People who struggle to maintain lifelong friendships often have these 10 personality traits

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Picture this: a group of retirees hanging out in the middle of the day, chatting and sharing inside jokes that they’ve shared among them for years—a group of lifelong BFFs!

Don’t we all want that?

While it’s natural for us to lose some friendships as we get older, we should at least still have a few that we can call “good friends”.

There are some people, however, who struggle to maintain lasting friendships, so they end up alone and solitary as they enter their twilight years.

If you’re wondering what could lead to this: it’s likely because of their personality.

Here are some personality traits of people who struggle to maintain lifelong friendships:

1) They’re lazy

You’re always the one reaching out.

If you ask them to hang out, they never seem to have the time. They won’t even say when they’ll be free, so you can set a date. All you usually get is, “I can’t, sorry.”

Friendship requires maintenance. 

You don’t have to talk to your friends every single day, but some form of interaction once in a while is essential.

If someone doesn’t put in any effort to maintain their friendships, it will be hard for their friends to find a reason to stick around.

2) They have impossibly high expectations

This is the opposite of the lazy friend.

They’re the ones who give friendship their 100%. Actually, make that 110%. They give their friendships their everything.

And because of this, they have high expectations from their friends, too.

They tend to demand a lot, and if you can’t give them the same level of commitment and effort, they’d start to make you feel like you’re a bad friend.

They also set a lot of rules on their friendships.

“A good friend should do this, and not that.”

It’s exhausting.

Friendships can’t last when they’re put under too much pressure. We all have lives to live and responsibilities to attend to. 

If a friendship feels like a job, it’s one that will be hard to keep for a long time. 

3) They have a sharp tongue

It doesn’t matter if a person is fun, loyal, and generous. If they have a sharp tongue, they’ll lose a lot of friends.

I can actually relate to this one.

I’ve lost plenty of friends because I can be brutal with my words. I thought I was helping them by pointing out their flaws. 

I thought being able to be super frank, to the point of insulting, and be brutally honest with each other is a sign of a strong friendship.

Boy, was I wrong.

I’ve hurt my friends. And now, I find it understandable that they’ve kept their distance from me.

The world is harsh enough as it is. Maybe what lasting friendships require is a bit more kindness. 

4) They’re always right

It’s hard to be around a know-it-all.

And if they’re a bit aggressive, too, they can become overbearing.

While some people can find redeeming qualities in a know-it-all, it wouldn’t be a hard choice to let them go if a friend who’s more tactful comes along. It is, after all, easier to take input from someone who offers it with respect. 

Life can get more complicated with age. It makes sense that we’d we want to be around people who are understanding and open—someone who doesn’t impose their beliefs and ways of life on you, and instead embraces you for who you are.

5) They have no integrity

Do they lie and cheat and break their promises?

Well of course, they’ll lose their friends!

Even a minor offense can fracture the most solid friendships. Once trust is broken, it can never be fully regained.

And even if their friends didn’t have any first-hand experience of the lies, knowing about this tendency for untruths can make them wary of the person, and slowly chip away at the respect they have for their friend.

Let’s say they stole the contacts of the company they’re working for. This will make their friends think “Ohh. So that’s the kind of person they are… will they do the same thing to me one day?”

6) They’re critical and opinionated

In other words, they’re a bit too judgmental.

They have something to say about everything (big and small)—from their friends’ boyfriends, to their outfits, to their career choices.

And what’s worse is that when their friends give their opinions, they get butt hurt. They can dish it, but they can’t take it. 

People who are like this will find it hard to maintain lifelong friendships, because as we get older, we just want to live a life free of judgment!

7) They turn everything into a competition

You: “Wuhoo! I just got promoted!”

Them: “Wow, congrats. Well, me? I prefer freelancing, and I now have three clients. I love my freedom.”

They just have to outdo everyone. It’s annoying.

And it’s not just with the big things, they’re competitive with the small things too—like the way you peel onions, or who has better sleep.

They’re not able to maintain lifelong friendships, because their friends realize that it’s toxic to be with someone who can’t acknowledge and celebrate their wins. And instead will use any opportunity to one-up them.

8) They LOVE to gossip

Let’s face it—gossip is fun. 

You must have enjoyed your gossiping friend’s company at one point because they shared juicy news about other people. Then you laughed at their flaws and enjoyed other people’s miseries.

But with maturity, we tend to realize how unhealthy, and even damaging, gossip can be.

It comes with traits that make you question a person’s integrity.

A person who gossips is likely judgmental, disrespectful, and lives for drama.

While they’re fun to be around, they must have gossiped about their friends to other people too, at one point. And in the process, cut them out of their lives.

9) They’re addicted to drama

Some people like to live their lives as if they’re the main character of a soap opera.

They love to play the victim—like the world is against them, even their friends!

They always feel attacked, even by the smallest things.

They’re always hurt, angry, and eventually, vengeful.

There should be a lightness and ease to friendship.

Many of us already have toxic relationships with our parents, colleagues, and partners. And the last thing we want are toxic friends.

10) They’re passive-aggressive

You go on Facebook, and see their post: “Real friendship requires effort”.

And so you can’t help but ask yourself “Huh? Is this about me? Did I do something wrong?”

After racking your brain about it, you realize they posted it after you turned down their invitation to hang out. 

They could have told you how they truly feel. But instead they pretend that they’re okay, even when they really aren’t!

Passive-aggression can be insulting to the people who believe that understanding, honesty, and love are what friendships are about. 

Why hurt your friend with snide remarks and cryptic actions?

If you’re truly a good friend, stop the guilt-tripping!

Final thoughts

Trite as it may be, it is true what they say—no man (or woman) is an island.

And it is undeniable that people find more meaning and warmth in their lives when they’re able to share it with people they love. 

The only way you can maintain such relationships is to look into your own attitudes and patterns, and correct the ones that push your friends away. It’s work that one should be willing to do for themselves, and their friendships. 

Otherwise, even without wanting to, you will indeed end up as an old and lonely island.

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.

People who are cold and aloof on the surface but incredibly kind underneath usually display these 9 subtle behaviors

10 behaviors that signify a woman is deeply committed to her relationship, according to psychology