10 behaviors you should never tolerate from a friend

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When it comes to friends, we’re often quite lenient. We feel like because we’ve known them for a long time, or we’ve gone through certain experiences, we can let bad behavior slide. 

But the truth is, we should hold our friends accountable. We should call them out when they cross the line. 

And we certainly shouldn’t feel guilty for letting go of friends who continuously display toxic traits. 

So, with that in mind, here are 10 behaviors you should never tolerate from a friend. 

Remember – no one is perfect, but if someone does the following, they could have detrimental effects on your mental health and well-being. 

1) Disrespect 

If a friend regularly disrespects you, it shows that they don’t value you as a person. They don’t appreciate all you do for them, and they couldn’t give two hoots about your feelings or well-being. 

In other words, they aren’t a good friend! 

And you should never tolerate this behavior, whether it’s:

  • Disrespecting your time 
  • Disrespecting your opinions/feelings 
  • Belittling or name-calling 
  • Overstepping boundaries 

Friends are meant to love, support, and protect us. They shouldn’t constantly overstep the line or mock your choices or boundaries. 

Sure, everyone can make a mistake – but if someone continuously disrespects you, it’s time to reevaluate the friendship.

2) Taking advantage 

I had a friend from college, we hung out nearly every single day. Fast forward to roughly 10 years later, and I started to realize…this friend always happily accepted lifts from me, dinners, coffees, you name it. 

But the one time I asked for a favor because my car broke down, he was conveniently too busy to help out. 

I felt like a fool for realizing it so late, but he was using and abusing my friendship

Now, as you read that, did anyone come to mind? If so, it can help to draw out a balance sheet and see whether things come out more or less even and equal. 

Or…if you’re always doing for them with nothing in return

If it’s the latter, don’t tolerate this behavior. You deserve genuine friendships, not someone who’s essentially a leech, sucking off your good nature. 

3) Betrayal

Betrayal can come in many different forms:

  • Gossiping behind your back 
  • Ghosting 
  • Abandoning you for a romantic relationship 
  • Sharing your personal or private information with others 

If you have a friend who does any of the above, it’s time to consider whether they’re worth keeping in your life. 

The truth is, friendship should be built on trust. Someone who continuously proves that they aren’t in your corner and don’t have your back simply doesn’t deserve a space in your life! 

4) Gaslighting 

If you’re not familiar with gaslighting, it’s essentially when someone makes you question your own memories, feelings, and experiences. 

Here’s an example:

When I confronted the friend I mentioned earlier, he told me I was being dramatic and over-sensitive. 

For a minute, I was thrown off. Was I overreacting? I almost gave in. But luckily, I took some time to think and realized I was completely justified in feeling used. 

He was gaslighting me to get out of taking responsibility for his actions. 

Be careful with a friend like this – they’ll do your mental health no favors. 

5) Dishonesty 

Earlier, I mentioned that friendships are based on mutual trust. So, if you have a friend who constantly lies or twists the truth, it’s another behavior you should never tolerate. 

After all, isn’t a friend someone you should be able to confide your deepest, darkest secrets to?

Someone you can be vulnerable with? 

If you can’t trust what they say or that they’ll keep your secrets, there’s not much point in continuing a friendship with them. 

And yes, even if they are only in the habit of telling “little white lies”, it’s still an indication that they’re comfortable with lying in general! 

6) Constant negativity 

Everyone has bad days, but a friend who is constantly negative has the power to bring your mood down too. 

Be extremely careful with who you surround yourself with – they’ll end up having the most impact on you. 

So it goes without saying, spend time with a negative person…you’ll end up feeling pretty down. 

Spend time with a positive person…well, you get the idea. 

Perhaps you’re still friends with this person because you feel bad for them or maybe they like to play the victim. 

But if their negativity starts to seep into your mood and mindset, it’s not something you should tolerate. So the moral of the story?

Pick your friends wisely! 

7) Unequal effort 

Do you have a friend who never seems to make as much effort as you?

On birthdays, you go all out. When they need a favor, you drop everything for them. When it comes to calling and texting, they rarely reach out first. 

This is called unequal effort. 

You’re putting in the hard work and effort to keep the friendship going, meanwhile, they only reach out when it’s convenient for them! 

In this situation, I’d recommend speaking to the person in question first. It could just be that they have different expectations and once you make your feelings clear, they’ll make more of an effort. 

But ultimately, if they don’t, it’s a pretty telling sign that you should move on from this friendship. 

8) Control 

When we think of control, we usually imagine it to be in romantic relationships. 

But unfortunately, even a friend can be controlling. 

They might try to tell you what to wear, who to date, and even where to hang out. 

Look, a bit of friendly advice is fine, but trying to control your every move is not. 

This friend might try to make out like they’ve got your best interests at heart, but in reality, they’re manipulating you

A friend who really cares about you would offer their advice but ultimately respect whichever choice you make. 

9) Projecting their feelings into you

Recently, a family friend accused me of being insecure in my relationship.

It felt pretty random and out of the blue, especially considering I’ve never spoken in-depth with her about my partner (and that I’m very happy and content). 

I later found out that she was very worried her partner was cheating on her. 

Then it all made sense – she was projecting her feelings onto me. It didn’t feel good. Luckily she isn’t someone I see often.

But if you have a friend who does this constantly, run for the hills! 

People who do this are completely in denial about their own feelings. That’s why they project onto everyone else – it’s unfair and cruel. 

Ultimately, you can’t help them until they face themselves and accept their feelings. Until then, everyone in their path will be a target. 

10) Poor/unhealthy communication

And finally, poor or unhealthy communication is another behavior you should never tolerate from a friend. 

As well as trust, it’s another key pillar of any friendship. 

If someone refuses to listen to you, never acknowledges your feelings or opinions, or speaks unclearly or aggressively, they’re not a good friend to keep around. 

Unfortunately, many of us weren’t taught to communicate properly, but we try our best with the people we care about. 

So, if they’re not making an effort to build strong, open, and honest communication, it’s time to move on. 

The bottom line is this:

Friends have a big impact and influence on us. Pick the wrong ones, and you could end up in a pretty miserable place as a result. 

But, if you refuse to accept these behaviors, you’ll be setting the bar high, respecting yourself, and ensuring you surround yourself with good people! 

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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