If you found a great friend or a group of friends, you would be so happy about it that you’d think “We’re tight!” You may think that if the friendship is good enough, nothing can mess it up, right?
Not really! Actually, even if you find the best friends you can have right now, there are still things you, or they, could do to mess it up pretty badly.
So, in order to avoid doing it, let’s learn how you can actually screw up a good friendship…
Don’t Reach Out More Than Twice A Year
This is the quickest way to do it – just stop calling, reaching out, sending messages, etc.
Just remember your friend whenever you really have nothing else to do, when you have enough time to hang out, when you actually feel like talking to them, and when all the stars align in favor of both you hanging out.
Yea, when that happens, and you do reach out, that friend will probably have moved on and barely can fit you in their lives anymore. You abandon them, so they abandoned you.
Ignore The Most Important Things In Your Friends’ Minds
This is the supreme representation of being “out of touch.”
See, people focus on things more than others; they pay attention to some things more than others; they love some things more than others; and fear certain events and problems more than others.
If you keep ignoring what’s most important in your friend’s life, then you’re simply out of touch.
They’d think that you’re out of touch at best, and don’t care, at worst. Either way, you’re probably going to lose that friendship.
Switch Sides Whenever You Feel Like It
Whenever your friends are arguing against somebody, or they got rejected by another group, then what you should do is calculate which side you should take, which one is better for you.
That way, if the people from the other group invite you to hang out, you should definitely go and talk badly about your previous friends.
Really, this sounds like kindergarten stuff, but it’s still relevant. People are still kinda “tribal” in nature.
If they think that your loyalty is dodgy, or shaky, you’re toast! You’re no longer to be trusted.
Only Show Up When Your Friend’s Life Is Going Great
This behavior is so annoying, it should probably be illegal… Ok, maybe not.
Some people call themselves “your friend” but can only deal with you when you’re celebrating something, when you’re happy, when everyone is on your side, and everyone is there too.
That’s nice, but when the going gets tough, they start to be busy and can’t afford to spend time helping you figure things up.
Surely, you don’t want to have friends who are whining and constantly need help from others, but, no matter how much of a winner is your friend, there will be a day or a period of their lives when they’ll need some support.
Ignore them at that exact time, and they’ll remember it.
Never Say What You Really Think
Another way to lose your friends, especially the best ones, is to stay completely safe; never say what you really think, and always hide your opinions.
You may think that they could never tell that you’re hiding something. But that’s not necessarily the case; people sense it when others are hiding information; at least they’d have doubts.
There is another trap of being completely honest and hurting their feelings. But there is also a fine line between the two.
You could be “diplomatic” in expressing your opinion and hurting the other person.
But keep everything to yourself and judge them in your mind, and you’ll start sounding “too neutral to be honest.” That’s a clear sign that you A- don’t have the guts to say it like it is, or B- You don’t care enough to get in the weeds, you’d rather just move on.
Both bad for friendship.
Whenever You See A Flaw In The Other Person, Be Quick To Judge
At the other end of the continuum, there is that behavior of judging instantly and calling out your friend on what they’re doing.
It doesn’t even have to be instantaneous, all you have to do is judge before you understand. Judge before you put yourself in their shoes to see what their situation would mean is you were in it.
Don’t take their perspective, just lay down your judgment and opinion; always show them that they’re not quite “enough.”
That’s probably the worst way, but a fast way, to lose a friend.
If Your Friend Is From The Opposite Sex, Hit On Them Whenever You’re In That Mood
Okay, this is another dumb way to lose a friend; you’d be surprised how many people indulge in crossing boundaries from friendship to dating and sex.
They think they can tinker with those boundaries and not damage the friendship at all.
What’s the big deal? They were drunk, right? It’s not their fault!
Well, maybe if you are a teenager that can fly. But once you’re an adult, these mistakes can’t be tolerated. Sure, you may fool around with a completely new friend you barely care about… but fool around with a “real friend” and you’ve screwed up big time.
And once that “can’t be friends with the opposite sex” label is put on your forehead, it can be hard to get rid of it.
Expect Your Friends To Adapt Their Schedule To The Needs Of Your Friendship
When you expect people to be available all the time, to make “room” for the friendship, even more room than they actually have for the friendship, that screams: HIGH MAINTENANCE.
It says that you need lots of time, and if they can’t afford that time, then that just means that both of you aren’t looking for the same kind of friendship.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, you’re just maybe looking for close friendship, when the other person is looking for a more casual one.
The only way to make it worse than it is, and thus lose that friend quicker, is to show how upset you are that they don’t have time, and resent them for it.
That will show that not only are high maintenance, but also out of touch with their schedule, insecure, and needy/clingy.
Bad, bad, and bad. Avoid that stuff! If they don’t have time, give them space to breathe.
Last But Not Least…
A major way to screw up a friendship I guess, is to not build it in the first place! Most people screw up all potential friendships right at the start. They don’t use the right social skills; they don’t know what the steps are for creating a friendship, and end up meeting people once, and never seeing them again.
I suggest you remove yourself from that “socializing by default” crowd, and socialize like socially successful people do it. I spent a few years studying and trying the best techniques out there on how to make friends and build your social circle. And I share them here, in the Get The Friends You Want eBook. You can start reading it today.
– Paul Sanders