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When to end a friendship

Not all friendships are meant to be.

A great friend can be a sibling, a cheerleader, a wingman, and more. Positive friendships are shown to improve the quality of your life. But a bad friend can have a detrimental effect on mental, emotional and physical health. It could be a childhood best friend, a collage roommate or the first friend in the real world. Problems in friendships can be glaring, but more likely, they're subtle nuances in your friendship that don't seem to improve.

Signs of a bad friend

1. They routinely encourage you to make negative decisions in personal, health and career aspects of your life. Occasionally, you do stupid things with your friends and make great memories. But is your friend always pressuring you to make bad choices that can negatively affect your life? And at certain point, doing stupid, foolish things becomes a sign of immaturity.

2. Rather than building you up, they always tear you down. Honest communication is a good sign of a healthy relationship. But what if your friend tends to point out your flaws and magnify your imperfections in the name of being an "honest friend?" Instead of offering compliments and praise when warranted they point out where you fell short.

3. Your friendship is more competition than companionship.

4. You can only have one friend and that friend is them. Possessive behavior isn't just for significant others. Friends who constantly check where you are, who you're with and get upset if it's not with them are a little more than just jealous.

5. They always say something bad about the people you care about. Significant other, children, parents, and other friends—no one is safe from their cutting tongue. Your friends should treat the people you love with at least respect.

6. They're not reliable to be there for you and can't be relied on to keep a secret. They call and you're there at the drop of a hat. You can and crickets chirp for a very long time. You confined in them and half the block knows what's up with your relationship, finances or health.

7. They need whole lot from you but don't give anything back from you. Sometimes we all need a little help, but friendship is a two way street of giving and taking.

How to end a bad friendship

Ending a friendship is difficult, especially if you've made memories with a long-time friend. You can cut off a friendship completely immediately. The more adult thing to do is have an honest conversation with about your concerns and allow the friend to show how much they value the friendship. If they listen and take your concerns seriously, they'll make changes. Gradually, a friendship can fade by spending less time and effort with a person. If you lose a friend, think of it as an opportunity to make a new friend.