The Best At Being The Worst: 6 Reasons Why We Love A Bad Influence

by Zara Barrie

OK lovelies, let’s get real. We all have a naughty little minx within us, just begging, pleading for the opportunity to run free and roam the mean city streets. It’s our secret inner-sinner we expel endless energy into suppressing deep within ourselves.

We attempt to keep that inner wild child tucked into the corner, stagnant in a permanent TIME OUT, but as much as we stifle his or her her wicked little voice – the voice that tells us it’s OK to pull the trigger, snort the powder, take the shot, kiss the girl or spend the dollar – we can hear just enough of his or her sweet little whisper seducing us and lingering in our brains at all times.

We don’t talk about our inner wild child, because by verbally admitting to her, we are only further validating her existence.

I mean, talking about something makes it REAL, right? That’s why we feel it’s in our best interest to keep our pretty lips sealed and only discuss the perfectly organized, do-gooding and hardworking sides of ourselves.

Herein lies our universally most favorite guilty pleasure; the friend we deem a BAD INFLUENCE. We all have one, and he or she brings us far more pleasure then a $60 blowout at a sparkly salon ever could.

As much as we try to cut ties with this friend, we just can’t seem to do it. We're addicted to the one who pulls us into the devilish dark side, the friend who is the BEST at being the WORST.

Here’s WHY:

1. They’re "Glamor Enablers"

It was over a quasi-glamorous, boozy, West Hollywood drag queen brunch when I first became privy to the best and worst breed of bad influence known as the “Glamor Enabler.”

I was in the throes of last night’s regrets, when my dear friend (and ultimate glamor enabler) Frankie La Pace introduced me to the term.

It’s my favorite type of bad influence, and I’ve been obsessed with pointing out any and all forms of glamor enabling ever since.

A glamor enabler is the bad influence who encourages us to keep stepping up our glam game throughout the evening. While this is far less destructive than “drug enabling,” it does still involve the dramatic spending of money (we don't have) on the most unnecessary of things:

Seventeen-dollar cocktails when you can’t pay your rent, $50 uber-rides to a sh*t party you’re going to leave 10 minutes after arrival, a $500 hotel room when you live three short blocks from the hotel bar.

The really wicked part is a glamor enabler's credit card almost always declines, so it's up to you to pick up the check. But it feels so good to live rich, even if only for a few slim hours you hardly remember.

2. They Ease The Shame Spiral

One of the sweetest qualities a bad influence attains is the awesome ability to make us feel so much better about our sordid, sorry lives.

They're the first people we text when we we’re in the trenches of hangover at work because we know that without fail, we will get a comforting text back that says, “OMG ME TOO.”

When we're feeling horrendous whilst stewing in our sweat, permeating the office with the stench of last night’s booze, it becomes so easy to rapidly fall down the dreaded shame spiral, however, we know our lovely bad influence will have a story that makes our harmless venture out on a school night seem like mere child’s play in comparison.

The best part is they have zero guilt attached to their hangover — which makes us feel so much better about our pathetic selves.

A bad influence doesn't feel an ounce of remorse for their night entailing stolen bottles of Jack Daniels and meaningless sex with someone he or she met on the subway.

What the f*ck would we do without them?

3. They're A Much-Needed Break From Our "Together" Friends

It feels so damn good to be BAD, doesn’t it? Any time we try to quit our bad-influence bestie, it only takes about a month for us to relapse because they’re simply so much more fun than everyone else, aren’t they?

As much as we attempt to kid ourselves into thinking we only need our “together” friends — the ones with the pets and the houseplants and the bi-weekly cleaning ladies – we all know it’s but a lie we tell ourselves in hopes of one day believing it.

We can only partake in so many civilized conversations about Swiffer sweepers and super basic dates for so long — before losing our shit and falling back into the sexily sinful arms of our favorite bad influence.

4. We Can Be A Hot Mess With No Judgement

The world is such an increasingly cold, cruel and judgmental place. It’s hard to navigate the complexities of the quarter-life, and frequent disconcerting looks from the mass of self-important bitches don't make the process of finding your way any easier.

Our bad-influence comrades don’t judge themselves for anything, let alone their friends.

We can drink a gallon of boxed wine, head to the club, proceed to sob mascara-dense tears into our embarrassingly pink cocktails, throw up all over the bar and take a disco nap in the middle of dance floor, and so long as we’re in the safe company of a bad-influence, we will never have to hear about it again.

Unlike our “together” friends who will repeat the tale at dinner parties and work mixers for generations to come.

5. They Help Us Get Down With Our Bad Selves

A bad influence really doesn’t make us do anything we didn’t already want to do, secretly.

No one really has that kind of power over us. A bad influence simply pulls out what was already there.

They get us re-acquainted with our inner bad girl, who can only stand to be cooped up for so long. They set that part of ourselves free, if only for the evening.

It’s akin to a puppy trapped indoors all day and finally being allowed to run around the backyard.

I think it's abusive to not grant yourself the freedom to be bad sometimes. I mean you wouldn't leave a wild animal locked in a cage forever, would you?

6. They Take The Blame For Our Sins

Truth be told, we give the bad influences of our lives so much less credit than they deserve.

They're selfless creatures and allow us to blame them for every night we got too f*cked up, drained our bank accounts, took our top off at the bar and woke up on a random couch with one stiletto heel inexplicably missing.

The fact of the matter is, no one put a gun to our heads and forced us to partake in debauchery. We wanted it just as badly as our bad influence, we just don't have the guts to own it.

Bad influences attain the wherewithal to confidently befriend their inner wild child and take him or her out to play at the public park.

They understand we're closeted and teeming with fear at the prospect of what others think, so they simply let all the blame fall on them. And that, that is a TRUE friend.