Our friends can be our rocks, our islands of sanity in a sea of madness, our chosen family who support us through all sorts of pain and troubles — but sometimes, the mean disses friends say can make us wish we'd given up on all that "rock of sanity" crap and just stayed at home with our cats, who truly appreciate us. Sure, in all friendships, there are faux pas, misspoken words, and the occasional full-on fight, whether you're eight or 80. But sometimes, those hurtful words aren't a misunderstanding, they're just plain meanness — and there comes a certain point in a grown-ass woman's life when she decides she's no longer going to put up with her friends talking smack to her.
To be sure, not all mean comments from friends are intended to make you weep and blast "Bad Blood," even if that is the end result. Even though our friends love us, sometimes they don't fully get the impact of what they're saying; sometimes they're expressing anger about something else that they're afraid to discuss; and sometimes, some of our friends just turn out to be jerks that we're better off without.
But no matter what the details, these nine types of negative, disrespectful talk from friends are things that you don't have to put up with ever again. Whether you have a heart-to-heart with your friend about their words, or leave them in the dust as you go on to enjoy your grown-ass life, is your own call. Just remember: you never have to sit there and listen to anyone rag on your life, beliefs, or sparkly Forever 21 dress. That dress is fierce and so are you, woman.
1. The Anti-Compliment
Example: "Oh, where is that shirt from? You always find such great clothes on your budget!", "I really didn't expect your photography exhibit to be good, but I ended up enjoying it so much!"
Hey, we've all accidentally dropped a back-handed compliment in our day. But this is different. If you have a friend who consistently uses compliments to cut your down — like, say, ragging on your appearance or accomplishments — this person is not actually being a friend.
2. The Oops-Was-That-A Secret?
Example: "Oh, was I not supposed to say tell anyone that thing you told me? I only told Kelly. And Renee. So that's basically like I didn't tell anyone."
You may want to reconsider sharing any secrets with this friend, even if she's one of your closest friends, or gives very good advice about tough personal problems. Part of being a grown-ass woman is weighing your options, and figuring out what you actually need out of your friendships, instead of just setting them to autopilot and hoping that they turn out OK.
3. The One-Up
Example: "I'm SO sad you had the flu this week. You know, when I had the flu two weeks ago...", "I'm SO sorry your house burned down. You know, when my cousin's girlfriend's house burned down..."
This friend may genuinely just be trying to empathize with you, or help you out by relating their own personal experiences. But if the net effect is that you end up feeling like you're being one-upped rather than listened to, tell them. It is a rule of grown-ass life that when we're suffering, our real friends all have to shut up and listen until we're done talking — even if they have a personal anecdote that is soooooo relevant. If your friend can't ever wait their turn while discussing your own problems, it might pay to not not include them in your closest circle of confidantes.
4. The Enough-About-You-Let's Talk-About-Me
Example: "Hey! How are you? I know we haven't talked in a few months, but Mike just dumped me and I am losing it. Can I vent to you for the next 45 minutes?"
It might be worth thinking if this person deserves a place in your life. This can be hard with friends you've had for a very long time, since you may have logged many years of genuine support. But if your old friend seems to only be interested in you when they need a shoulder to cry on, you may want to reassess how willing you are to provide that shoulder. I mean, you only have two shoulders. Save them for someone who really cares about you.
5. The Flake-Out
Example: "Remember how I said I'd go to that work party that you're really nervous about tomorrow? Well, I can't, because I got a date. Isn't that exciting? Anyway, love you!"
Every social circle has at least one friend who is a wonderful person, but cannot be counted on to execute any social plans. We are all aware of who this person is, and we know not to ask her to help us move or paint or accompany us to a special dinner honoring our accomplishments in the field of nuclear physics.
However, sometimes our other friends will openly flake on us because something "better" came along — and not even feel bad about it. This is not grown-ass behavior. It is baby-ass behavior, and should be treated as such.
6. The Stone Cold Flake-Out
Example: "I know I said I'd share a hotel room with you at Sherri's wedding, but Mike and I just got back together, and I'd really just rather share a room with him. Can't you just find someone from the Facebook group to room with? Sherri's old sorority sisters seem really nice!"
While the regular Flake-Out can just be a sign that someone wasn't thinking straight, the Stone-Cold Flake-Out sends an unmistakeable message: the friendship is just not that important to them. If a friend is flaking out in ways that cost you money, seriously screw with your schedule, or put you in a really socially awkward position, just because something better came along, I personally believe you should move it along. Find some other grown-ass women to hang around with. Grown-ass women love acting responsible when making plans with their friends! It's what separates the grown-asses from the dumbasses.
7. The Can't-You-Take-A-Joke
Example: "I was just kidding when I told everyone at work that you lost your virginity while on a drive-thru line! I mean, know it's true, but nobody knows that! Can't you take a joke?"
Some friends, for a wide variety of reasons, are not great at understanding what is and is not fair game for a joke. Maybe they don't totally get how to navigate social situations, maybe they have yet to fully grasp your boundaries, maybe they're just not very funny.
If your friend does this habitually — even after you've told them that their jokes about you make you feel sh*tty — it might be time to move on to some newer friends whose idea of comedy has more to do with Chelsea Perretti than it does taking random jabs at your personal life.
8. The Gotta-Take-This
Example: "Oooh, I know we were in the middle of a really deep conversation, but I have to take this call, OK? Hey Bethany, what's up? No, I wasn't doing anything..."
Some people are legitimately addicted to technology. To them, the sound of an iPhone's push notification is basically the same as dangling a bag of cocaine in front of an addict. Yes, an addict's behavior is by definition out of their control — but that doesn't mean that you have to stand for it. If you think your friend is legitimately so addicted to her phone that it is screwing with her life, tell her; for all you know, she may be feeling bad about her phone addiction, too, but wasn't sure what to do about it.
But if your friend is just ditching you to like Instagrams because it's more fun than being an actual friend to you, you may want to demote her from "actual friend" to "social media 'friend'."
9. The Full-On Diss
Example: "I could never marry someone who works in IT, but I'm really happy for you guys anyway!", "You're majoring in English? That's a totally useless major, no one can ever get a job with that — no offense," "Whoa, your baby's name is so tacky"
This is just a person who gets off on insulting you, and there's probably no conversation you can have to curb this kind of talk. You can bring it up, but brace yourself — this friend knows that talking this way is wrong, rude, and inappropriate, and in their heart of hearts, they probably just don't actually care.
You're an adult now, and you need a loving support system of friends, not some jerks who only hang around you when there's nothing better to do. Go out and find some other grown-ass women to hang with — not only are they better friends, I guarantee they bring better potluck dishes than these jokers.
Images: Broadway Video/ Paramount Pictures, SNL Studios, Giphy (9)