If you want more friends in life, say goodbye to these 7 behaviors

My grandmother always used to tell me “You can never have too many friends.” 

After all, friends enrich our lives, offer support during challenging times, boost happiness, and contribute to our overall well-being (there’s even some genuine science behind it).

But do you ever find that making new friends is easier said than done?

Here’s the thing.

You may not realize it, but this might be because you have certain behaviors that can distance you from others.

So, if you’re wondering “How can I be a better friend?” check out these seven bad habits that could be hindering your chances of making more friends in life.

1) Constantly flaking on plans 

Are you frequently canceling plans, arriving late, or generally being inconsistent and undependable? 

Perhaps you’re known for regularly ghosting your closest friends for weeks on end and without an explanation.

You may have a genuine excuse

But if you’re constantly bailing at the last minute, it paints you as “unreliable” or a “flake.” 

Not only that…

But it sends a clear message to your friends that their time (and efforts) aren’t a priority. 

You come first!

And if this pattern of fickle behavior continues, it won’t take long for the invites, messages, and calls to eventually stop – and for good this time. 

2) Only returning calls when YOU’VE got a problem

Healthy friendships thrive on mutual give-and-take. That means being there and actively listening when your friend has an issue… 

Instead of leaving them unread.

At the very least, take a breath and give them a chance to voice their opinion about your problems. 

There’s a reason you called them, after all.

Here’s the thing.

Constantly steering conversations toward yourself, monopolizing discussions, and disregarding your friends’ feelings can make them feel undervalued.

Especially if you expect them to be there at the drop of a hat, without being willing to do the same back.

Honestly, it’s self-centered and a little bit rude. 

Instead, give active listening a go. 

This important communication skill goes beyond simply hearing. It’s about being present, fully engaged, and actually paying attention to what your friend has to say. 

It’s the perfect way to show someone you care and that you’re interested in more than just you and your concerns.

Sometimes though, going too far the other way can be equally bad. 

That brings us to the next point… 

3) Being overly aloof

We all have that one friend…

You’re all at a party having a drink and catching up when suddenly, you realize Chris has vanished. He’s not at the makeshift bar, the designated smoking area, or the restroom. 

He’s simply gone! Seemingly disappeared into thin air. 

As we say in the UK, he’s pulled a “French exit” or “Filer à l’anglaise” (to dash off English style) if you’re from France. 

Basically, he left without saying a word. 

Sound familiar?

Perhaps you’re “Chris” in this situation. 

The thing is…

Effective communication is the lifeblood of any relationship. If you’re overly distant or fail to express your thoughts and feelings, your friends may feel disconnected from you and what you’re about.

By opening up the lines of communication it helps strengthen bonds, find common ground, and build trust among your friend group

4) Bringing the mood down

Perhaps you can’t help but complain about others – to others. Maybe you regularly engage in hearsay and gossip. Or, possibly, you simply have a negative mindset! 

In other words, you’re not a very nice person to be around. 

Be it constant complaining or the spreading of rumors, all that negativity, toxicity, and putting others down is exhausting. 

Not to mention, it doesn’t do your credibility any good. 

If this sounds like you, it might be time to adjust that glass-half-empty attitude and cultivate a positive mindset.

5) Green is your favorite color 

That’s right! You’re jealous and your friends know it too. 

Disagree?

Then let me ask you this… and be honest now!

When your friends do well, do you celebrate their successes? Or, deep down, are you harboring some jealousy and resentment?

Perhaps it’s simpler than that, and you get jealous when your other friends hang out with each other, and not you. 

Either way, think about it…

If you feel jealous (not happy) when your friends accomplish something great, or you can’t handle sharing “your friend,” it might be a sign that friendship isn’t as healthy as you first thought. 

Particularly if the way you express that jealousy is through criticism, belittling, and lashing out with unkind words.

In fact, experts say, envy can poison a friendship.

Or in the words of the 17th-century poet, John Dryden:

“Jealousy is the jaundice of the soul.”

6) Stealing the spotlight

A bit of healthy competition is perfectly normal. It can be incredibly motivating and help push us towards our goals.

In fact, psychologists claim, that competition in friendship can help form an individual’s self-concept and identity.

But turning every interaction into a competition can be alienating. Not to mention, a strain on your friendship. 

Especially when it crosses over into an obsession unhealthy obsession!

At the end of the day, friends are not rivals. You should encourage each other to be the best you can be. 

So instead of making everything into a competition, you should celebrate each other’s strengths and support one another’s growth.

Ultimately, it’s about self-awareness, balance, and knowing when enough is enough.

7) Never saying “I’m sorry”

We all make mistakes. 

It’s nothing to be ashamed of, so long as you’re willing to admit when you were wrong and deal with the consequences of your actions. 

By that I mean, saying “I’m sorry” when needed.

Let me explain. 

If you’ve hurt your friend (intentionally or not), a sincere apology can go a long way. Not only that, but by taking responsibility for your actions, it fosters trust and demonstrates maturity.

And if they’re a true friend – they’ll understand. Or at the very least, hear you out.

However, if you’re unwilling to acknowledge your faults or apologize when necessary, it can tear apart the strongest of friendships.

Put yourself in their shoes. 

Ultimately, holding onto resentment and being stubborn can create a toxic atmosphere that drives friends away.

So the next time you’re wondering why no one invited you to Wendy’s Birthday party or Tony doesn’t answer your call, consider this list. 

It’s never too late to change your behavior for the better.

Picture of Leila El-Dean

Leila El-Dean

Leila is a passionate writer with a background in photography and art. She has over ten years of experience in branding, marketing, and building websites. She loves travelling and has lived in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, and Malta. When she’s not writing (or ogling cats), Leila loves trying new food and drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

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

0:00
0:00