Having a solidgroup of friendsis undeniably rad. You have a crew of Kleenex-carrying besties who want to watchThe Fault in Our Stars, a pack of girls tocram for your examswith, go-to hang-out-and-do-nothing buddies—but that doesn’t mean it’s always stress-free. As a matter of fact, drama usually (OK, always) finds a way to creep in. Raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself on the receiving end of some mean gossip from within your own circle, or been bailed on by a friend who knew you needed her? Everybody? Yeah, us too. Consider this your roadmap for dealing with the types of pals who are particularly difficult.
The Flake Is your bud a barrel of laughs, butimpossibleto lock down? Then you need to find activities that won’t ruin your day if she winds up canceling. If you guys are planning a laid-back afternoon, try amanicure dateorshopping dayin lieu of grabbing brunch—you can hit the nail salon or your favorite boutique alone in case she’s a no-show. Planning a night out together? Have her meet at your place for a hang before heading to a friend’s party. There’s no shame in rolling into the fiesta solo if she bails, and this way, you still have something on your schedule.
The Secret Spiller When secrets are your friend’s currency, it can be tough to eke out a good relationship. You can still have positive interactions with someone who’s always spilling your (and everyone else’s) beans, you just have to think of this leaky pal as human Twitter. Don’t share any stories with her that you wouldn’t tweet to the world yourself, and don’t divulge any info you wouldn’t post publicly. That way, you can maintain your friendship without worrying yourself sick over if you should or shouldn’t discuss so-and-so’s breakup.
The Fair-Weather Friend It’s tough being close with someone who only wants yourchem notesor a ride to thebig game. If you find yourself fretting about whether they’re your friend for real or just using you, trust your gut. When they’re asking too much of you, you’ll feel it—and when you do, simply say no to their requests or favors. Your friend will realize you have boundaries once you put your foot downandtreat you more genuinely when they know they can’t can’t take advantage of you. But if they don’t—and you guys become less tight—know you rose above a crummy user.
The Quiet Festerer Since communication is one of the main ingredients of a killer friendship, a pal who keeps her feelingsbottled upcan be a tough nut to crack. Your best bet is to give her ample opportunity to share what she’s going through, but never pressure her if she’s not ready to talk: Make sure she knows you’re available, trustworthy, and judgement-free. Yes, you’ll have to shoulder the burden of questioning what might be wrong, but if it’s something that’s really bugging her, she’ll open up.
The Real Housewife She’s the dramatic one: the girl who talks a whole lot of smack and does who-knows-what behind everyone’s back. On paper at least, this isn’t a true blue friend, but we know it can be tough to ditch her when she’s your BFF. Don’t fret aboutcutting her out entirelyif you still want her in your life—just try your best not to add fuel to the fire. Keep the gossiping to a minimum and (obviously!) don’t indulge any of her shady behavior. You’ll see that after you resist a few times, your friend will stop engaging you in her negativity, and it’ll be smooth sailing from there on out.