Admit it, you haven’t been the best friend. You have friends, and I know you deeply care about them, but we’ve all been conditioned to treat our friends poorly in a generation that loves to make people feel like they’re less than they are. The good news is, it’s not too late. You can change the way you treat your friends, and be mindful of your pre-conditioned actions. Here’s a list of 11 ways you’ve been a bad friend without even realizing it:
- Spending all of your time on your phone.
You’re not doing anything important, just scrolling through Instagram, checking to see if you have any new texts, maybe you’re even just checking the time. By spending an extended period of time on your phone, you’re making your friend feel like they don’t have your attention, and that can be extremely annoying. Maybe they do it too, so you feel like your actions are rationalized? They’re not. Be the bigger person, because when it comes down to it, they probably don’t realize they’re doing it either.
- Cancelling last minute.
Sometimes it’s out of our control, but other times? We’re too lazy to leave our beds and the episode of Grey’s Anatomy we were watching ended on a total cliff. You can watch Netflix any time, spend time with your friends, because you never know what unexpected dilemmas they may be waiting to talk to you about in person. Being a good friend means staying true to your word. It may seem like a drag at first, but once you’re together, you’ll be bound to have a good time and be glad you pulled through to hang.
- Putting boys first.
Every girl friend sits through the constant rants about ‘how sweet he is’ after their BFF gets a new beau. Don’t be the friend that lets her time overflow with boy-time and makes girls nights a second choice. You owe it to your friends to make time too, because through all the rants and relationship drama, they were there for you.
- Expecting too much.
Not every friend you have will get you a birthday gift or remember the day your grandma died. That doesn’t mean they don’t care. Everyone lives extremely busy lives, and we all try our best to juggle overflowing agendas, so don’t be upset when your friends need a reminder here and there. You know you will one day, too. Loyal and fun-loving friends aren’t easy to find and you know they’re always there for you when you need it, so don’t expect too much from them.
- Talking about yourself too much.
We’re all guilty of swinging a conversation in our favour when a friend comes to us for advice. Most of the time, we do it without even realizing. Be mindful of this, and try to listen more than you speak. When the time is right, offering advice can be great, but save the personal experience for your turn to rant.
- When people gossip to you, it probably means they’ll gossip about you.
Your friends know this rule, just like anybody else. Try to maintain meaningful conversation and ditch the mindless gossip. Be the friend that talks about the universe, debates local issues, and makes everyone laugh. Not the girl who hates everyone and everything, and continually bashes people she’s apparently friends with. Two ugly faces don’t make a pretty one.
- Taking jokes too far.
Everyone teases their friends about things the common stranger might not get away with, but know when you’ve taken the teasing too far. Oftentimes, it’s only okay when they say it about themselves, so be careful not to take jokes too far.
- Don’t put your friends in compromising positions.
I know you might have floor seats to see Taylor Swift in concert this weekend, but your friend already has commitments to be at work. Don’t put them in a position where they feel pressured to call in sick, or ditch completely and risk being fired. Always have in mind what’s best for your friend, not just what’s best for you.
- Stop being pushy with personal stuff.
“OMG, you HAVE to tell me now!” No, they don’t. Respect your friends’ privacy, no matter how close you are, or how long you’ve known each other. She’ll come to you when she’s ready, and forcing her to spill the beans before then could lead to some serious emotional damage.
- Playing devil’s advocate.
It’s simply not your job. Be supportive of your friends, and don’t try to play the villain. You’re on their side, remember that.
- Stop calling your friends derogatory nicknames.
Bitch, Slut, “Boo, you whore.” It all has to stop. Mean girls is guilty for a lot of encouragement toward calling our friends the opposite of what we actually think they are, but it also taught us something a little less obvious.
Imagine the kind of friend you would be if you called your friends beautiful, hot and confident. Imagine how they would feel, and if they started calling you those things as well. We need to start being more conscious of how we treat our girl friends. Society is giving us every reason to hate, change and not be ourselves. We’re our last hope to bring life back to authenticity.