Finding good friends in New York City can be even more difficult than finding an apartment within your budget larger than a prison cell.
Hoards of people come to this bustling metropolis daily with a dream and a fierce determination to succeed in the concrete jungle -- at any cost. New York is not an easy place in which to thrive, or even survive, which makes it the perfect environment for sabotage, competitiveness, opportunism and envy. It’s no wonder that trustworthy, loyal people are extremely hard to come by.
These are some types of "friends" you might very well currently have in your life and should consider permanently removing:
The Green-Eyed Monster
New boyfriend or girlfriend? Big promotion? Win the lottery? Do you ever feel like your good news is making someone else miserable? If that miserable person is someone you call friend, it’s time to let him or her go.
Assuming you’re not bragging or rubbing it in, anyone who isn't happy for your success, good fortune or happiness is a toxic presence in your life.
Many cultures believe in Evil Eye, which is a curse put on one person by another through negative or jealous looks, thoughts and energy. This particular type of curse is considered very powerful and can cause harm and chaos. Whether you believe in it or not, the simple fact remains: Anyone who is envious or isn’t supportive or happy for you in good times is not a true friend.
If a friend flirts with your boyfriend or girlfriend, ex, or even crush, take this as a big red flag.
Once you’ve made it clear that this is someone you’re interested in or have history with, there is no reason whatsoever that your friend should be anything more than friendly or cordial with him or her -- particularly if you’re officially dating! Exes are off limits, too, for obvious reasons.
Unless your friend and said person have been buddies since before your time, your friend also has an obligation to tell you that he or she is planning to see or hang with the person you are dating, hoping to date, or used to date. Regardless of its innocent nature, a true friend/decent human being would run it by you first. If this friend omits the truth or lies to you about it you should seriously question his or her loyalty.
The Back Turner
Picture yourself in a tricky situation at a bar, with some loudmouth fool yelling in your face. Where is your friend at this moment? Next to you, trying to defuse the situation, or silently retreating to the safe zone?
A test of a true friendship is whether or not your friend sticks by you when it’s not convenient for him or her -- even if that means going home with a few bruises and possibly some missing hair extensions. Whether it be in the midst of drama, or simply when holding your hair back after you’ve had one too many, if this person is a true friend to you, he or she will have your back even when the situation isn’t ideal or comfortable.
The Flakey Type
Does your friend regularly cancel plans with you last minute? Do you have the sneaking suspicion he or she is being non-committal in case a better opportunity presents itself? Having a flakey friend who repeatedly disappoints can be infuriating.
Either stop inviting this person out, or risk another wasted concert ticket.
The Social Climbing Type
It seems to be an innate impulse for us to network and make connections with new people. Don’t get me wrong; it’s great when all your friends can become friends. But when you sense that someone is only spending time with you in an effort to get close to your other friends, that’s a problem -- particularly when he or she attempts to cut you out of future plans.
Be careful who you let into your life; they might soon be trying to steal it.
The Gossipy Type
You've heard this person talk sh*t about every single friend he or she has. This friend gives you all the dirt, rumors and secrets without you even asking for it. What makes you think he or she doesn’t do the same with your personal information?
If you insist on keeping this person in your life, make sure you tell him or her only material you wouldn’t mind the world knowing about you. Life isn’t a CW show; there shouldn’t be that much drama and intrigue in real life. If the situation is becoming a bit too Us Weekly for you, it might be time to step back.
Single White Female
I don’t mean this one literally, of course (it’s a reference to a 90s movie that you might be too young to remember). SWF refers to someone who tries desperately to act like you, look like you and generally emulate every aspect of your persona -- everything from your favorite new nail polish to the new hobby you just picked up.
Imitation is the most annoying form of flattery; not to mention, it’s creepy as f*ck.
The Debbie Downer/Negative Nancy
Being a good friend is about being there through thick and thin, good times and bad. But when a person seems to have nothing good to say -- ever, about anything -- at a certain point you have to wonder if his or her circumstances can really be attributed to bad luck, or just bad attitude.
Surrounding yourself with miserable people will only make you miserable. Try to talk to this friend about his or her negativity and try to give constructive advice.
If nothing changes, it’s not worth wasting your energy trying to help someone who would rather complain and wallow.
The Self-Obsessed Type
We all know that person who somehow always manages to make the conversation about him or herself and usually interrupts you in the process.
You: "So, I went to get a haircut today and..."
This Friend: "OMG! I need a haircut so badly! My hair grows so fast, it’s crazy. But I guess that’s a good problem to have right?! I’ve been thinking about doing darker too..."
This is the person who thinks his or her life is so interesting that someone should buy the movie rights. The funny thing is, this friend is so in love with the sound of his or her own voice, he or she is usually completely oblivious to the fact that he or she is hijacking all conversation.
Anyone this narcissistic isn’t likely to add much value to your life.
This person will stop at nothing to steal any and all attention or praise away from you for his or her own sense of validation. If there is an undeniable “anything you can do, I can do better” quality about this person, get your ass out of there. Destructive competitiveness is toxic to any relationship. It does not make for a trustworthy bond if you know he or she would take any opportunity to stab you in the back or sabotage you.
It is said that most of us will have only a handful of lasting genuine friendships in our lifetime.
While a large percentage of the relationships we form in life are transient, it is still important not to become jaded but to give each person the benefit of the doubt. You might find a truly exceptional friend in the unlikeliest of people.
Finding one great friend is worth going through dozens of crappy ones.
Photo credit: Gossip Girl