Every social group has one, that friend who drives everyone else crazy with their bad habits. That friend may have no idea that they are coming across as rude, inconsiderate, or intolerable until it is too late – the invitations stop coming, other friends start making excuses to avoid hanging out, texts go unanswered. If any of the following apply to you, you may be in danger of pushing your friends away.
You talk about your other friends
There is a fine line between sharing important information and gossiping, and you must be careful not to cross it very often unless you want to find a new group of friends. Talking about one friend to another friend can be totally innocent and can sometimes be life-saving if your friend is struggling with a serious problem like addiction or depression. But very often it can seem motivated by jealously, rivalry or pettiness. While it might be fun in the moment to share a bit of gossip, you need to be aware that if you do so regularly, your friends might begin to wonder how often you gossip about them as well. It will start to seem as though you cannot keep a confidence. This can undermine the trust and respect that is the foundation for any solid friendship.
You drink too much
Almost everyone has had a night of excess and if they were lucky they had a good friend help get them home safely, pick them up off the bathroom floor, or keep them from making bad choices. This can be the basis for a great story or running joke among friends if it happens only rarely. But if you drink too much on a regular basis, it can drive a wedge between you and your friends. Especially if you tend to get so out of control that you owe apologies to your friends the next day for things you have done or said, you run the risk of losing friends. If everyone knows that a night out with you means taking care of you after too many drinks, it won’t be long before you stop getting invited.
Smokers run the risk of losing non-smoking friends gradually, not because the friends no longer like them but because they don’t enjoy being around them. No friend will say to another that they cannot be friends with a smoker, but the reality is that non-smokers often find it very unpleasant to be around a smoker – even when the smoker is considerate and leaves the group to have a cigarette, they can’t mask the odor that clings to their clothes and is carried on their breath. Smokers will often want to limit outings to places or restaurants that allow smoking, while non-smokers want to avoid the same places. The result can be a gradual falling off on the friendship unless you take steps to address your friends’ concerns – you might decide to quit smoking, or perhaps to use vape mods when you are with your friends.
It is much easier to keep good friends than it is to try to find new ones – by being aware of how your habits can impact the people you care about, you will most certainly be the kind of friend people want to keep.