Today’s guest column comes from Michelle Yoon who blogs at “through the saving glass.”
The allure of the toxic friendship is that it manifests in a multitude of ways and is pre-packaged as a perfectly healthy friendship. Most of us have had one, or still have one: your mom’s best friend’s daughter who has been your childhood nemesis since the day you were named “Student of the Week” in 1st grade; the narcissistic bud who has a serious addiction — himself. Sometimes it can be hard to see the toxic friendship for what it is, so to help you out, here’s a list of 15 friendships to MOA from.
1. She stops answering your texts as soon as she’s back on with her on-again/off-again boyfriend, otherwise known as the “messiah of the losers” amongst your friends, and claims she didn’t get your texts due to AT&T’s sucky coverage.
2. You’re friends with benefits… minus the benefits part.
3. Complaining is her competitive sport of choice.
4. He’s an awesome friend … as long as he’s single. As soon as you see that “in a relationship” status change on Facebook, you know he’s taking a sabbatical from all non-girlfriend related activities.
5. Her closet could be mistaken for the storage room at Bloomingdale’s, but whenever you two have a dinner date, her wallet is conveniently lost, she’s short a couple of bucks, or her credit cards are at home. Oops!
6. You cringe whenever she texts/emails/calls.
7. Your crushes somehow end up as her boyfriends, random hookups, etc.
8. You can’t remember the last time she contacted you first. You’re always the one calling, emailing, tweeting at her, etc.
9. She never fails to “compliment” you on how your acne, mild dandruff problem, and ingrown hairs are “sooooooo adorable!”
10. Whenever you guys make plans to hang out, you expect her to bail 80% of the time. She’s not “feeling well,” or her dog Fifi is going through some hormonal changes.
11. She’s perfected the art of self-expression and has the uncanny ability to steer all conversations from you to her. She even managed to make your aunt’s health problems about “that one time in Europe when she met Fabio.”
12. You’re sure the first item on her to-do list is one-upping you. When you decide to run a 5K to raise money for your local school district, you get a mass email from her saying she is running a marathon to fund education for girls in third world countries, find a cure for AIDS, and end genocide in Sudan.
13. He was the one who reinforced and subsequently shattered your belief in “the one.” Now your afternoons (and mornings and evenings) are spent refreshing your Facebook and Gmail, hoping for any sort of contact from your ex-love now known as your “friend.”
14. He constantly turns to you when he needs a ride from the airport or someone to pick up his pet hamster from the vet. Yet, when you need extra hands to help you move, he’s MIA.
15. He’s your hot, married coworker who looks like George Clooney’s doppelganger, and you find yourself fantasizing about your potentially profound friendship.
* Originally from Seoul, Korea, Michelle Yoon migrated to the not-so-dirty south for college. In between perfecting her fake southern drawl and late-night runs to Waffle House, she nabbed a degree in English and Women’s Studies. Her interests include quoting incessantly from Forrest Gump, hoarding Sour Patch Kids, and daydreaming about Roger Federer. Michelle blogs at “through the saving glass.”
Kimothy January 13, 2012, 2:10 pm
16. Every time you mention something that you like, she goes off on a rant about how terrible it is and how much she hates it until you don’t bother expressing opinions around her anymore . Even if she hasn’t seen the movie / heard the song.
Ktfran January 13, 2012, 2:37 pm
Better yet, she tells you how terrible something is and then decides it’s actually really cool and buys it first.
This happened recent. I showed a friend the TOM wedges. She didn’t like them. A month later, they were hers. In red. The color I would have bought.
Mel January 13, 2012, 3:58 pm
This reminds me of a friend I used to have. Conversations would often be like:
Her: “My favourite Disney movie is The Lion King!”
Me: “Mine is Hercules!”
Her: *rolls eyes*
Alaskfdajskldjsgk. I’m pissed.
AKchic January 13, 2012, 2:20 pm
17. The one where no matter what is going on in the world, no matter how bad things are with YOU, she is sick, miserable and DYING. The consummate drama queen.
Will.i.am January 13, 2012, 3:53 pm
I feel like bittergaymark today.
Excuse my language, but those bitches need to grow up. I have one now that I only hear from when she’s single. In and out of her relationship with her alcoholic boyfriend, bitches about everyone else not taking care of their kids and bills, but even though she has no kids, Dad has been around to bail her out of everything.
I’m never bitter about anyone who is more fortunate than me, MORE POWER TO YOU! However, nothing burns me up more than someone who is bitching at people for not doing what they are supposed to do, yet are connected to their parents tit! Chick, you’re 25, time to get off the family wallet and just deal with the struggles life brings you.
AKchic January 13, 2012, 4:09 pm
Especially when you actively bring the struggles to your front door.
Will.i.am January 13, 2012, 4:13 pm
Too bad you live in AK. I think you, your husband, and myself would have a riot, since it appears at least you and I think quite a bit alike. I just don’t have patience for 25 year old people still living like it’s effin high school. That was a long time ago brah! haha
AKchic January 13, 2012, 4:20 pm
*laugh* Well, the current SO isn’t my “husband”. I’m not THAT mean to him!
Alaska tends to weed out some people. The dating motto is “The odds are good, but the goods are odd”. It could very well be the motto of the populace in general though…
jubietta January 13, 2012, 6:44 pm
“The odds are good, but the goods are odd”.
O. M. G. That’s fuckin’ hilarous!
And here I thought it was intolerance to those giant mosquitos that weeded out the weak.
AKchic January 13, 2012, 7:47 pm
They’re generally smaller than a supercub. *snicker* At least we can see them, unlike the puny ones I saw in NJ in ’06 when I went down. My Goddess, talk about “no see’ums”.
theattack January 13, 2012, 5:25 pm
Will.i.am, you would looooooove my ex -boyfriend. He’s 25, and in his seventh year of undergrad, where he’s probably only got a sophomore amount of credits. Has never had a job. His parents pay for everything (including lots of weed and video games they don’t know about). He takes about one class at a time that he never shows up to because he’s too busy shooting zombies. And yesterday I just pieced together some things from facebook and learned that he was kicked out of school for the second or third time, and may not be allowed to come back.
He’s a real catch. I can’t figure out why I’m the only girl he’s ever dated.
jane January 13, 2012, 8:40 pm
where is bgm btw?
AKchic January 13, 2012, 8:42 pm
Not sure… sure am missing him though.
Skyblossom January 14, 2012, 8:48 am
A friend was taking him on vacation for three weeks to thank him for helping her sell her house and move.
Ally January 14, 2012, 12:11 pm
Arg, I have an acquaintance (was going to call her a friend but that would be a lie) who is just like that. She acts so entitled and superior but she is completely dependant on her parents, I imagine she would starve to death if she had to support herself. One example in particular comes to mind, she signed on to do a trek through the Sahara Desert for charity, her parents bought her all the equipment she’d need, her plane tickets etc. etc. (money which she was supposed to raise by the way) then she did no training whatsoever. She travelled all the way to the airport and had (very conveniently) “forgotten” her passport. She didn’t pay her parents back ANY of the money, and later admitted that she left her passport at home to get out of going. Very glad we’re not friends any more!
JJ January 13, 2012, 2:29 pm
18. The one who will spread lies/rumors in a heartbeat and then lies to you when you have the actual proof of what she has done.
cookiesandcream January 13, 2012, 2:42 pm
That reminds me of a friend I used to have in high school. She would happily gossip about my friends and me to our mutual friends and never thought twice before saying or doing really hurtful things. Then whenever I confronted her about it she conveniently “forgot” about everything she ever said or did. When I broke up our friendship, I felt really bad about it at the time, but then life got a lot less complicated when I wasn’t her friend anymore…
JJ January 13, 2012, 4:50 pm
Something similar happened to me almost two years ago, when my then boyfriend and I were going through a rough patch. She messages him some things that yes were true but then she added her own little made up facts to increase tension/drama. I didn’t know that he was her right away until one day, he said something and it just clicked. He even showed me the actual messages-it’s like she wanted so badly to be caught. I told her to delete my number, of course she denied it all and haven’t had any contact since. I say then boyfriend because we have been engaged since late October and while we are struggling to become more financially stable to plan a wedding, she couldn’t destroy what we had. The best feeling is that she couldn’t break me and that situation actually brought my fiance and I back together.
JJ January 13, 2012, 4:50 pm
didn’t know that it was her right away*
Will.i.am January 13, 2012, 3:55 pm
I have a feeling the add ons will be out women mostly.
mandalee January 13, 2012, 2:33 pm
Does it say something about me that most of my “close” female friends would fit the description of at least two or more things on this list? Sigh. Time for some new friends, I think.
AKchic January 13, 2012, 2:36 pm
I think we ALL have someone like this, if only to feel better about ourselves, knowing we aren’t as fucked up. And for someone to gossip about, which makes us just as bad in a way.
mandalee January 13, 2012, 2:46 pm
Yeah, that’s definitely true. My core group of childhood friends that I no longer speak to (Thank God!) we’re all like this. Everyone thought I was crazy for remaining friends with them, and my husband finally said, “I’m convinced your only friends with these girls because they are so messed up that they make you feel normal.” I didn’t believe him at the time, but I’m sure it was true to some degree, which is embarrassing to admit.No matter what was going in my life, I could always hang out with them hear their drama, constant problems, and walk away feeling like my life wasn’t that bad.
lets_be_honest January 13, 2012, 3:13 pm
DW always preaches about not staying in a relationship just because you have invested so much time. I finally applied that to friendships and am glad to report that I’ve weeded out my toxic friends and my life is so much nicer now. I spend time with people who make me feel good, not worse. What a concept 🙂
AKchic January 13, 2012, 3:34 pm
Yes, but at the same time, we do have to wonder if anyone keeps US in THEIR life just because it makes them feel “normal” in comparison. *laugh*
lets_be_honest January 13, 2012, 3:34 pm
Ha! Oh jeez, probably.
mandalee January 13, 2012, 4:50 pm
LOL yes, probably. I don’t believe that I’m by any means perfectly “normal”, so I’m sure I could also be someone else’s crazy friend.
AKchic January 13, 2012, 6:12 pm
I KNOW I’m at least one person’s crazy friend. I consider it “community service”.
Will.i.am January 13, 2012, 3:59 pm
This is true. I ate lunch with a best guy friend last week and his fiance came and ate with us, which I’m close to her as well. Anyways a guy friend that we all know and are friends with called her to tell her he wished that she wasn’t getting married and now that she moved into a bigger house, she has forgotten about all our old friends. Since me and my buddy both think alike we both replied with “fuck em!” She replied with, “Well, I’ve been friends with him for over 20 years.” I clearly see it as people change and they either remain your friend during the change or they don’t.
The last thing I need in life is people making bad decisions and I have to constantly hear about them. This particular friend is always trying to stir drama and hangs out with a lot of questionable people. I have the lifestyle I have from avoiding people that cause drama, not adding them to the pot.
Some people like drama, and I get that, but you have stop questioning why your life is so bad when you are making bad choices and have bad people involved in your day to day life.
Amy January 13, 2012, 4:32 pm
I do this with facebook friends. In fact I recently just added my good friends future sister-in-law (whom I’ve never actually met) – because hair facebook drama is just TOO good.
ReginaRey January 13, 2012, 2:40 pm
How about the friend who can’t seem to move past her sorority days? I have one friend who CANNOT talk about anything deep or serious…it’s all talk of surface-level things accompanied by prolific use of unnecessary vowels: “Oh my God, I’ve missed youuuuuu! Let’s get together sometime soooooon! KThanks!” UGH.
cporoski January 13, 2012, 3:16 pm
oooh. Is it bad that i just bought a Lily Pulizer bag because it had a Delta Gamma print on it….and I pledged over 10 years ago…and I am the best tshirt/poster/hair-bow maker you have ever seen. Yup, definately see myself in this one.
ReginaRey January 13, 2012, 3:22 pm
Haha! That all sounds pretty harmless. As long as you aren’t posting things like “Heyyyy girlie it was soooo good to see youuuu! Miss you love youuuuu” I can let it slide.
ReginaRey January 13, 2012, 3:22 pm
And by posting, I mean…posting things all over Facebook.
cporoski January 14, 2012, 6:37 am
I think there are alot of wonderful things on facebook but It really messes people up too. Not having the social media would fix half the problems on this site.
Addie Pray January 13, 2012, 4:45 pm
I don’t have any friends like that. They all died, mysteriously.
AKchic January 13, 2012, 6:13 pm
Mysteriously you say…? Intrigued I am…
AKchic January 13, 2012, 7:59 pm
After re-reading this comment a little later, I have come to the realization that this sounds better when read with a Yoda voice.
cporoski January 14, 2012, 6:37 am
so funny! Now I am trying to read every comment as yoda.
theattack January 13, 2012, 5:31 pm
I’m convinced that those girls do that because they were once the popular girls in high school, and they want to stay that way. But “popularity” doesn’t really exist in the adult world in the same way, so they have to artificially create it on the internet. So they say those things to people they like in order to boost their friends’ virtual popularity, in exchange for their friends boosting theirs with ridiculous posts too.
cporoski January 14, 2012, 6:49 am
So, I totally disagree that popularity doesn’t exist. I remember when I was interning this guy who was 40 told me that you never leave high school. Most of the same rules apply. The only thing that I think changes is that when you are in high school, you are trading on your parents’ names and what they provide for you. When you get older, you start to trade on your own name more and more.
Now, in certain cases, I think you are right about posting publicly on walls things that seem useless. But I think it is a way to stay connected when you leave each other. Because of facebook, I can stay connected to sorority sisters who are all over the country. I wouldn’t call it virtual popularity as much as long distance friendships.
cporoski January 14, 2012, 6:36 am
I will say I try to only use the appropriate amount of vowels 🙂 But I have a few friends that I love who do that because they always get really excited for you. Like, you get a new job, engaged, go on a great vacation, and they give you that level of excitement that you need sometimes. Versus someone who is always one upping you or always focus on them selves, ya know.
rangerchic January 13, 2012, 2:42 pm
I had a friend who I contacted first – Every. Single. Time. (it wasn’t always that way just in the last few years). But the last time we hung out and she mentioned how we need to get together more blah blah blah I have not contacted her first. It has been nearly a year. And nothing from her! We were friends for 20 years! Sometimes I just wanted to send her an email and tell her off. I know, not mature but that is how I felt for a while (never did that either). Now, I have moved on.
My 16yo daughter has a friend who pull the stunt in number 1. As soon as her friend got a boyfriend she dropped my daughter as a friend and only wanted to hang out when her boyfriend wasn’t busy (which was rarely) and would always cancel plans to go be with BF if his schedule changed. My daughter put up with it for a while but finally wrote her off as a friend (after trying to work it out and talking to her) and was really upset about it – they have been friends since early childhood. I know teenagers handle some things differently sometimes and can be immature but it is never okay to treat friends like that.
katie January 13, 2012, 8:30 pm
i had a group of about 8 really close friends in high school, and we all did this atleast once. the key was that we eventually got it and realized that wasnt how the world works… i hope that if your daughters friend ever breaks up with the guy, she will be her friend again. seriously, every teenage girl does this. your daughter probably will! lol
Painted_lady January 13, 2012, 9:38 pm
Oh god yes! It takes awhile to learn how to balance dating and friendships (some never learn). Because of the nature of teenage hormones, friends seem like something with which to mark time until you have a boyfriend, but eventually you figure out that friends fill very different and equally valuable roles in your emotional landscape.
Also, good, loyal friends? Worth their weight in gold. Available boys of the calibre I dated in high school? A dime a dozen. But every girl has to learn that herself.
leenfrak January 16, 2012, 9:59 pm
I understand being the one to ALWAYS take initiative! I have three friends that this was the case with, and in May I decided to stop calling, emailing, etc., to see how long it took them to take initiative with me. I got in two arguments with one of them about it – the one who i THOUGHT it would be worthwhile to point all this out to, and two separate hour long convos where my complaint was “i always take the initiative with you and i would appreciate it back.” “thats not true” “then is it when I gave up INTENTIONALLY in may, I havent heard from you AT ALL??” …..she didnt know what i was talking about. TWO arguments like this and at one point she goes “you cant get mad that people cant go out with you when you invite them”…and that wasn’t EVER a topic of the discussion, ive never complained about that, and, btw, they ALL would regularly come out when i was their regular social planner anyway – and to hear this woman say THAT – so far removed from the simplest of simple complaints i was trying to deliver, i knew talking about it was absolutely pointless. SO don’t feel bad if you havent said anything it won;t help. Quietly set them free and if it’s meant to be, they’ll come to you and if not, forget them!!! 🙂
Addie Pray January 13, 2012, 2:53 pm
I have a friend who ONLY talks about (a) wanting a boyfriend and (b) losing weight. I get it. I want those things too. But come on, man. (Also, she happens to be super beautiful, fit, and is a doctor. I sometimes think she just wants me to say, “oh, but you’re super beautiful, fit, and a doctor!”) It’s gotten to the point now where I’m not sure she has anything else to talk about. I usually interrupt her and ask, “read a good book lately? seen something funny?” It’s like she’s forgotten how to enjoy life. She’s become a “life sucker,” as I like to call them. My sister-in-law is a life sucker too, btw. Oh, can we have an open thread about sister-in-laws?
Something More January 13, 2012, 2:59 pm
Ugh, I know how you feel. Thankfully, mine is an EX-sister-in-law (ex’s sister) but GAWD she was horrible.
JK January 13, 2012, 3:11 pm
Those life suckers are the worst! ANd yes, your friend is just waiting for you to tell her just how awesome she is.
A SIL open thread would be good, I´ve got LOTS to contribute there!!
AKchic January 13, 2012, 3:37 pm
I don’t have a SIL anymore (three ex ones from the 1st marriage, and I didn’t even MEET one of them). I do have an ex BIL though. How about two terrible sisters? I could write half an encyclopaedia on the two of them. “Life suckers” indeed.
Imsostartled January 13, 2012, 3:41 pm
YES! A SIL thread would be awesome. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in the life sucking SIL’s. 🙂
JK January 13, 2012, 3:46 pm
To be fair, my SIL isn´t a life sucker. SHe just sucks in general. 🙂
Addie Pray January 13, 2012, 3:57 pm
Life sucking SILs (or generally sucking SILs) are the worst because you can’t break up with them. Sigh. This is what my SIL sounds like every day: “Waaaa, the kids are beautiful, healthy, and happy at school, the cleaning ladies are home cleaning, your brother is making us all beaucoup de dollars, and I was late for my mani/pedi because the stupid barrista at Starbucks messed up my latte, waaaaaaaaa!” Go fuck your mom.
Addie Pray January 13, 2012, 3:59 pm
*gasp* I take back the “go fuck your mom.” it slipped. it’s just that she complains all the time when she has so much to be grateful for!
Lili January 13, 2012, 4:15 pm
I can’t STAND those people. I’m actually phasing a friend out who can only complain about things, but not work with the resources she has to make things b etter. I’m trying to be sympathetic about these pessimistic people, but just being around them is soul sucking. Addie how does your brother deal with it?!
Imsostartled January 13, 2012, 7:43 pm
Don’t take it back! lol! That was awesome. My SIL is similar although in addition to complaining about everything, she tries to milk my mom for all the money, time, presents, and sympathy she can and then has the balls to insult her! No one messes with my mom!!! My mom’s the most generous person ever and gladly helps when she can, but she basically demands my mom drop everything she’s doing to wait on her. Which happened this Christmas when my two brother’s their wives, their children, my parent’s, my fiance and I all were staying at my mom’s house. Who leaves pans on the stove filled with scrambled eggs after you cook breakfast at SOMEONE ELSE’S HOUSE! Who after having been served dinner cooked by your brother, sister and sister-in-law leaves to watch tv downstairs without offering to help! Who allows their children to destroy the upstairs without requesting (and they are certainly old enough) them to put away their toys! WHO DOES THAT!!! My brother and sister-in-law apparently. Phew, that felt good to get out. Sorry for the vent.
lets_be_honest January 13, 2012, 4:07 pm
I’ve heard that referred to as White People Problems and apparently there is a whole website about it. I had an (un-PC) WPP last night that I recognized and stopped myself from complaining about. It was actually pretty funny. Went into a West Elm store after work to do some shopping. Picked out a bunch of cool stuff, went to the register and the guy is all “ma’am, we closed 20 minutes ago, what are you doing in here?” Yea, I should be more alert to things like getting locked in stores at night. But just as I was about to call my mom and whine about not getting all these pretty things, I realized I was having a WPP and calmed down. Yes, I know I sound even more ridiculous patting myself on the back about this.
Will.i.am January 13, 2012, 4:19 pm
I’m black and there’s so many things that are WPP. Like kids cussing out their parents. My mom would have killed me if I would have tried that. Also, white guys that love to get drunk and get in a fight. Us blacks never do that here. We are too busy skeeming for the white women. I’m on a roll with it today!
lets_be_honest January 13, 2012, 4:25 pm
I think the whole WPP is more like Rich Person Problem, obviously.
I’m white, and yea my mom would’ve killed me if I cussed at her. Actually, the only time I remember seeing her slap any of us was when my brother gave her the finger and she saw him do it (which he didn’t intend her to see). Oh man, she was PISSED.
theattack January 13, 2012, 5:37 pm
Yeah, that never would have flown in my white family either. In fact, I don’t even know what would have happened because I was always too scared to do much of anything wrong. But I grew up in a working class or lower middle class family, so the values were different than regular middle class or upper middle class where that kind of stuff does happen. So I agree with LBH about it being related to class. Although I have no idea what your family’s socioeconomic situation was, so your experience might not fit into that. I don’t know.
Painted_lady January 13, 2012, 9:43 pm
I wasn’t allowed to say “butt” till I was like 12. Which I tease my mother endlessly about now. Also, she once asked me how I keep my mouth in check with my students, because I curse like a sailor the rest of the time, and I told her I had lots of practice growing up with a mother who thought “butt” counted as profanity.
JK January 14, 2012, 12:24 pm
We weren´t allowed to say fart. We also tease my mum about that.
JK January 13, 2012, 5:15 pm
That page is funny, I checked it out a few months ago, apparently it doesn´t get up dated frequently.
Friend of Beagles January 13, 2012, 7:20 pm
If you like WPP, you’ll probably also enjoy First World Problems: http://first-world-problems.com/
mandalee January 13, 2012, 4:52 pm
Ahhh SILs. I have a love-hate relationship with mine. I always wanted an older sister, so her caring and nice side- I love. Her completely dramatic (she once had a 4 HOUR meltdown on Christmas because her $5 Target christmas bells were broken when visitors were coming in the house, talk about Merry Christmas)- I hate. I know I’m stuck with her for life, so I nod my head and smile a lot, but truthfully I’m doing a lot of mental talking shit while she whines.
Will.i.am January 13, 2012, 4:08 pm
Addie Pray, let those people suffer in their own meaningless life. I used to have a couple of friends who complained all the effin time. It got exhausting after a while. I used to be a very big complainer and my friends told me I wasn’t pleasant to be around always being negative. If my close friends had the courage to tell me that, then clearly something is wrong with me, not with them.
It took some time but life became so much easier when I didn’t have a big ass Lay’s chip on my shoulder. I no longer got worked up like before and it was much easier to walk around with a smile instead of always wanting to be a dick!
Try just letting conversation die with your friend or even tell her that you are tired of hearing about her same two things in life. Hell, she’s a Doctor, be proud of that, since that is not an easy feat to accomplish.
I, too, have met men and women who are super fixated on relationships and weight. One you can’t control and the other you can.
lets_be_honest January 13, 2012, 4:12 pm
“I used to be a very big complainer and my friends told me I wasn’t pleasant to be around always being negative. If my close friends had the courage to tell me that, then clearly something is wrong with me, not with them.
It took some time but life became so much easier when I didn’t have a big ass Lay’s chip on my shoulder. I no longer got worked up like before and it was much easier to walk around with a smile instead of always wanting to be a dick!”
Kare January 14, 2012, 12:59 am
Maybe I’m a bad person, but whenever a someone constantly complains about weight (in an obviously fishing for compliments way) I say “Oh well maybe you should start working out more. Or cut back on the fattening foods”. That pretty much stops it.
bethany January 13, 2012, 2:58 pm
Everything, all the time is all about her. When you actually try to shift the focus to yourself and/or your real life problems for 5 minutes she accuses you of always needing attention.
amber January 13, 2012, 3:18 pm
the frustrating thing with #8 is when you are the only close friend of that person. it can get suffocating!
Flake January 13, 2012, 3:23 pm
A friend who complains all the time about a certain problem, and when you give her practical, step-by-step advice on how to solve it, she ignores it completely. And a week later we are back to square 1 again…
bethany January 13, 2012, 4:02 pm
omg, YES! I had 2 friends like that (Weeded them both out!)
One was about a particualr boy over and over and over. The other was basically about how no boys liked her, blah blah blah. After 400 times, the advice I give you is not going to change! Either take the advice or stop asking!
AKchic January 13, 2012, 4:16 pm
Hear hear! Because I’ve been divorced twice, everyone calls me for advice. My mom when she finally started the divorce from my father (seriously, you were separated for 19 years), a friend I’ve had since high school, etc. I seem to be the go-to person for divorce and custody questions. One girl wants to be “fair” yet she always gets the short end of the stick because she won’t stop being nice to the deadbeat father. Her life is on hold and all she can do is whine about it. I told her that if she wants to be a doormat, that’s her choice, but eventually she’s going to have to shake off some of the residual dirt. Nobody else will do it for her.
PFG-SCR January 13, 2012, 3:28 pm
Possessive friends who think you’ve betrayed them if you spend time with other friends, especially if they are mutual friends.
To me, the friends who can’t be trusted are the worst. Some of the above friends are annoying if you spend too much time with them, but one can deal with that. If you can’t trust a friend, it’s difficult to share anything more than superficial, you’re likely to doubt everything he/she says, and it’s not going to be a friendship with any depth to it.
lets_be_honest January 13, 2012, 3:30 pm
Your first sentence perfectly describes me friend below. Ughh. So childish.
amber January 13, 2012, 3:56 pm
yes and when said friend who is your roommate tells you they shouldn’t have to make plans with you and they want it to go back to the way it was before. meaning when you were both new to town and had no other friends and therefore were both free every night.
lets_be_honest January 13, 2012, 3:29 pm
I had this friend since freshman year of high school who I think only hung out with me because I let her play the role of the pretty one, the better one. I never really minded for some reason. I liked making her feel better about herself. Then, I had a kid, and she followed suit a year later (we always joked about doing the same things). She would confide in me about how she thought she wasn’t a good enough parent. Silly things mostly. So for example if she said she didn’t get her kid on the bus on time, I’d tell her it happened to me all the time and was no big deal. It got so bad that I started to worry that I was almost telling her it was ok to mess up almost all the time. Anyway, after years of me doing this, we got into an argument about something unrelated, and she totally lost it and went off on me about a million things, most of which were not even true and the things that were I acknowledged and was sorry for and said I’d try to change whatever it was that she was unhappy with. (I’m rambling a bit here and not telling the way too long story.) So the end is she goes off on me about stuff and throws in my face all the things I only said to make her feel better about herself! Things I often made up entirely just so she wouldn’t beat herself up about not being “good enough.” I told her I no longer wanted to hear from her and wished her well. Best move I ever made.
Addie Pray January 13, 2012, 4:01 pm
good move, lbh. your friend was a life sucker.
Skyblossom January 13, 2012, 4:31 pm
The manipulative friend who wants to control what you do. Like she invites you over to her place then announces that really she’s going out to a place she knows you don’t like and says if you want to see her you have to go along.
Skyblossom January 13, 2012, 4:33 pm
I think friends are like dates. It takes experience with bad ones to realize what you want and need in a good one.
Lili January 13, 2012, 4:40 pm
I hate to say it, but I’m realizing I have two ‘sets’ of friends. One set is the ‘sorority sister’ set of girls who ONLY seem to know other sorority girls and then they keep rotating the girls they are best buds with from that set. I wasn’t in their sorority, but got the ‘spot’ when one girl got a boyfriend and moved away. I know we have a shallow friendship and the secrets and lies they keep and tell one another is gross, but I can’t help but love the social aspects of being included. Plus when we do go out, my inner party girl has found her match. They are all super pretty and love dressing up and being girly, so I get to indulge my girly girl side and not feel shallow.
My other friends are my ‘deeper’ friends. We talk about l ife in a realistic and not sugar coated advicey kinda way. I think I respect this set’s intelligence and take their advice to heart much more. However, I know if I want to talk about fashion or makeup or shopping, I toe the line of b eing deemed shallow-like they label my other friends. Plus, going out drinking and dancing isn’t as fun with this group as they like to be more sedate and intellectual in their fun.
IDK, at times i feel fractured at ti mes and wish i could overlap my friends, but the two groups works for me right now, so I’m not complaining 🙂 My needs are being met!
amber January 13, 2012, 5:39 pm
this reminds me of the himym where robin befriends the woo! girls, haha. 🙂
sobriquet January 13, 2012, 4:54 pm
How about the friend that always gets you into trouble, or pushes you slightly too far? The friend who encourages you to take another shot at 2 AM, or to go to another bar after happy hour for “just one more drink,” or hands you the mysterious pill while you’re too dazed to question it. The friend who tells your crushes that you want to jump their bones, so when they ask you for a date it’s really just because they want to get laid, not because they’re into you.
I guess this can be seen as a “party” friend, but it can be the most toxic kind of relationship.
lets_be_honest January 13, 2012, 5:22 pm
Your “friend” sounds more like a date rapist than a friend. Yikes.
sobriquet January 13, 2012, 5:49 pm
Ha, yeah, I just read what I wrote. It definitely sounds creepier than it should. She just wanted to keep the party going, whether that meant taking one last shot or hopping to another bar. The “pill” would just be 1/4 of an adderal or clonapen, not a rufie. All I know is that I always felt a tinge of regret after spending too much time with her.
Will.i.am January 13, 2012, 6:09 pm
I was that party friend once who was down to get wasted every weekend. Lost an awesome girlfriend in the process. Learned my lesson from that one! Everyone makes mistakes, you just try to only make that particular mistake one time. And you are right, those are the most toxic relationships, because it’s just drunken fun.
AKchic January 13, 2012, 6:21 pm
Gee – sounds like a “Dare Night” at the bar. *sigh* Not that I do those. Really. *laugh*
I participated once. Everyone decided to see how much it would take to get 5’3″ 135lbs (at the time) me completely drunk. Idiots. I warned them. Nobody has tried since.
The one you’re talking about is the one that is a drug/alcohol abuser and doesn’t want to do it alone, so she adopts the free-spirited party-child persona and tries to get everyone to do the things she wants to do with her so she doesn’t feel guilty about doing it. I mean, if everyone is doing it, it’s not a bad thing, right? That’s the mentality this person has. Of course, what you don’t know is that she’d do it even if you weren’t there, even if she were home by herself.
Will.i.am January 14, 2012, 11:47 am
I never hung out with drug abusers though. Just guys and girls that wanted to party and have a good time every weekend. My grounded girlfriend at the time didn’t find that very flattering. Once I got wise after she had had enough of me and moved on, I quickly noticed how I literally wasted a year of my life. I never got in trouble with the police or my job, and I was halfway completing classes in college, but I just wasted my potential to do better things.
In the end, where I’m at at 27, I could have gotten to at 25. In the end, I’m a couple of years behind, because even though life paused for me, it didn’t pause for anyone else.
Lili January 14, 2012, 2:20 pm
Sigh, you said it so well Will.i.am. about wasting the potential and being behind. I feel the same way at times, but then I try to focus on the self awareness that I gained as a result of the party phase. I’m noticing a lot of people who had it ‘together’ earlier were just faking, and now closer to 30 are having massive life crisis-like infidelity, divorcing a good partner for a ‘better one, with more spark’ etc. So by those standards, I’m doing all right by just focusing on ME 🙂
Will.i.am January 14, 2012, 6:59 pm
You aren’t kidding there. I’m don’t regret any of the choices I made, I just wish I would have thought things out more. The best thing is, I was still able to obtain my goals, even though I took a different route to getting there. I can look at my accomplishments, smile, and be proud of myself.
Nik January 13, 2012, 5:56 pm
Reading that list I checked off quite a few of those points when thinking about my toxic “friend”. There are worse problems in life, but oh how she gets on my last nerve!
Most of the people in my circle of friends thinks she’s fine, or are willing to “deal” with her rude comments, self centered-ness and constant need to make fun of others (just to name a few). I get so upset that I have to keep her in my life because no one else will, for lack of a better phrase, grow some balls and kick her to the curb. I’ve limited my contact with her as much as possible which makes my life a little more pleasant, but she is still very much a constant.
Painted_lady January 13, 2012, 6:02 pm
I had a friend in college who was so controlling, she would “accidentally” sabotage my relationships. There was one guy who was a friend of one of the guys we hung out with that I had thought was cute when this guy brought him out dancing with us. A year later we ended up making out at a party, and she goes up to him later to tell him she’s so happy because I’d “liked him for a year now.” Which, of course, made me sound obsessed. Or once I asked a guy out to lunch and he called me last minute to cancel, and she ran into him MONTHS later and told him how pissed she was at him “for what you did to PL.” Like I’d gotten knocked up and he hadn’t called. Or another time I was interested in a guy and she called his best female friend (who was madly in love with him) to tell her they TOTALLY needed to figure out a way to get us together.
Then after she’d managed to give me a reputation for being an utter nutjob, she ditched me for people she obviously thought were cooler – the “bad boys” of our college theatre department. I had sort of put up with her because she came across as needy and lonely, and so when she started blowing me off for these guys, I figured they’d see through her pretty quickly. It was only then I figured out how fully she’d painted me as this intense nutbag who got obsessed over guys she barely knew and didn’t have any other friends (because she had sabotaged my friendships in similar ways), and she caused a lot of drama I would try to smooth over for her which she spun later as being my fault.
It was so bizarre – I couldn’t figure out if she was using me to climb the social ladder or what, but it was like one of those movies where the main character spends a whole lot of time and energy trying to persuade people they aren’t crazy, which only serves to make them crazier. It didn’t help that we looked alike enough that people who had only met one or both of us once or twice mixed us up – gave the whole thing a very “Single White Female” vibe.
Painted_lady January 13, 2012, 6:05 pm
*only serves to make them SEEM crazier.
Curls87 January 13, 2012, 10:49 pm
I had a friend who would sabotage any kind of friendship/relationship. We became friends because her bf cheated on her with me (I swear I had no idea he was in a relationship), and through that experience we became friends. But everytime I would meet a guy and he would show more attention to me then her, she would lead with that story, making me look bad. And the rest of the time she would complain about everything wrong in her life but REFUSED to do anything about it. After years of that, I had to break up with her. I feel so much better, and I can shift my focus towards developing mature and strong friendships.
Painted_lady January 13, 2012, 11:11 pm
Yeah, honestly, it was the best thing she could have done for me. I ended up re-connecting with a friend from high school who went to the same college and practically lived at his house the semester she ditched me. He became the big brother I never had, and I’m so infinitely grateful for the nights we hung out in his kitchen and got drunk on the wine we were supposed to be using to marinate steaks in. I got to be better friends with the girls who eventually became my roommates my last two years of college, and then I started hanging out with two people I worked with in the theatre scene shop, and I had more fun with them than anyone I’d had in my life up to that point. So she did me a favor – turns out there were a lot of people avoiding me because she was so damn toxic.
caitie_didn't January 13, 2012, 6:15 pm
Ahhh toxic friends. My first year university roommate fits into more than one of these descriptions. We had been close friends in high school and she practically BEGGED me to live with her when we figured out we were going to the same school.
Firstly, she was a MASTER at the underhanded compliment. I think my personal favourite was “well, when you finally get a boyfriend I’m sure your relationship will be amazing!” or “those boots look great on you, but I would never wear them because they remind me of hooker boots” (re: my not-quite knee-high brown leather boots with a stacked heel). She was also adamant about being the absolute centre of attention in any gathering of people, doubly so when there were dudes around. She also spread rumours about my sexuality- not that it’s anyone’s damn business but mine. Our relationship ultimately ended when she tried to convince me that a mutual male friend had a huge crush on me and was just too shy to ask me out, so she was trying to convince him to do it. Except, in real life, they had started dating.
Awkwardly, this was in February and I had to live with her until the end of April. We had an argument about her generally crappy and unfriendly behaviour where she bizarrely tried to insist that it was my fault that she was doing these things because I didn’t use the shoe rack all the time and occasionally left my mittens on top of the mini fridge. I decided it was best that we downgrade our relationship to “casual acquaintances” and then we went our separate ways. I don’t even think we’re facebook friends anymore. And I have since more than caught up with her regarding “finally getting a boyfriend”.
Painted_lady January 13, 2012, 6:32 pm
This may not be especially mature of me, but after spending a couple of years stage managing shows with – there’s ONE in every cast, I swear – actresses who are so catty and unhappy they need to claim their superiority through “sweetly” ripping the other women around them to shreds, I got really good at giving the backhanded compliment right back. I wear comfy black clothes to stage manage in, for example, and one actress remarked that it was so cool that I could pull off that “I don’t give a shit” look because she would never be comfortable looking so frumpy. To which I replied that I figure if I have to put a lot of work into looking good, I must not actually be all that pretty anyway (I don’t actually believe this, btw).
Maybe not mature, but it stopped her. Fortunately I would never have considered this girl a friend anyway. But it is really amazing the sort of nasty things some women will say to each other under the guise of “compliment.” I don’t know if it’s because they don’t actively realize what they’re doing, they think other women don’t know it, or if the act itself is so subtly bullying that it usually quells any desire to strike back on the part of the other woman.
AKchic January 13, 2012, 7:58 pm
Y’know… that’s a good question. We’ve all been raised with the mantra of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”, which has evolved to this back-handed compliment bullshit. I wonder if it is really linked. It has to be, in my opinion.
I mean, who can say something nasty to a “compliment”? It’s tattling and childish behaviour. Of course, so is the original “compliment”. It’s all childish tit for tat. If you call someone out on it, you’re the ass publicly for making a stink, or “misinterpreting” someone’s well-meaning but poorly-worded attempt at a compliment. If you ignore it, you are the butt of a joke behind your own back because you “didn’t get it” (! ha ha! and you took it!). It’s a no-win situation, unless you do come up with some off-the-cuff remarks as you stated, Painted_lady.
Anna January 13, 2012, 8:00 pm
I have a friend whom I’ve known since 6th grade who is perpetually depressed, functions solely on anti-depressants and sleeping pills, and anytime we talk on the phone it consists of me listening to her sob story for sometimes hours. She used to guilt me about not coming to see her very often, but she lives an hour away from me and gas is expensive! Plus, I am always employed full time while she has never held a full-time job. I’ve told her she is welcome to come to my place to hang out and can even stay here overnight since it’s a long drive back, but she rarely has a running car or gas money.
AKchic January 13, 2012, 8:23 pm
*sigh* It’s those that break your heart sometimes. You wish you could help them, but they are so far gone mentally that they just don’t have the mental wherewithall to even help themselves. You pity them, which is why you continue to associate with them. It’s not the greatest basis for a friendship, but at the same time, you worry about them and care for them. It’s like an ailing pet, for a lack of better analogy.
bdubs629 January 13, 2012, 9:45 pm
How about the friend who seems to know everything about everything, even if she/he’s making it up. Example (from recent history):
Me: “I’m thinking about moving to Colorado after I graduate. The skiing trip I took there was amazing!”
Her: “Yeah! It’s really pretty there, but the people are kind of weird, you know, mountain-y”
Me: “Oh I didn’t get that impression everyone I talked to was nice and really helpful. Where in Colorado did you visit? It might be different in different parts?
Her: “Oh I’ve never been there, but I just know.” …… Sigh
This is how 90% of our conversations go. Even ones about my major that I am in my 2nd to last semester in and she is no where near majoring in anything similar. Or she just googles the data on the subject and reads me paragraphs at a time.
anon January 13, 2012, 9:50 pm
What about the friends who say extremely hurtful awful things about every guy you date? I recently had a friend ream me out for not making time for her and spending “too much time” with my boyfriend. Well, I’m a lawyer with a demanding job and I’m in my late twenties so spending a lot of time with my bf of a year and a half while we discuss what our next step might be just seems kind of logical to me. For a couple years I lived in the same neighborhood as my friend, but within the past 6 months I moved to the opposite side of our city and switched jobs. The move was positive because I was able to upgrade from a studio to a 1 bedroom at little cost, and the job is sort of the type of job I imagined when moving to this city in the first place. It just so happens that my bf lives in my new neighborhood as well, so this particular friend saw the transition as me moving for him, not for myself. She decided to confront me before the holidays and tell me that I didn’t make enough time for her and that my bf didn’t deserve me, and while she was on the topic let me know that she didn’t approve of my previous bf either.
I’ve never understood the “you don’t make enough time for me” argument. In my mind, friendship is measured by whether you’re truly there for each other when sh*t hits the fan, not whether you chill and drink wine and watch movies every night. I’ve tried to be civil and polite with her since, but I don’t really feel safe with trusting her since that conversation.
Sonia January 13, 2012, 11:08 pm
I have a friend who just moved in with her boyfriend, and I’m happy for her
We talk so sporadically since they started dating, and see each other alot less but when we do talk she always goes on about how she’s not gonna be ‘that friend’ who bails when she dates someone, yet that’s exactly who she is!
Kare January 14, 2012, 1:08 am
I have never ever had a friend that texted/called/whatever first. Ever. With all of my friends I have to text them or call them. Which isn’t even that often because I hate being the only one to initiate anything. I’m known as the “planner” to everyone, but still.
Budj January 14, 2012, 12:46 pm
I can take / accept a lot of different personalities as long as they aren’t malicious…the one that grinds my gears is the “one upper”. They try and dominate every conversation with their half truths.
JenjaRose January 14, 2012, 7:36 pm
Twice I’ve wound up with “I feel bad about my body so I’m going to try to make you feel bad about your’s” friends, and both of my sisters (one to the point that I don’t speak to her anymore) are the same way. I’m 5’2″, 110 pounds, and a B-Cup. The two friends I mentioned were both very heavy girls with double-D chests and incredibly low self-esteem. Whenever we’d try on clothes together, I’d tell them how great they looked. Then they would turn to me and say things like, “Oh, it’s cute… but it would look better if you had BOOBS.” or “I could never wear anything like that, because I, ya know, have boobs. TEE HEE!” Once I was at a gay club with one and the bar ran out of glasses so I wound up with a paper cup. My friend turns to me and says, “She must have given you the paper cup because I have tits and you don’t!” At least once a week they’d make comments like this!
Yet everyday both of these friends would cry to me about how fat and ugly they felt, and I would do nothing but tell them how beautiful they were and point out all their great features. I never once said anything negative about their bodies, because I know how much it can hurt. I don’t know why girls of all sizes have such a hard time loving each other and dropping the competition. All of us know the “NO FAT CHICKS” bullsh*t has to stop, but nobody seems to be crying foul of this “REAL BEAUTY DOESN’T COME IN A SIZE 2” hatefulness! I’m a size one, and I’m beautiful, dammit! /rant
Thankfully, my very best friend is a big girl with big boobs and big, healthy self-esteem. We compliment each other perfectly when we go out together.
MsMisery January 16, 2012, 11:06 am
#13 is the WORST. I used to have one of those. It took me a while but I eventually deleted him off my FB (that was the last step in purging him from my life). We still have mutual freinds though so the sight of him slips through the cracks. Gah. So much damage.
Sitcomfreak January 16, 2012, 12:57 pm
16.- The one that enjoys acting like a know it all when you are going through something painful and pretends to give advice when she is actualy looking down on your from her self-built pedestal.
17.- The one that becomes an energy vampire and cant be happy for your accomplishments because they always remind her how life is “so unfair”