taking. [Read: Selfish people – 20 ways to spot and stop them from hurting you]

19. They take advantage of you

If they need to borrow money, they have no problem calling you to ask for it. Or, if they need a ride somewhere, you are the first person they call. They are always taking advantage of you and making you feel usedlike a doormat.

It’s never okay to take advantage of other people. It is a horrible thing to do. So, if you think that you’re being taken advantage of by your friend, it’s time to stop doing things for them.

20. You imagine a life without them and like it

Perhaps the biggest sign of a bad friend of all, you like the idea of a life without them init. Daydreaming about a life without a specific person and enjoying it means they shouldn’t be in your life. Listen to your instincts. [Read: Am I a bad friend? 16 bad friendship skills that push people away]

The types of friends you need to unfriend for your own sanity

Sometimes, you need to cut a few wrong types of friends and move away from them. Yes, it’ll hurt. Yes, you may feel lonely for a while.

But, over the long term, you’ll be happier and in a better place in your life.

Want to know the different kinds of friends you need to keep your distance from? Here are 25 types of bad friends who make your life just a little bit worse every time you hang out with them.

1. The selfish friend

This is the type of bad friendship with a person who thinks everything revolves around them. They only hang out with you or do things when it suits their own purpose, and they won’t be caught dead doing something nice for someone else unless they have an ulterior motive.

2. The always-unavailable friend

You know the one who always wants to get together, but when you try to make a plan, they remind you of how busy they are?

Their calendar never seems to clear up, but they still want to be on your friends list… without doing any of the actual friend activities, that is. It’s nothing short of a bad friendship that’s taking advantage of you.

3. The excuse lover

This is the friend who has an excuse for everything. They couldn’t meet you? There’s an excuse. They lied to you about something and you caught them? There’s a bigger excuse.

Every single time you confront them about anything, they lie right through their teeth. And over time, your expectations from them stoop so low you don’t even care if they’re exploiting you. [Read: 41honest reasons why you have no friends that care and steps to fix it ASAP]

4. The self-esteem destroyer

Real friends will love you for who you are, but bad friends will wreak havoc on your self-esteem in order to protect their own fragile self-worth.

Whether it’s fat-shaming or pointing out all your flaws on a regular basis, this friend needs a kick to the curb.

5. The bad advice counselor

This friend always gives you the worst advice, and they get their kicks out of your life mistakes. They might make you break up with your boyfriend, or convince you that your girlfriend is cheating on you, just because misery loves company.

If they don’t have your best interests at heart, they aren’t a friend. Period. If anything, it’s an extremely bad friendship. [Read: Signs your friends are ruining your relationship]

6. The single friend who dumps you when they’re in a relationship

This person only crops up when they are single. Attempt to contact them while they are in a relationship and prepare to hear radio silence.

7. The user

This “friend” uses you as a wingman/woman, to buy the drinks at the club, to be the designated driver, and the list goes on.

They won’t go out with you unless you have some kind of benefit for them. This one doubles as the selfish friend, and they are a bottomless pit of greed.

8. The friend you’re in love with

This friend is the person that you remain friends with despite being hopelessly in love with them. They are either oblivious or don’t reciprocate the feeling.

Being around them will only either expose you to their romantic exploits with other partners *ouch* or the blatant fact that they only see you as a friend *double ouch*. Either ‘fess up or keep your distance. It’s a bad friendship for you to be in. [Read: 17 must-knows to ask a friend out on a date subtly and not risk the friendship]

9. The financially depleting friend

The one who always makes plans to do things that involve dropping huge amounts of cash on the regular, where you end up feeling guilty for wanting to stay in or save your money. They give you the “huh?” look when you mention money being an issue.

You may not be on the same page, financially or otherwise.

10. The influencer friend

The one who will only walk around with you if you look good. They will give you a weird look when you walk out in sweats while they’re dressed to kill.

They are looking for an entourage based on looks, not on actually building solid friendships for life. All these people want is an audience, and they really aren’t the type to be around for the long haul. [Read: Fake friends – 42 signs and ways to tell them apart from real friends who care]

11. The yo-yo friend

One day, they’re your best friend, and the next, you catch them with matching BFF bracelets with that other person they swore they hated last week.

This person is always between friends. If you get on their bad side, they won’t be by your side for long but will come crying back when they realize the grass isn’t any greener over there. So, another bad friendship! [Read: Being taken for granted? 71 BIG signs, why it happens, and ways to stop them]

12. The “friend” who’s trying to sleep with you

These types of friends don’t really want to be your friend at all. All they’re doing is secretly hoping for your current relationship to fail or for you to get drunk enough to sleep with them.

These friends will flirt with you and ask hypothetical questions about the two of you hooking up. [Read: Subtle signs your BFF is secretly trying to seduce you]

13. The friend with baggage

They are always showing up with a new guy or girl on their arm, and they can’t seem to hang out with you unless they have an “other half” present.

They’re also quick to land you with their stories of woe or all the other dramas they’ve got going on. It’s a super bad friendship!

14. The long-time friend you have nothing in common with anymore

You had some wild times in college together, and until now, they’re still hitting up clubs every weekend, while in school for the third time, all while they’re married with kids.

You just can’t seem to find common ground, other than laughing about your old college stories. Leave it in the past. It’s wasted time. [Read: Losing a friend – 30 ways to face the pain of best friends just drifting away]

15. The negative friend

Whenever you bring up something great, they bring up something in the news that you should be worried about.

Whether it’s epidemics, the declining economy, the failing marriage rates, or how hard it is to find a good significant other in today’s world, they are constantly complaining or worrying about one thing or another.

These people will drain you of your good vibes and energy. They need to be avoided if you don’t want to be sucked into their pit of constant negativity.

16. The needy friend

This is the friend who can’t seem to do anything on their own. They always need advice on how to respond to their crush’s text, their clothing choices, and right down to the types of food they should eat. This friendship is exhausting and pointless, to say the least.

17. The backstabber

They smile in your face, but every other day, you hear something backstabbing-worthy from another mutual friend.

Whether they don’t believe you deserve your promotion at work, think you don’t deserve your partner, or poke fun at how you gained five pounds on vacation, these are among the worst types of friends. Remove them from your life before they destroy your reputation. [Read: Be careful who you trust – 15 ways to recognize the backstabbers]

18. The flaky friend

This friend is the flaky one, the one who is always making plans and then canceling at the last minute.

There’s no telling what kind of excuse they’ll magically come up with, especially when you feel like you’ve already heard them all before. [Read: Flaky friend – what it means, 30 reasons why they flake, and signs to ditch them]

19. The jealous friend

This type of friend seems like a friend. But every time there’s something good in your life, you can swear you see their eyes go green.

They may seem like a good friend, but you can’t help but see the envy change into pure jealousy and hatred when you’re around them. [Read: 46 secrets to stop being jealous for no reason and learn to live envy-free]

20. The friend who lets you down

Who hasn’t come across one of these friends these days? They take flakiness to a whole new level. They promise something big, like traveling on a vacation together, being by your side through a difficult time, or even moving to a new country for a year.

But when you’re all set and ready to make this big life change, they drop the bomb and back outand leave you out to dry, and all alone. [Read: Why do I feel all alone? The answers that can change your life]

21. The friend who hurts you often

Either through their words or their behavior. If you have a friend who leaves you feeling teary-eyed, or someone who you just don’t trust with a small piece of your heart, they should have no place in your life!

22. The narcissistic friend

Oh, haven’t we all come across this one? The friend who thinks they’re a trophy to be won, this friend makes absolutely no effort once they’ve hooked you.

At the beginning, they behave like you two are besties for life. And then they show their true colors. They blow hot and cold often, leave you confused all the time, AND they expect you to do everything you can to keep them happy. [Read: Why do narcissists ignore you, your texts, and do the selfish things they do?]

23. The distracted friend

Ever heard of phubbing? This type of friend has mastered the art of staying distracted throughout the conversation with you.

They don’t listen to you, they don’t care about the things happening in your life, and they’re perpetually distracted by something “better” on their phone. Seriously, makes you wonder why are they even hanging out with you in the first place.

24. The energy vampire friend

Do you feel completely drained and tired after spending an hour or two with a friend? And do they seem invigorated and happy every time they leave you after unloading their emotional burden on you?

Cue the energy vampire! Stay away from them.

25. The friend who holds you back from success

Look, gathering motivation is hard enough. And just as you muster enough motivation after scooping motivational quotes for several days, do you have a friend who walks right in and dashes all of your dreams against the rocks because “it’s not worth it”?

With friends like these, who needs enemies, right?

Do you really HAVE to end your friendship with these types of friends, because of a few small, bad traits? Honestly, you don’t have to end them.

These days, people are just way more self-obsessed than ever before. So one of the things we’ve learned to accept is putting up with someone’s bad behavior.

BUT here’s what you need to remember. Every time you put up with or tolerate someone who hurts you, you’re acknowledging that you’re okay with being treated badly by others. Do you need that kind of stress? [Read: 33 secrets to be true to yourself and 15 signs you need to unfake your life]

Hold the right friends close, and keep the rest at arm’s length

Honestly, we’d recommend just ditching these types of friends when you spot the signs that they’re a bad friend.

But if you can’t or don’t want to, at least limit the time you spend with them. Focus on the friends who want the best for you, and the ones you feel the same toward.

You don’t need 5000 friends just to make your social media accounts look cool. Leave those friends on social media. And focus on the few true ones who you trust will be there for you, standing outside your door at 3 am after you’ve called them.

[Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build lasting friendships]

Bad friends are easy to find, but they’re not even your friends in the first place. So if you see these types of friends in your life, pay attention to the signs, and start walking away before you start to believe that’s all you deserve.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...