You may share your vacation pics and restaurant check-ins with hundreds of "friends" on social media every day. But odds are only a handful of those you connect with online are your true friends.
Good friendships are based on honesty, support, and mutual respect, and can contribute to your overall good health. A supportive network of pals canreduce stress, help you cope with trauma, and encourage positive behavior, according to the Mayo Clinic.
But a friendship steeped in jealousy and mistrust can take a toll on your health. A study conducted by UCLA claims that stressful friendships can lead to increased inflammation throughout the body which may over time cause diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
There may be some subtle things happening in your closest friendships that are less than healthy. If you're wondering whether or not you're holding up your end of the bargain, these are just a few of the signs that you aren't exactly the great friend you think you are.
- 1. You can't be trusted.
A good friend is someone you can count on to take your secrets to the grave, no matter how juicy the information may be. The ability to be trusted can make or break a friendship, as Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D. told Psychology Today.
Your friends should feel comfortable that the personal information they share stays between the two of you, and doesn't become the subject of conversation with the rest of your network.
2. You're judgmental
You may not agree with every decision your friends make, but it's not your place to tell them how to live their lives. No one wants to be told constantly that everything they do is wrong. After all, isn't that why you moved out of your parent's house? Unless your friend asks for your opinion, it's best to keep it to yourself.
Letting your friends know that you support them, even if their choices are different than your own is the sign of a good friend, as Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D. told Psychology Today.
3. You don't give them space
It's perfectly normal for you and your friend to have interests outside of your relationship. There's no need to feel threatened by your friend's need to do things without you.
Just because your BFF wants to have coffee with a coworker or invite a neighbor over for lunch doesn't mean their feelings for you have diminished. Besides, a little time apart may help you appreciate the time you have together.
4. You don't show up
Showing up for weddings, baby showers, and other important events in your friend's life is a big part of the job. There may be times when conflicts in your schedule prevent you from being there in person, but your friend needs to know that you are supportive when it counts.
If you find yourself constantly making excuses to skip out on these occasions, you may want to take a look at the reasons why.
5. You aren't present
There's nothing worse than trying to have a conversation with someone who's constantly checking their cell phone, responding to texts and tweeting the entire time you're together.
In the age of smartphones and social media, the latest news is always at your fingertips. You may think that five minutes away from your phone will put you completely out of touch with the world. But when you're hanging out with friends, they deserve your full attention. Trust me, you can get caught up with the Kardashians when you're done.
6. You have to come first
We all want our friends to succeed. But it shouldn't be a competition.
Part of being friends is rooting for one another and celebrating each other's win. Constantly trying to one up the other person is petty, and a sign that your friendship isn't as solid as it could be.
7. You let relationships interfere with your friendships
Are you the friend who disappears when you start dating someone? When a romance is new, it's easy to want to spend every free moment with your significant other. But don't forget the friends who were there for you before you met your new boo — and who will likely be there to help you pick up the pieces if things don't work out.
8. You never have money
You love to go out for drinks with your crew, but when the check comes, you conveniently realize you left your wallet at home. If you're always looking for someone else to foot the bill, it could be a sign that you are taking advantage of the situation.
Friends should be there for one another when times are tight. But if you know the night your friends are planning is over your budget, it's best to decline.
9. You keep score
Don't waste time keeping track of how many dinners you hosted or likes you posted on their Facebook page. If the friendship is genuine, you'll both have a chance to be there for each other over the course of the relationship.
10. It's your way or the highway
Relationships require compromise, and friendships are no exception. You and your friends won't always see eye to eye, but that doesn't have to mean that the relationship is doomed.
Whether it's what movie you're going to see or what new restaurant you're going to try on Friday night, you should be willing to give a little from time to time.
11. It's all about you
If your conversations with friends always revolve around you, things in your relationship are little lopsided. Make sure that while you're complaining about your boss or your annoying next door neighbor, you're taking time to listen to what they have to say as well.
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