Do You Keep the Right Kinds of Friends?

August 18, 2010 Theresa Fung

It's sometimes hard to tell if you're keeping the right kinds of friends--the ones good for you. Here are some warning signs that a friend you keep needs to go.

We often focus so much on romantic relationships that we tend to overlook those other folks in our life—our friends. Unlike the family we are born into, we get to choose who we want to be friends with. And sometimes we need to take a closer look at the people we surround ourselves with to see if they are enriching our lives or bringing us down.

The Different Types of Friends We Keep

We are considered lucky to have one true-blue friend; this is the type of friendship where ‘please and thank you’ are unnecessary, where she is willing to help you move houses in the middle of winter without expecting anything in return, where you can speak volumes in a knowing glance, and most importantly you are both trusted confidants.

Friendships - The Unlocked Life blogThen, we might have a few good friends that form a support system but aren’t quite as close to you as your true-blue friend. After that, we have some casual friends and acquaintances who we might hang out with socially but aren’t very close to emotionally.

And unfortunately, occasionally there are a few bad apples in the bunch. While all friendships require a little work, these toxic relationships with so-called friends are exhausting to maintain. They take a toll on you emotionally. The friendship might have been off to a good start, but you soon realize that something is not right.

How to Tell If a Friend Is Worth Keeping

Here are some warning signs that your friend isn't good for you:

  • If the friendship is a source of stress. Friendships aren’t supposed to be that much work. If you find that your friend and you don’t mesh for whatever reason, and you constantly feel worse after a visit instead of happy, then ask yourself why you are friends with this person. It may be time to call it quits.
  • If she is untrustworthy and unreliable. You make plans to meet up at noon. It’s common for her to show up an hour late with a flimsy excuse. Or, you confide in her and she blabs your juicy secret to everyone.
  • If she is a taker or a user. This type of friendship is definitely one-sided as in you give, give, give, and she take, take, takes. You’re the one who treats her for lunch, drives her home after a night out and pretty much makes all the effort in the relationship.
  • If she is a bad influence on you. Sometimes we outgrow our friends and no longer live the same kind of lifestyle. When my husband was 18, he hung around a hard-drinking crowd. One night he was kicked out of a concert into the 30 below night. His so-called friends didn't go after him and he passed out. Luckily someone found him and took him to a hospital.

Sometimes you need to make a clean break with a friend, and sometimes you just need to pull a fade-and-disappear act. In my husband’s case, he phoned his best friend the following day and said he couldn’t hang out anymore. That was the last time they spoke.

It’s hard enough to make time for the people we care about and those who truly care about us; why bother with false friends?

APA Reference
Fung, T. (2010, August 18). Do You Keep the Right Kinds of Friends?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 25 from

Author: Theresa Fung

August, 23 2010 at 3:15 pm

Superb well written. Thanks for the great words of wisdom

Loretta Schulz
August, 21 2010 at 6:14 am

How can I print a copy of this article?

August, 19 2010 at 2:55 pm

Great article. I am blessed to have all types of friends, but stay away from the toxic ones and I am the better for it.

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