Friendship Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make After Age 25
We all have to learn from our mistakes in life. That’s how we become better…everything. From friends to romantic partners to employees to bosses to parents. But, have you noticed that there are some people who just don’t seem to learn? They’re always burning a bridge and losing a friendship, but never stopping to reflect: “Could I be causing this?” I don’t know how one becomes a full grown adult without ever considering the possibility that, sometimes, they do things wrong. I don’t know how the mentality that everything is everybody else’s fault survives past ones early twenties (or teens, really) but for some people, that seems to be the case. When everyone else around you is growing up and willing to change, and you’re not, you’ll wind up losing them. On that note, here are friendship mistakes you shouldn’t make past the age of 25.
Forgetting you had plans
That’s what calendars are for—both physical, the one in your phone, and the many, many apps one can use to schedule their lives. It’s what sticky notes are for. It’s what alarms on our phones are for. Part of being an adult is taking the steps to ensure that something reminds you of your plans.
Bailing because you’re hungover
I’m sorry but, that just doesn’t fly after a certain age. If you know you have plans on Sunday—plans for which you shouldn’t be hungover—then don’t overdrink on Saturday night. It’s that simple.
Or, bailing because you’re drunk
Oh and then there are friends who completely fail to show up because they’re just somewhere else, drunk, and not looking at their clock or the phone. And they don’t even tell you they’re not coming until the day after your plans already passed.
Holding it in when you’re angry
If a friend angers you, and you don’t tell them, then at that point, you just have to suffer the consequences. But you don’t get to behave passive-aggressively, and be mean to them, without telling them why. That’s some high school behavior. You get to either tell the friend you’re upset or, if you choose not to, then you have to get over it.
Talking behind the person’s back
That’s just so petty. There comes a point in life when one should realize that, if they find themselves complaining about someone a lot then, maybe they just shouldn’t be friends with that person.
Making it seem like you’re doing the favor
Remember this little trick you’d pull when you were younger? Maybe you wanted a friend to come with you to a party, because a guy you liked would be there, but you didn’t want it to seem like you were just there to see him. So you’d get a friend to go with you, but you didn’t want her to know she was doing you a favor, so you’d convince her that you were doing her the favor, because there would be some work connection there for her or “tons of cute guys.” But, really, you were just being selfish. Yeah—people prefer you just admit when you could use their help.
Letting your friend wait, alone, at a party
If you invite a friend to meet you at a party—where you’ll be the only person she knows—and that party starts at 7, be there at 7. Don’t set your friend up to awkwardly show up at 7, knowing nobody, and wait for you until you get there at 9.
Ditching your friends for a guy you just met
That’s very passé. If you meet a guy you like at a bar, and he likes you back, that guy will respect your saying, “I’m here with my friends, so I need to get back to them” and he’ll probably just ask for your number to see you in the future. But you can’t turn what was meant to be a girls’ night out into an impromptu date you have with a man you just met.
Ditching your friends for your boyfriend
This is also some very college behavior. Friends shouldn’t just be placeholders until you find a boyfriend. You should still make just as much time for them, even after you get into a relationship.
Bailing because you just don’t feel like it
There comes a point when we learn that, if everybody just didn’t show up to plans any time they didn’t feel like it, the world would stop turning. Society would collapse. Relationships survive on people doing things, even when they don’t feel like it.
Poor time management
If you have plans with someone at noon, and you have things you’d like to do before those plans, then you just need to set an alarm, get up early, and finish those things by noon. What you can’t do is continue to push back those plans with your friend to 1, then 2, then 3, because you failed to manage your time properly.
Making their night about you
Whether it’s a friend’s birthday party or engagement party, that night is about that person. And while everybody at that party likely has some stuff going on in their life—some drama or stress—grownups understand that you leave that stuff at home when the evening is specifically about celebrating one person.
Not making an effort with the other friends
Your friends are going to have other friends. And even if they aren’t exactly your style, if you care about your common friend, then you make an effort with her other friends. That means chatting with them and asking them about themselves at her dinner party, rather than sitting quietly until your one common friend can talk to you.
Talking about yourself the whole time
Eventually, most people discover that nobody’s life is so interesting that they should get to be the only one who talks for the entire two-hour dinner. If that’s what the other friends wanted, they would have paid to see this person give a lecture. When you grow up, you learn to give everyone their turn to speak, and to ask questions about other people’s lives rather than just talking about your own.
When we’re younger, and a friend says, “Don’t tell anyone this” we secretly make a list of the people we are going to tell anyways. We think it’s okay because, as we say, we can trust those people. But when we get older, we learn to respect that perhaps a friend just wants us to know something—and nobody else.