Three Warning Signs Your Friend May Not be a Good One

   Well dearest Collegiettes, I believe it’s safe to say that the girly friendships we’ve held so near and dear to our hearts have truly evolved into something much more complicated than what they used to be.  From picking other lonely gals to swing with us on the playground, to now as freakishly busy college students, we cannot deny that the complexity of our lives has inadvertently changed the dynamics of our friendships. Even the shift from high school to college has brought upon changes with how I personally see my friends and the role that they play in my life.

     I recently took some time to reflect upon some of the friendships I had developed over recent years, and tried to differentiate between the good ones and the bad.  What makes a so-called “bad friend,” and what are the red flags?  In my opinion, life is too short to invest time in people that don’t affect you in a positive way, and I’ve recently made a point to do away with any negativity. 

     Here are some surefire ways that I’ve found can help assess your friendships and can help determine whether your so-called friend is a good one: one that’s worth your time investment.  Because let’s face it, time is something us college kids never have enough of. 

She talks bad about her other friends. I’ve had friends in the past who always have something negative to say about girls who were supposedly their “friends.”  What’s baffled me more than anything is the fact that a greater portion of these “gossipees” consistently pop up on the gossiper’s social media newsfeeds, commonly paired with the caption “Love her!” or “Best friend!” (insert long line of obnoxious and unnecessary emoticons here).  In the past, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor girl whose friends talk about her behind her back, but then it occurred to me: what are friends like that saying about me?

     If one of your friends constantly gossips about or speaks negatively about other friends in front of you, the grim reality is that there’s a pretty solid chance she’s doing the same thing to you.  While all friendships hit rough patches and girls get frustrated with each other for whatever reason, there is never an excuse for anyone to speak poorly of their friends, spill possibly private information for the sake of gossip, or to talk about their friend in a way that could be detrimental to her reputation.  There’s a fine line between expressing annoyance with someone and “talking about someone behind their back,” and I encourage all you Collegiettes to start paying attention to where some of your friends choose to draw that line.  I also encourage all of you to NOT be the “bad friend.” If you have an issue with one of your friends, go directly to them with the problem, or keep it to yourself.

 

She doesn’t return the favor.  Before you start giggling, returning the favor is just as important in a friendship as it is in…uh, other types of relationships (as different as these favors may be).  All healthy relationships are built on giving and taking from both sides, and if you feel the effort is only being made on one side, there might be an issue with the friendship.  Whether you’re the only one that makes the effort to hang out or always the one to buy lunch, you might want to ask yourself just why this girl chooses to be your friend.  It’s not fair to you to either be used or put on the so-called back burner, and if you determine that to be the case, your friendship might not be the best one. 

 

She doesn’t compliment you.  OKAY, we all like positive attention and there’s not too much us ladies wouldn’t do to hear how pretty and stylish and well-dressed we are all the time (sigh, I wish).  It might seem frivolous, but honestly, these are things that girlfriends should do. If one of your gal-pals doesn’t seem to ever build you up, it could be a sign of jealousy and insecurity: a huge red flag in a friendship.  True friends want each other to feel special and loved, and that kind of thoughtfulness makes for a girl who is worth being friends with.   

 

All things considered: If you think a friendship of yours may not be the healthiest, it doesn’t mean you have to cut it out of your life completely.  When it comes to friendships, you typically take away as much as you put into it, so spending less of your time and energy on someone who doesn’t promote a healthy relationship is ideal.  You can still be a positive influence and essentially the “bigger person” without investing too much or expecting anything at all.  I encourage all of you to look at the relationships in your life, and reflect on which ones build you up as a person rather than bring you down.  Also, consider your role as a friend in someone’s life. Do you build them up and truly care about their confidence and success as a woman and a person? Do you talk bad about them behind their back rather than standing up for them like you would hope they would do for you? Do you make the effort to not only spend time with them but to make considerate gestures because they’re your friend and, if not, why not?  I think all of us ladies need a small reminder of how important friendships are, and what better of a way to make them than college.  If we’re fortunate enough, we’ll make friends that last forever in the years that we are here.  So, take some time to cherish the girls in your life that make you the best version of you, and don’t forget to show them how much you appreciate it.