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People Share The Friendship Red Flags They've Seen That Aren't So Obvious

When we decide to give dating a try, we'll often hear our friends warn us about some potential red flags that could indicate that we're not going to like a potential partner.

And of course, it makes sense that relationships would be the focal point for this kind of talk because there are so many ways that life can become more difficult when the person you're supposed to share an intimate connection with becomes jealous or controlling.

However, life experience has a way of throwing us into situations that make it clear that our friends can have a similar effect on how we live our lives. A great friend can be uplifting and even life-saving, but a bad friend can introduce us to as many problems as a bad partner.

And so, it perhaps shouldn't be so surprising that people would be as eager to share their friendship red flags as well. And they can be pretty subtle if you don't know what to look for.

1. This one can take a while to sniff out but it's important to keep in the back of your mind.

Reddit | jhoff23

As Reddit user Back2Bach said, "When it feels as though you do all the giving and they do all the taking."

While it's often not the best idea to keep score on the give-and-take of a friendship, that doesn't necessarily mean you won't notice a pretty one-sided trend with certain friends. Nobody likes being taken advantage of.

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2. Another person identified a similar pattern: "When they can't keep plans consistent."

Reddit | Nurum

Obviously, unexpected things happen that throw a wrench in our plans and people can lead pretty busy lives, but the pattern that a user named Ashtia identified here is a little more specific than that.

In their words, "If they're consistently last-minute dropping/changing plans, then it's a sign that you're their second-best option. You're their backup if nothing else is better."

This becomes particularly clear if plans with that friend always has to be whatever they want to do and they sulk about what you want to do.

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3. Ashtia also shared some signs that a potential friend might end up being a source of drama in your life.

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They recommended being cautious if a friend is always gossiping about other people to you because there's no guarantee that they aren't also treating you similarly when you're not around.

They also advised caution about people who like to stir up unnecessary competition between friends. As they put it, "No friendship should ever be about who's better than the other."

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4. It sounds counter-intuitive, but one user pointed out that "unquestionable support" isn't always a good thing.

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It's beautiful when you're scared about making a big change or discovering something important about yourself only to find that your friends immediately support you.

However, Maikelnait431 said that if your friends are willing to support literally everything you do, that can create an environment where people are expected to think you're above reproach.

Not only does this make it harder to tell when you've messed up in life, but it can also wreck friendships when those who aren't willing to enable these mistakes get cast out of the group.

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5. By a similar token, it's not an encouraging sign when a friend seems allergic to admitting fault.

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As MaskedNavajo said, "Shifting the blame onto someone else each time it’s actually their fault."

Even if they're not at the stage where that blame is specifically being shifted on to you, it's all but guaranteed to happen when a conflict arises between friends. Since they refuse to accept responsibility, you'll likely either have to apologize for something they actually did or cut them off.

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6. Some red flags can be particularly scary in an intimate relationship, but still pretty exhausting among friends.

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As Vharlkie mentioned, "You get nervous and have to be really careful what you say because anything can set them off."

Unfortunately, there are a lot of ways that a friendship can be harmful to your mental health and feeling like you always have to walk on egg shells around a friend is a major one.

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7. Like many of these red flags, the friend who always needs to "one-up" you becomes far more noticable the more time you spend with them.

Reddit | heywegotthis

As MiseryMiss put it, "This doesn’t refer to sharing their own story in response to yours, that’s pretty normal. It’s more about how you can never have the focus remain on you, it always becomes about them."

And the less relevant or harder to believe this person's resulting stories become, the easier it is to tell what they're trying to do.

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8. One person advised paying attention to how your friends treat you when they're around other people.

Reddit | samyomar

As venus-pluto said, "Treating you differently when you’re around other people- acting embarrassed, disgusted, condescendingly, reserved. It happened to me personally and it took a while for me to understand it fully, but babes don’t stick your necks out for someone who wouldn’t even lift a pinky for you."

Although it's unfortunate to see how insecure some can be when they're around people they're trying to impress, that doesn't mean you have to accept this behavior when it's happening at your expense.

h/t: Reddit | 1-800-shankyou

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