17 Small But Awful Friendship Crimes We All Commit

I think we have all been crappy friends at some point in our lives. In fact, probably in many points in our lives, because it’s really not that difficult to be a bad friend, and we’re all just insufferable humans trying our best, which we often fail to do. Part of being human is embodying selfishness. We innately think of ourselves first, and unless we keep that altruistic-objectivist balance in check, we run into the dangers of being terrible to someone.

Friendship, specifically, calls for a special brand of selflessness. When you’re friends with someone, you do wonderful things for people without them ever asking you to. You love them, and you illustrate this love by showing up to their apartment with a season of Gossip Girl and a fifth of vodka. You put this person first. You take them out for sushi after they tell you they weren’t promoted at work. You take photos with them in bar bathrooms and you let them pick which Instagram filter they like best, because that’s what good friends do.

But even good friends can be bad friends. We all have lapses in judgment, and we all have narcissistic moments and times in our lives. Whether it's because we're going through a rough patch, or because we're really busy and just haven't mastered the art of prioritizing and managing time, most of us have mistreated our friends in some way shape or form.

1. Making plans, but then canceling because getting out of bed is inconvenient and cold

You’ve been putting off brunch with your best friend for like three weeks now because brunch means getting out of bed before 10AM and functioning like a fun, enjoyable human. You just haven’t been into it lately. But you finally cave because your skin could probably use the sunlight and fresh oxygen, and your friend says she has some important news. But when the time comes, when your alarm starts miserably screaming at your blanketed, warm body and you feel how chill the air is outside of your fitted sheet bubble, you reach over for your phone and text, “Sorry girl, I feel really sick today. Rain check?”

2. When they announce a new job or promotion on social media, you hold off on congratulating them because you’re not sure whether your happiness overrides your jealousy

You want to be happy for them, because hey, it’s your friend and in an ideal world, you would live vicariously through their success. But right now, you just want to avoid feeling despondent about your own life.

3. If they have a terrible boyfriend or girlfriend, trash talking them to all your other friends because it’s fun

Even though he’s probably a human just like the rest of you, it still feels good to rant about his terribleness to other people. Maybe it's because you're being resentful or possessive. Or maybe you truly feel like she could do better. Either way, you know you’re being snotty. Whatever.

4. Accepting their ex's requests on you Facebook, just because you can even though you know this will upset her

This isn't about hooking up, or doing anything deceptive with your pal's ex-whomever. It's just...Is it about power dynamics? Is it about knowing you get to have something she can't have? Probably. I’m not here to psychologically evaluate all of our decision-making skills, but sometimes we're motivated by our intrinsic need to feel in control or have the upper hand. Our brains are weird squishy anomalies.

5. Not sharing your food with them

One of the fundamental rules of friendship is that any food you possess will also immediately become rightfully owned by your friend. To not share food is just wrong. Yes, even if you're starving and really just want this plate of nachos to yourself.

6. Forgetting to ask them about their day

After you’ve gone on and on and on about your life and job and apartment and the music you just downloaded and the clothes you just bought and the guy you recently slept with, you don’t even bother to ask, “So, how’s your life going?”

7. Being late to a lunch date and leave them hanging out alone at Panera for like, a half hour


8. Purposely not answering their phone call because talking right now seems like way too big of a commitment

But maybe calling back in like two hours when you know she’ll be asleep. That way, you've covered your bases.

9. Going over to their apartment and judging their messy kitchen or bedroom

And then discussing all the horrible details with another friend or your partner because, I mean, seriously, how could a person allow her life to spiral so out of control? Is she a hoarder? Maybe you could totally get her on that TLC show about hoarders.

10. Going over to their apartment and deciding it’s way too nice for them

Ugh. She doesn’t deserve these hardwood floors. Or all that storage space. Or those granite kitchen counter tops. Like, who does she think she is, Taylor Swift? She’s not even 28 yet, and her house is more luxurious than your parents’. Envy-induced shit-talk commence.

11. Borrowing their lilac cardigan and never returning it because you either secretly hope they will forget, or you lost it

When you’re friends with someone who tends to be forgetful AND has a really eclectic, expansive wardrobe, it’s kind of like having your own person thrift store without the annoying part where you pay for things.

12. Roping her into being the DD for the third week in a row

Even though on that third weekend you promised you wouldn’t get totally wrecked, you accidentally ended up polishing off several Irish car bombs and vodka shots.

13. Needlessly one-upping her

If she had a hard week, you insist that yours was far more miserable. If she had to go to her grandma’s funeral, you remind her that your grandma had lung cancer for three years until she died a slow, tortured death. If she has the flu, you have the plague. No one wins except you.

14. Tagging her in really unflattering pictures on Facebook, when you know damn well they’re unflattering

“Eh, if she doesn’t like ‘em, she can just untag,” you reason. You know what you're doing.

15. Getting them gift cards for their birthday. Or showing up to their birthday party with their present still in the Target plastic bag

Either way, it shows you didn’t put more than fifteen minutes into their sacred day of birth. Maybe don't give them a rectangular piece of plastic that generically signifies how much their friendship means to you. Or that you bought her some nail polish and candy ten minutes before her birthday dinner and didn't bother with wrapping paper. Hey, it's effortless chic, right?

16. Choosing to get laid over being there for them

Sex is a vital, undeniable part of life. What can you say? You just need the D or the V from time to time. Sometimes you need it more than you need girl talk and a social life.

17. Ignoring them when you’re frustrated or upset with them

One of the worst offenses of all is giving up on your friend when they've done something wrong. Because they didn't give up on you when you were being a jerk. If your friend can forgive you for being an asshole, and get past all the friendship crimes you've committed, then you can do the same thing. Being a bad friend is inevitable, but the important part is that we make it up. And that we're not bad friends all the time, because that's really annoying, so get your shit together.

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