The friendship starts off great. A casual encounter sparks a conversation that turns into coffee, cocktails, and then double date. There is a natural connection with mutual likes, acquaintances, and even occupations. Yet, something is off. All logic dictates that this should be the start of a beautiful friendship so what is the problem? Sometimes the key to a great relationship is in knowing whom to avoid. The wrong friend can be the difference between supportiveness and destructiveness. So how can a person navigate through a different personality? Here are ten types of friends to avoid.
- Blamers. Mark is fuming over his wife’s recent purse purchase. Over the past few years, their financial situation had declined and Mark blamed his wife for the overspending. However, he recently purchased a new boat instead of a used one but he was blaming his wife and not taking responsibility for his spending. Blame shifters hate to take responsibility for any error because they believe this makes them look weak or vulnerable.
- Complainers. Susie has a new complaint about work nearly every time. The deadline was unrealistic. The bathroom is dirty. Worse yet, she criticizes any new idea or process well before it is tested or implemented. Just being around her is exhausting. Underneath the complaining is actually attention-seeking behavior and a desire to be kept at the center of the discussion.
- Hoarders. John learns about a new technique that reduces his work-out. But he refuses to share his knowledge with his friends or shares only a small portion of his new routine. Information hoarding is a passive-aggressive way of outshining the perceived competition. Secretly, it demonstrates anger that John is able to figure out something his friends cannot therefore only he should benefit from the knowledge. Additionally, by withholding key information, it forces others to rely on him for expertise.
- Guilt-trippers. It is not just moms who guilt-trip. Ann tries to encourage her neighborhood friends to participate in a holiday-themed competition by saying that their property values could be in jeopardy if they couldn’t outshine the other neighborhoods. She takes it even further by pulling one friend aside to say that their decorations are bringing down the whole neighborhood. The use of guilt as motivation is the lazy way to inspire friends.
- Wisenheimers. During a dinner, Steven can’t resist the opportunity to demonstrate his superior knowledge by cutting others off and inserting his opinion about the latest political issue. He comes across as a know-it-all who frequently irritates others with useless details and indisputable facts. Wisenheimers are often deeply insecure people who believe their knowledge is the only way they can stand out from the crowd.
- Braggers. Marie comes back from a Yellowstone vacation excited about her latest adventure. But as she attempts to share her travel stories, her friend interrupts with a more adventurous vacation, better hotel accommodations, and prettier views. She seals the demoralization by sharing her pictures while criticizing Marie’s photos. Braggers can’t stand to be out shown and frequently resort to belittling others.
- Deceivers. Ken’s confidence and smile have a way of disarming just about anyone. He seems to evade blame, deflect accountability, and artfully manipulate others with the greatest of ease. When friends start to see through the illusion of perfection, he manages to move up the friendship ladder to another level. A person, who looks too good to be true, probably is. Deceivers like to cover up their true intentions.
- Close-lippers. Silence is not always golden. Beth remains silent at parties, refusing to offer any input even when prompted. Instead, she stares at her friends like a tiger studying their prey. Her patience in waiting for the right moment to attack is well-thought-out and happens when others least expect it. Close-lippers have learned that silence can be equally controlling as verbal bullying.
- Big-talkers. The opposite of a close-lipper is a big-talker. Allen talks a big game to his friends about how well he is connected within the community and his corporation. His list of conquests grows by the minute as he overinflates his numbers to everyone. Any attempt to bring him back to reality is countered with accusations of negativity and jealousy. Big-talkers are afraid of being seen for whom they really are and use their calculated numbers to intimidate the competition.
- Ragers. Last but not least are the ragers. Tina is furious and embarrassed that a friend privately confronted her about an off-handed comment. So she takes her anger out on her other friends by verbally assaulting nearly everyone in her path. Nothing is off-limits including things that happened last year, personality differences, and how a person dresses. Tina obviously has poor anger management skills which really is a mask for deeper personal issues.
Being able to quickly identify these types of personalities in friendship circles and learn how to avoid them could be a relationship saver. Good friends are a blessing but bad ones can be destructive.