8 behaviors you should never tolerate from a friend (no matter how long you’ve known each other)

In any healthy friendship, there are always unwritten rules set to ensure the longevity and maintenance of the relationship.

However, friends will disappoint us from time to time, and we may tend to be more forgiving, especially to our close friends.

But setting boundaries and establishing respect is something we shouldn’t shy away from, no matter how long we’ve known them.

And today, we’ll explore 8 behaviors you should never tolerate from any of your friends.

1) Failure to respect boundaries

Everyone has their personal boundaries and it’s important that your friends recognize how to respect them.

Sure, you may be more lenient when it comes to people who are close to you, but even then, there are lines one should not try to cross.

For example, I’m an introvert and I really enjoy my personal time alone, especially after a night out.

For the next day or two, I’ll try not to schedule any meet-ups and my replies to group chats or personal chats may be slow.

And those close to me understand this; they respect my need to recharge as my social battery gets drained easily.

There are other forms of boundaries as well, such as the need for personal space, emotional boundaries, or learning when to say no.

This leads me to my next point…

2) Not accepting ‘no’ as a complete answer

Do you often feel the need to explain yourself when you say no?

This could be turning down an invitation to a gathering, stating your preference in a group setting, or canceling plans even though you’d previously agreed to them.

Of course when it comes to backing out of plans last minute – this should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

For bigger, more significant events, this could cause some inconvenience for the host, so it’s important to be mindful of these complexities as well.

But in the case of other scenarios, sometimes saying no is fine. And there’s no need to explain yourself either!

Your friends – if they are truly your friends – should be able to accept this.

For example, you may have agreed to go for drinks with some friends after work two weeks ago, but on that day you may suddenly receive an influx of work that drained your energy, and so you decide to skip out on socializing at night.

In this case, saying no is perfectly fine.

Friends should be accommodating and understanding, after all, they’re there to support you.

3) Taking advantage

If you have friends who are constantly taking advantage of you, this should be a cause for much concern.

Friends should be supportive and build one another up.

Taking advantage of others to one’s benefit just indicates a blatant lack of respect for the other person.

It shows that they prioritize themselves over you, selfishly disregarding you as an individual, only to use you for their benefit.

I used (note the past tense) to have a classmate/friend who would only be nice when she needed something from me. The rest of the time, she’d either ignore me or treat me differently.

Whether it’s to get answers for a test, collect homework or just to get help for a particular subject, she would always be there with the kindest words.

Only to toss me aside once she got what she wanted.

Not surprisingly, I stopped interacting with her, because I knew my self-worth. My time was much better spent with people who actually cared.

4) Dishonesty

If you aren’t able to trust them, can you even call them ‘friends’?

Trust is the foundation of every healthy relationship. Being honest and open is a given.

If you’re constantly having to second guess your friend’s responses or there’s always a lingering doubt at the back of your mind when they make promises – it shows that they do not respect you enough to be honest.

Trust is earned and while it takes years sometimes, to establish, it can be broken in seconds. Sometimes all it takes is just one lie or breach of trust.

5) Gaslighting

signs your friend may be a narcissist 8 behaviors you should never tolerate from a friend (no matter how long you've known each other)

Gaslighting is a huge red flag when it comes to any relationship. 

If you’re confronting a friend about what they did, they should respect you enough to acknowledge their mistakes.

If you’re sharing your thoughts about a situation, they should be there to validate your feelings. 

They shouldn’t be making you doubt yourself, or make you think that you’re exaggerating. 

This could eventually put you in a position where you hesitate to even voice out your opinion for fear of being invalidated.

6) Inconsistency

Another behavior that you shouldn’t tolerate is inconsistency.

People make mistakes, and this is normal. But if your friend is always inconsistent, always canceling at the last minute, or failing to deliver on what they promised, you should draw the line.

I know of someone who always over-promises and never delivers. She’ll always initiate things – whether it is purchasing something for a party or organizing an event – but will change her mind at the last minute.

This has upset her friends quite a bit, but because they’re a bunch of really… forgiving people, they still accept her – together with her selfish antics.

Since there was barely any repercussion to her behavior, she thought that it was acceptable and continued to behave that way.

If you have a friend like this, please stay far away from them.

7) One-sided effort

All of us have our strengths and weaknesses; some of us are great at planning, while others are better at socializing and making people feel welcome. 

The beauty of coming together with different people is that each of us contributes to the success of the friendship and as a result, everyone enjoys each others’ company. 

The problem starts when someone decides to let others put in all the effort while they benefit from it and refuse to lift a finger to help.

If you feel like you’ve been doing too much, even compensating for someone’s lack of effort, it may be good to reconsider this friendship.

A lack of effort could indicate a growing disinterest in you or the friendship and this can lead to increasing resentment as the imbalance in the friendship grows.

There’s a point where you should make a stand and draw the line. If nothing happens even after talking things through, it’s good to put some distance between you and that friend.

There’s only so much you can do. If there’s no interest from the other party to salvage this friendship, then you should step away from this, as it will only cause you more stress and fatigue.

8) Consistent negativity

No one wants to be together with someone who’s always negative.

Sure we all have bad days and when we get together with our friends, who form our support network, and we share our struggles with them to ease the burden.

However, if you have a friend who’s always complaining, it gets tough to be around them.

I have a friend who’s like this. Whenever we meet her, she’s always complaining about something. Whether it’s her coworkers, her spouse, or her job, she will always have something to rant about.

We do try our best to be listening ears, but once it got too overwhelming, that someone had to intervene by telling her that she needs to change her perspective on life – that the issue could be her, and not the people around her or the situation she’s in.

Trust me, it took a while for us to muster the courage to confront her, but when she realized this, she was taken aback, because she didn’t realize how negative she had become.

So if you can relate to this, you could consider talking things out with them. 

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.