Our best friends can often forgive even the worst of our habits; however, there are some habits that even the most patient, loyal, and understanding friends won’t be able to stand. The bad habits we have listed below can affect your relationships with coworkers, business-to-business colleagues, customers, clients, family, and acquaintances. If you catch yourself doing any of these bad habits, you should apologize and reflect on how you can be more conscious of avoiding these behaviors in the future.
- Gossiping – When you gossip to your friends, you might think you are just making conversation, but what you are doing is letting your friends know you cannot be trusted. If you gossip about one friend, you surely gossip about others as far as they know. Few people will keep secrets, so the person you’re gossiping to is most likely going to tell the friend you gossiped about. If you find yourself negatively talking about others, train yourself to start saying nice things until you stop talking about people when they’re not around at all.
- Not Making Time for Friends – We all get busy in our lives, but if you don’t set aside time to spend with your friends, you will lose them. People move on relatively fast, and if you say “no” or don’t show up to more than three get-togethers and they’ll likely stop inviting you. Time with friends should be a priority on your calendar. You don’t have to see friends daily or weekly, but enough that you still have a relationship with the person.
- Not Cutting Ties When Needed – Sometimes we maintain bad friendships out of habit too. If you have anyone in your life who makes you feel bad about yourself and does not lift you or others up, let them go. Bad friends can also be negative influences on our lives and can hold us back from reaching our potential. If you have a friend who exhibits many of the bad habits on this list and doesn’t take the time to reflect or change, it may be time to cut them loose.
- Not Initiating the Contact That You Crave – If you’re an introvert or merely shy, it can be hard to initiate the contacts that you need in your life. If you find yourself not spending time with friends that are important to you, and you haven’t for a long time, try initiating the contact you crave to restart those friendships.
- Not Showing Your Love for Your Friends – If you care for your friends, take the time to show them. Send them interesting articles you think they’ll like, Groupon deals you know they will want to take, and cards for their special days. You can also reach out to talk and say hello or check in with each other.
- Being Negative – The truth is, some of us are more negative by nature than others. The problem is, negativity is a huge turnoff to most of the population, and it’s not fun to be around. Even negative people don’t like being around other negative people. Try to turn your negative thoughts into positives, or focus on the positives when you can. Stop voicing negativity whenever possible.
- Not Being Open and Vulnerable – Feeling the love from your friends and giving love back to your friends requires that you are open and vulnerable to them. The only way to do this is to focus on spending time with your friends more often so you can honestly know each other. Don’t be afraid to share your hopes, dreams, aspirations, and listen when your friends talk to you about important things as well.
- Not Being Consistent – If you decide to embark on improving your friendships, don’t start and then stop. This is especially true if you’ve been a bad friend lately. Get out your calendar and set up times that you can focus on your friends. If you catch yourself being inconsistent, make an effort to reach out to your friends and apologize for not being around or being flaky.
If you can turn this around, you’ll get better at maintaining long-term friendships. There is nothing better than making new friends and keeping them around long term. If you have ever wondered why you can’t make good friends, check yourself to find out if you have any of these bad habits that impact friendships.