Friends are such an important part of life. Next to our families, our friends can be one of the most cherished relationships any of us can have. That doesn’t mean we are all great at being friends. It also doesn’t mean that, we will always do what will keep a friendship lasting for a lifetime. Real friendships can be a challenge to keep intact, but so rewarding when we do so. However, there are times when we just seem to do the wrong thing way too often, and end up destroying a friendship.
Here are ten ways that we often ruin friendships unintentionally.
- Being too needy. Everyone has emergencies and crises that come into our lives. When we do, it is wonderful to have a friend who will listen and help. If we are always in the person in the needy position and seldom in the helping position, it can become emotionally draining for our friends.
- Criticism. No one enjoys constantly being ridiculed and criticized. Finding fault with everything someone does will not help to endear them to us. Unless we balance our criticism with some positives, they are likely to withdraw from us.
- Treating someone as a tool. There is nothing wrong with asking for help from time to time. But if someone comes away thinking the only reason you ever spend time with them is to get something from them, they will move on to those who actually care about them as a person, and not just for what they can give.
- Give your relationship no value. If every time you want to spend time with someone they have other more important things to do, it won’t be long before you’ll stop trying. There is nothing friendly or inspiring about always feeling you don’t count in someone else’s view.
- Being obsessed with needing compliments. We all need to be encouraged at times when we feel down. But pestering someone to constantly keep telling you that you are great or good at something will get old very fast. It won’t take much for a friend to get tired of holding your hand to make sure you feel good about yourself if it becomes a daily need.
- Being overly irritable. Who really enjoys being around someone who is in a bad mood? When you can’t say anything that doesn’t upset them? If the person is always grouchy and is unable to have a conversation without complaining about life, their friends will start seeking out more pleasant company.
- Gossip about your friend to others. Telling things told to you in confidence is very hurtful when others find out. In addition, making negative comments about your friend can also be very upsetting, if they are heard from a third person. Once that trust is gone, it isn’t easy to regain.
- Involving others in your disagreements. It is one thing to have disagreements with a friend. However, if you invite others into the conflict to side with you against the other person, you may find yourself winning a battle and losing a friend.
- Too much attention. Too much attention can be as bad as too little. It can strain the joy of the time you do spend together. Too much of a good thing can make us grow tired of it. The same is true of people. We all need to feel cared about, but no one wants to be smothered by your constant presence.
- Waiting for real pals. It can really hurt a friend’s feelings if you talk about someone else all the time and how much fun they are to be with. It can be hard not to see that as a negative comparison.
Avoiding these types of behaviors can do a lot to make a friendship stronger, and more likely to last. It can be hard to recognize these types of faults in ourselves, but if they do get pointed out to us, we would be wise to work on changing them.
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