The Signs of a Bad Relationship—And How to Cut It Out of Your Life

two women giving each other faces - signs of a bad relationship

We meet hundreds, if not thousands, of people in our lives. But we only socialize with a very small percentage of those people on a regular basis. Unfortunately, we may find ourselves in bad relationships with people who may not be optimal “friend material.” So what are the signs of a bad relationship? How do we best to figure out which ones aren’t worthy of your time? And how can you disentangle yourself from these bad relationships?

You Deserve the Best, So Why Are You Dealing with the Worst?

While we all want to be surrounded by people who spread positivity and lift us up, it’s not always easy to notice the signs of a bad relationship that let you know which friends, acquaintances, or romantic partners are not the best match for you. Well, thankfully, we’ve got a list! These are the most common types of individuals, friends or partners, who are most likely not a positive addition to your life:

The Flaker

These are the friends that constantly bail on plans at the last minute or make no effort to spend time with you unless it’s in their best interest. If they don’t have the time of day for you, why should you give yours to them? Individuals like these are going to take from you, rarely or never giving anything back.

 The Drama Queen

two women sitting on a couch arguing - signs of a bad relationship

These individuals will do anything they can to start some sort of drama. Whether it’s stirring up tension between friends, starting an argument with the waiter or always finding unnecessary drama in their day to day lives, these people live and breathe conflict.

The Rollercoaster Friend

These are the friends that may be borderline bipolar. Half the time they are a joy to be around, sharing positivity and lifting you up. The other half they are negative, mean and seemingly pissed at the world.

The Gossiper

We are all going to talk about others from time to time. It’s human nature. However, the individuals who are always sharing and criticizing other’s business, bad mouthing them in the process, are not individuals we want to be associated with. Also, if they’re gossiping about others, chances are they’re gossiping about you.

The Friend You Don’t Know Why You’re Friends With

Maybe they used to be your best friend back in the day, but nowadays you have nothing in common and only see them for the sake of maintaining the relationship. What’s the point of seeing them, though, if you don’t enjoy their company? Unless there is a good reason for talking with these individuals, we recommend you cut off the relationship.

The Downer

This is the person who is always looking at the negative side of things. Whether they are pointing out your flaws or discouraging your success, these individuals spread negativity wherever they go. Simply being around these people brings down your mood and causes negative thinking. Spend your time with people who want nothing but the best for others.

How to Respectfully Cut Off Your Bad Relationships and Move On

Through the people you meet and the relationships you form, you evolve as a human and learn what you desire and deserve from a relationship. That being said, not all of your relationships are going to last. As you develop strong, lasting relationships, you are going to realize which ones you don’t deserve, and therefore, need to cut out. While the end of any relationship is never a pretty sight, you can politely and effectively put an end to them and move forward.

  1. Communicate clearly and efficiently. Before ending the relationship, approach your friend and express your concerns about their behavior. If they don’t acknowledge your request or fail to adhere to it, it is probably time to cut it off. Be honest with them but also be polite. Let them know why you’re ending the relationship and be sure that the message gets across.
  2. Allow time for grievance. The end of any relationship can be hard, and it can be even more difficult to say goodbye than doing so to a romantic partner. Therefore, it is imperative that you mentally prepare yourself for the anger, sadness, and remorse that you may experience at the end of the relationship. Practicing forgiveness of yourself and of your friend is the fastest way of reaching closure and accepting the end of the relationship.
  3. Recollect and Reflect. Now that you have moved on past the relationship, consider what you have learned and how you have grown since the start of it. Which parts of the relationship did you like and dislike? You know what you expect and how you deserve to be treated, so apply it to the next relationship you find.

While we all need relationships to be happy and healthy, not every relationship is going to be in our best interests. Throughout your life, you are going to find yourself in relationships with people who increase your satisfaction with life and people who take away from it. Be aware and keep an eye out for signs of a bad relationship. Learn what you deserve through those who love you and learn what you don’t through those who bring you down. Life is all about the associations we make and the relationships we form. Surround yourself with positive people who bring out the best in you!

About the Author

Josh Miles is a St. Petersburg/Tampa based writer who studied Business Management and Marketing at the University of South Florida. He believes that time spent with good friends and a connection with nature are keys to a healthy and happy life. In his free time, you will find him exercising, listening to music, or playing video games with friends.
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