Friends can come and go or last a lifetime. Some fizzle out over time or end in an eruption. Hopefully most of your friendships will lead to love, laughter and great memories. But not all friends are great additions to your life. Here are four types of toxic friends you'll eventually begin to outgrow:
1. The smother
It's nice to have a friend that looks out for her girlfriends. It's important to have a friend that calls to check up on you, makes sure you get home after a long night and visits when you're sick. But this mothering instinct some friends have can become disruptive and even disrespectful. A "smother" feels the need to control your speech and behavior. She gives advice without prompting, often on issues she doesn't have much experience with. Or she tries to force her experiences onto your situation.
A smothering friend will tell you what to and not to do and say. She'll even shush you or tell you when to speak. She'll tell you what you should and shouldn't think and feel as well. She is needling and critical, all while insisting she's being helpful and altruistic. She tries to treat you like a child that needs her guidance.
She may respond to requests to adjust her behavior, but there's a good chance she'll continue to think of you as someone who can't handle yourself even if you don't hear her voice. Once you've had enough the friendship may dissolve in it's own, or you may move in different directions in your life.
2. The drama queen
Having an exciting friend who always has a great story to keep her gals entertained is a great addition to your group. But when the entertainment turns to drama and the excitement becomes dangerous, this can take your friendship into uncharted territory.
It's no longer fun when your girlfriend has harrowing stories that make you sad or scared. You don't want to dread seeing your friend, knowing she's going to drag you into her issues. As much as she seems interested in getting out of her bad situations, she always finds herself wrapped up in something. And she doesn't take the steps necessary to change her direction.
3. The bad girl
Another exciting friend is likely to come along in your earlier years. Your teens and late twenties might a have produced a few "bad girl" girlfriends. These ladies party hard, stay out late and like themselves some bad boys as well. This type of friend is more than willing to get into a scuffle and could potentially get you and your group in a lot of trouble.
There's a difference between standing up for yourself in the face of harassment, for example, and starting an unnecessary fight with strangers. She might indulge in some addictive or abusive behaviors as well, or date people who do, and involve the group in her risky business.
An unassuming friend that looks up to you can be a nice change of pace. She can make you feel appreciated and important. But things can go too far when you have a friend that can't handle her own affairs. It becomes annoying and draining when you're picking up the slack for someone who is not responsible. She often needs to borrow something and then doesn't return it. She always needs advice for every little thing, even basic interactions with her other friends or family.
She doesn't really learn as she goes even though she relies heavily on others. She may care deeply about what others think and be unsure of herself, but it is pitiable instead of endearing. You want to her to grow up and live her own life instead of protecting her from the harshness of the world.
Most women consider themselves lucky to have friendships that span decades. But sometimes friendships that begin in younger years can get stuck in the past. Other times newer friends that come along show problems right away that are easier to ignore. But eventual personality differences and complications can cause chaos that pull you apart. And that's OK. The right friends who share your values and lifestyle will stick around. And the people who no longer fit into your world will fade away.