People are sharing non-obvious friendship red flags to look out for

‘The biggest indication is you go ‘ugh’ when you see their name on your phone. Think about why you have that reaction,’ one person wrote

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Monday 19 April 2021 16:16 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

People are sharing friendship red flags that may not be obvious, with warnings to look out for everything from friends who try to “one-up” you to those who ask for your things or money “all the time”.

This week, a Reddit thread asked users: “What is a non-obvious red flag in a friendship?” which has since prompted more than 160 responses.

While some friendship red flags are clear, such as don’t be friends with someone who always puts you down, others are more ambiguous.

According to one Reddit user, “unquestionable support” is actually a red flag in a friend, as it can mean that the friendship enables bad behaviour.

“Unquestionable support. Some people I know have a very loyal group of friends and it drives me insane and I really want to keep my distance from that bunch. Because I know what happens if any of their friends once criticises them - they are able to cut off friendship altogether at once because of that,” they wrote. “Most of my friends tell each other harsh criticism and insult each other all the time and I think we have much more trust in each other because of that.”

In response to the comment, one person more succinctly summed it up as: “People seem to miss that part of being a loyal friend is also letting them know when they goofed up. Enabling or accepting bad behaviour isn’t really being a friend,” while someone else added that having friends that “support you in everything you do means they will support terrible decisions and they aren’t telling you the truth”.

Another user described “one-upping” as a friendship red flag, describing the behaviour as a friend who tells a story immediately after yours because they refuse to let you have the attention.

“Always one-upping.This doesn’t refer to sharing their own story in response to yours, that’s pretty normal. It’s more about how you can never have the focus remain on you, it always becomes about them,” they wrote.

How a friend acts around you and other people may also be a sign of problematic behaviour, with one Reddit user encouraging people to avoid friends who act “embarrassed, disgusted, condescendingly, or reserved,” when you are with others.

“It happened to me personally and it took a while for me to understand it fully, but babes don’t stick your necks out for someone who wouldn’t even lift a pinky for you,” they added, with someone else pointing out that this behaviour is also typically a sign that someone is insecure.

Others suggested that your own behaviour around a friend could be indicative of a potential red flag, with someone explaining that a friend who you find tiring to be around as you are constantly worried about entertaining them isn’t necessarily a friendship worth having.

Some of the red flags were more reaction-based, with another person writing: “The biggest indication is you go ‘ugh’ when you see their name on your phone. Think about why you have that reaction.”

Money-focused red flags were also raised frequently, with some users suggesting that borrowing money without the intention of paying it back should be a warning, even if it is just for small amounts like to pay for a coffee.

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