31 Bad Habits Of People Who Can't Seem To Make True Friends

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Friendships play a major role in individual health and overall well-being. However, as we age, making and sustaining friendships can become more challenging with time.

Social connectedness is just as important in childhood as it is in adulthood. Recognizing the importance and commitment required of fostering and nurturing social connections is vital to sustainability.

Once we become adults and take on more responsibilities, establishing new friendships or keeping up with existing ones can be difficult. Friendships are not often prioritized like the other relationships in our lives, such as familial and romantic relationships.

Friendships typically take a backseat to all of our other priorities in life, such as parenting, caregiving, work, health, etc. Just like any other relationship in life, social relationships can present both benefits and challenges.

Healthy friendships can improve mood, increase confidence, lead to feelings of belonging, reduce stress, increase an individual’s sense of self-worth, minimize feelings/episodes of loneliness, enhance verbal communication, provide emotional support, prevent/limit loneliness, provide companionship, be a sounding board during difficult times, and provide companionship.

For many people, making new friends can come easily. However, for others, it can be very difficult. Some people struggle with connecting to others, having difficulty being themselves, or being vulnerable in a relationship. For some, friendships can be viewed as labor intensive and not worth their time and energy investment.

Persons who struggle to maintain true friendships often display bad habits that keep them from experiencing genuine camaraderie. Bad habits can limit opportunities to sustain friendships. Like any other habit, bad habits are usually built over time, not formed overnight.

Initially, these habits can be hard to spot. However, they can become more obvious and pervasive.

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31 habits that make it difficult for you to make true friends.

1. Not recognizing or appreciating the benefits of friendships.

2. Inconsistency and lack of follow-through.

3. Failure to prioritize your friend or the friendship.

4. Failure to be open to sharing in the friendship.

5. Failure to cut ties with relationships that are no longer working, maintaining dysfunctional relationships, etc.

6. Failure to initiate contact or time together. 

7. Failure to show love to your friend(s).

8. Failure to provide support.

9. Failure to “show up” when your friend(s) needs you

10. Constant overly pessimistic attitude.

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11. Failure to maintain alliances.

12. Failure to create appropriate boundaries in the relationship.

13. Failure or reluctance to communicate needs in the friendship.

14. Overly critical behavior. 

15. No regard for others' personal obligations.

16. Being inconsiderate of a friend's feelings.

17. Betrayal of the trust in the friendship.

18. Speaking negatively about your friends.

19. Engaging in avoidant behavior rather than discussing personal concerns about the friendship.

20. Failure to maintain honesty and transparency in the friendship.

21. You talk only about yourself.

22. You do not seek to learn about your friend(s) on a deeper level.

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23. Failure or unwillingness to make accommodations or adjustments to improve the friendship.

24. You are inflexible — it is always your way or no way.

25. You constantly compare yourself to your friends.

26. Lack of respect for others and differing views.

27. You hold others accountable for their actions but lack/deny personal accountability.

28. Failure to appreciate and respect both similarities and differences.

29. Failure to protect and secure secrets.

30. Failure to encourage/engage in discouraging behaviors.

31.  You provide conditional acceptance.

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Part of maturing and becoming an adult is developing a real understanding of what true friendship includes. True friendship, like flowers, requires love, attention, and nurturance for growth and sustainability. True friendships can boost confidence, increase positive mental and physical health, help with decision-making, assist with recovery from traumatic experiences such as sickness, loss, & grief,

Friendship is just as strong as it is fragile. The most important virtues in a friendship are genuineness, care, respect, and trust. If you are true to each other, your friendship will stand the various tests of time and still prosper at its full strength.

True friendship is different from casual friendships. People who understand true friendship recognize that not everyone we meet or “know” qualifies as a friend. We learn a friend is someone that supports us, even if they do not support our decision. They respect who we are as a person, do not try to change us, but accept us as we are, are honest, and are careful with our feelings.

A friend is someone special to you, not because you may have known them for a long time or because you share mutual interests, but because you cherish each other.

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Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford is a psychologist who has engaged in extensive work and research on familial relationships, family trauma, and dysfunctions.