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Friends

Friends behaving badly

When friends behave badly [insert here] they may just be going through a rough patch and don't, in fact, mean to act this way.

  • He drinks to the point of collapse
  • He cannot manage his drugs and expects his friends to clean up after him
  • He always 'takes' and never 'gives'
  • He puts you down in front of others
  • He never chips in
  • He 'steals' your boyfriend
  • He steals

Of course there are often two sides to a story: people who drink or take drugs to excess (hurting themselves and those around them) may be trying to block stuff out or be happy when in fact they are in a pit of despair. Some people just don't have any money to spare and feel very embarrassed about it; it's not as though we have a solvency check when someone joins a group of friends. And the friend who puts you down may be jealous, or unhappy with his lot and envious of yours. For many, stealing from friend is a deal breaker, but have you ever asked why?

Sometimes you're prepared to put up with it until eventually - thankfully - he works through his shit. However, if you are trying to be a friend and getting hurt in the process, it may be time to boundary your friendship in terms of when and how you see him, including who else you're with when you do.

If this doesn't work you may need to decide whether to give it one last try by talking with him and/ or ending the friendship. This can be both difficult and stressful, particularly if you consider him a close personal friend.

It's tough stuff but be firm, consistent, and fair and don't expect the talk to be one-sided. If there's a way forward it will take both of you to make it happen. If this doesn't work and he keeps contacting you then say you're busy and can't meet up; hopefully they should get the message and leave you alone. If you think this can work then you are mistaken! Bottom line: be diplomatic but honest.

Alternatively, you can 'disappear for a few weeks' avoiding him completely, including breaking all social media ties. This may sound a bit harsh, but life is too short to spend time with those who harm or hurt you, or make you feel bad about yourself, and/ or take you down the rabbit hole... again and again.

Whatever the reason, sometimes it's just too tough to end a friendship. If this happens, just be aware that there may likely come a time when he drags you into shit at a whole new level, and you will eventually crash and burn together. (And maybe this is what you wanted all along).

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