There, I said it.
Call me an asshole, but at least I’m honest. And I’m done pulling punches and playing nice with these people.
My so-called “friends” have been driving me nuts.
And I’m not talking about them pissing me off for a week or two. I’m talking about them rubbing me the wrong way for years.
And now I’ve absolutely had enough.
I’m very close to breaking up with a lot of friends and narrowing down my social circle to just those I really value and who really value me.
But before I get down to that nasty business I wanted to write this article and lay out why I’m ditching these dudes and gals at this time in my life.
I promise to help you if you’re also struggling with friend problems.
What was it that made me realize I hate my friends and what’s the solution?
I’ve put together this list below with eight reasons I hate my friends and four qualities I’m looking for in future friends instead.
First off, I want to clarify something:
What do I mean when I say ‘I hate my friends?’
Here’s what I don’t mean:
I don’t mean that I literally want them to fail and suffer and wish the worst for them in life.
I don’t mean that they’re bad people or malicious at some deep level.
I don’t even mean that they won’t be good friends for someone else at some point in the future.
I just mean that our time as friends is rapidly coming to an end because their behavior, interests, communication, and beliefs are completely at odds with mine.
The boatloads of negativity and wasted energy have turned me off…
I hate my friends because they bring out the worst in me, not the best.
I hate my friends because so many of them are using me and then discarding me after like a McDonalds Happy Meal.
I hate my friends because – quite simply – I deserve better and I will find better.
Is it really time for a friend breakup?
At this point, I realize I might sound a little judgmental or short-tempered.
The truth is that I’ve been nothing but patient with my friends. But they’ve got on my last nerve because they’re clearly not ready to change or adapt.
Yes, I’ve talked to them – many times, in fact. I’ve voiced my frustrations in a kind way, I’ve made gentle suggestions about improving our friendship and rekindling the connections we once had.
But many of my old friends simply weren’t interested in doing anything to make our friendship better.
They just wanted to lounge around and keep lapping up emotional, recreational, and, yes, financial comfort from me.
Sorry guys, no dice.
You’ve probably heard this Marilyn Monroe quote and I want to talk about it here. It seems to show up on basically every girl’s dating profile but it can apply to friendships, too.
She said: “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make … But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
I get that, I really do. And I think Marilyn has a point.
Fairweather friends are sad. And friendship isn’t a transaction where you ditch people as soon as they become a drag or don’t “align” with you completely.
But the thing is, Marilyn, I’ve been treading water for these friends for years and years, and the help is only going in one direction.
And I’m done.
Friendship doesn’t have to be easy, but it should be real
Whenever I had a crisis or needed a friend or advice they were ducking out and busy, but whenever they needed someone I was the provider and the shoulder to lean on.
It’s up to me to end this codependent cycle, and like I said, I’m not judging them as people or saying how my friends are now is how they’ll always be. But I need to be honest that at the current moment for the most part I hate my friends.
And I’m going to tell them good luck and adios.
Is that the right call for you as well? It’s not for me to say.
As Alexandra English says at Elle, you shouldn’t end friendships on the flip of a coin and you should think it over.
A word of warning: take some time to work out whether your friendship has become temporarily unhealthy or permanently toxic before you make any decisions about its future.
A crisis isn’t a great time to be making life-changing decisions on a whim, and keep in mind that everyone is struggling at the moment, so it might just be a phase.
What I can say is tell you my experiences with my friends who I now am fully done with and why I’m breaking up with them. Compare your own friendships and see what you find.
This list of eight reasons I hate my friends and four qualities I’m looking for in future friends instead can be like your “friend checklist.”
Use it as a roadmap to thinking about your current friendships and opening yourself to new ones.
Buckle up, buttercup. The truth can be ugly.
8 reasons I hate my friends
1) One-sided friendship
I mentioned this one before and I really meant it.
One-sided friendship is just the worst.
Don’t get me wrong: I completely love to be there for my friends and give support and encouragement. That isn’t the issue at all.
The issue is that some of my friends treat me like a helpline they can vent to and then say “well have a good night, bye.”
Or they ask me to borrow some money and then keep making excuses about when they’ll pay it back. And then try to make me feel guilty for even wanting it back by telling me how hard their life is.
I’m thinking of my friend Courtney at the moment who did this a few months ago. I know she’s having a bad time and broke up with her boyfriend and lost her job.
But it honestly isn’t even about the money anymore. It’s that she won’t be honest enough to just tell me she can’t pay it back until she gets a new job.
Instead, she keeps saying “give me a couple of days.”
Will I drop her as a friend over $400? Of course not. But that’s far from the only way Courtney’s crossed the friend line in the past year.
2) Constant gaslighting
Gaslighting is when you do something wrong and try to blame the victim for making you do it for somehow being responsible.
If it sounds sneaky and like a very dick move that’s because it is.
People who gaslight others have issues and haven’t taken responsibility for themselves or their actions.
I hate my friends because so many of them have made gaslighting into an art form, especially Courtney and another friend called Leo.
They need to learn self-love before they can find true love or intimacy and they – like me – have emotional trauma to work through. But the thing is:
I’m not a licensed therapist;
I have my own problems;
I literally don’t even have time – much less energy – to fix and attend to everyone else’s life and then also be blamed for their problems.
Constant gaslighting? Throw that shit in the trash, ‘cause ain’t nobody got time for that.
As marriage therapist April Eldemire writes:
“Gaslighting is not about you. It’s about the other person’s attempt and need to gain and maintain power. It’s an example of their unhealthy coping mechanism, and while this doesn’t excuse the behavior, it can help you realize you are not to blame for their actions.”
3) They bring out the worst in me
You know when couples are getting married and they say their vows? They always seem to say some version of “you bring out the best in me.”
It’s corny, but it’s also kind of heartwarming.
I hate my friends because with them it’s the opposite.
They bring out the worst in me.
Every. Damn. Time.
I’m not a perfectionist, but when I think back to my top five friends and the way they interact with me I feel like putting on some death metal and sitting in a corner somewhere.
They annoy me;
They make disrespectful jokes about me and my romantic and sexual life;
They pressure me to drink more than I like to and to use drugs;
They treat me as a piggy bank;
They get me so frustrated and anxious when we hang out that half the time I just want to go home and bury my head in a damn pillow (the cool side).
4) They’re jealous of my successes
I don’t want this article to turn into some lame after-school special about “he said, she said” so I won’t tell you how Courtney acted last year when I started dating a guy she thought was hot.
Let’s just say…She wasn’t exactly happy for me.
I hate my friends because they’re jealous of my success.
I boost them up when they succeed and do well because I’m genuinely happy, but it’s been a rough ride to the gutter to realize they mostly don’t give a shit about me except to feel annoyed when I’m doing well.
So…what exactly are we doing here? I’m here to fail at life so they feel good in comparison?
As a corporate advisor and author Soulaima Gourani writes:
“The foundation of most friendships starts with the perception that you are each other’s equal and that balance is shifted when one party is successful while the other is not. Many successful entrepreneurs have said that the more success they achieve, the fewer friends they feel they have.”
5) They gossip about me and each other
A little bit of gossip never hurt anyone, right?
It literally ended my brother’s marriage.
He’s been in a deep depression ever since and I practically have had to feed him spoonful by spoonful the past two months and try to cheer him up with old episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
So don’t tell me that shit.
Gossip and rumors are pure fucking poison. And my friends are the kings of it. They spread gossip, hype, and lies like the National Enquirer.
The gossip about me I can handle. But the gossip about my friends and family crossed the line.
I think a “friend breakup” with Courtney is fair when she basically caused a real marriage breakup for my own brother by gossiping falsely that he was cheating on his wife.
Am I overreacting here or was that a totally irresponsible, bitch move?
6) My friends have beliefs and values that clash with mine
Simple as that.
As award-winning clinical psychiatrist Christian Heim puts it values are about more than just “agreeing,” they also have a strong influence on those closest to us:
“People already in close relationships shape each other’s values. The closer someone is to you, the more they shape your values and the more you shape theirs. Parents naturally shape their children’s values, and in a love-partnership, you aim to forge shared values to make it work in the long-term.”
There are a couple friends who don’t gaslight or leech off me, but they just have values and beliefs that are totally at odds with me.
I like to learn from those I disagree with, but they see the world so differently in terms of politics, spirituality, social values, and culture that I just can’t get onboard anymore.
I’m not embarrassed to be seen around them or anything immature like that.
It’s just that on a deep internal level I know our paths have diverged.
And it’s time for us to go our separate ways and live our truths.
7) My friends are egotistical and selfish
I’m not a perfect person, but I try to keep in mind that other people also exist on this planet.
My friends? Not so much.
An old friend Karine – an ex-friend – was so selfish that we’d order takeout to watch Netflix and she’d eat twice as fast as me and not even care that barely any was left for me.
Her: “Hey, let’s order a pizza.”
That was the least of it, anyway. On every level so many of my friends are just super fucking selfish.
It gets on my last nerve.
They brag about their successes, never support me, take and take, and never give.
How much would it take to be a little less selfish? Don’t ask me, I’m already jumping off this friend train.
8) My friends are spiritual narcissists
This one is a biggie. Spiritual ego or spiritual narcissism is a growing problem.
It’s when someone has spiritual experiences and starts to believe they’re better than others, “above” living a normal life, and/or starts following a sketchy guru or becoming one.
Personally, I love yoga, and I’ve also found breathwork has been an amazing benefit in my life.
I’d honestly say that I’m a spiritual person. And I’m completely open-minded.
But my friends have taken it to the next level.
My one friend Cali had some transformational experience at a week-long meditation retreat in New Mexico and she hasn’t shut up about it since.
I was interested at first, but after enough times of her saying “no, like, you don’t get it…” and “you have to understand that…” I switched off completely.
Everything she says sounds like a Valley Girl channeling Eckhart Tolle and even though I know she doesn’t mean to, she has become very judgmental and … really annoying.
Yesterday when she told me the steak I was planning to make for dinner had “dark energy” in it I just about lost it on her.
Perhaps I’m the one with the “dark energy.”
“I’m proud to say that Cali’s attempts to get me to follow her guru who has some odd obsession with coconut juice and wearing white have not been successful.”
Four qualities I am looking for in future friends
(Apply below). Just joking, maybe.
To be honest I already have at least three close friends who I don’t hate. So don’t feel too sorry for me.
But new friends are always nice, too. So here we go…
Here are four qualities I’m looking for in future friends instead of the energy-draining characteristics I listed above.
1) Dependable and down-to-earth
Northern Illinois University Professor of Counselling Suzanne Degges-White says this in a way that I like.
She says that “being dependable means that friends can count on you to be there when you say you will, to do what you say you will, and to be willing to stand up for friends, especially when they can’t stand up for themselves.”
As Degges-White adds, “If you are as likely to let friends down as come through for them, the relationship often becomes superficial, less engaging, and even resentment-provoking if it doesn’t end altogether.”
Thinking about it I’ve realized that a common characteristic of many of the friends I hate is that they’re not dependable and they’re always living in their heads.
Worrying, being hyped up, playing mind games with me, gossiping.
They’re just not that into real down-to-earth things.
I like to garden, kayak, cook, and reading.
I’m not so into constant chitter-chatter and mental hyperactivity.
2) Considerate and helpful
I’m not always considerate and helpful, but I at least try to be. I’d like friends who do the same.
I’d also like friends who don’t gaslight me or try to rag on my achievements.
I really don’t think it’s too much to ask, and I promise to do the same for my friends.
I don’t need friends who are always “positive” or never have problems.
We all get negative or have problems.
I just want friends who give a damn, because I do too, and I want to be there for friends who are there for me, too.
3) Similar core values
I’m looking for friends who are on roughly the same page as me when it comes to core values. Or at least friends who are reading from the same book.
We don’t always have to agree or see things the same way but I hope that core matters of respect for others, our environment, and treating people fairly will be something we both share.
Don’t worry I’m not going to throw a quiz at anyone I make friends with. I like hearing from those who are different.
But I’m probably going to take a pass on the next friend I meet who tells me why racism isn’t that bad or goes on about their hatred of poor people and why it’s their fault for being poor.
In my defense, I made these friends years ago before I knew they’d go off the rails.
4) Fun and genuine
I want friends who are fun and genuine.
Friends who are actually happy for me when I succeed and tell me their problems because they’re upset, not because they’re trying to get money off me or guilt me into something.
I want friends who appreciate spirituality and self-development but who aren’t snobby about it.
Friends who tell me the truth about when they can pay back money.
Friends who admit when they’re down and when they’re up because we’re on a friendship journey together and those are the kind of things we share as part of our bond, not as part of pressuring anyone.
My parting advice is to think about your friends compassionately but fairly. Are they taking advantage of you on a regular basis or bringing you down?
Or are you projecting onto them and blaming them when they’re just trying to do their best?
Are your friends part of your life in a healthy and meaningful way, or have they become relics of a past you have left behind and a person you no longer are?
If you’re making a decision whether to break up with your friends and every text you
get from them makes you scream “I hate my friends!” inside your head at top volume then it could be time to retire a few friendships.
Think it over heart-first and see where you land. In the end, true friendships will survive anything, but unhealthy friendships often are better off left in the past.