Skip to main contentA logo with &quat;the muse&quat; in dark blue text.
Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work-Life Balance

5 Types of Friends You Don't Need To Have

Admit it—you’re busy. So busy that sometimes you forget to feed the goldfish or put in your left contact. And after a lengthy work week, it can be difficult to muster the energy to go grab a drink with a girlfriend or head to see that band you’ve always loved.

Maintaining a healthy social life is a must, but you don’t have to squander your precious post-employment hours on those “friends” you don’t really need around. Excising these 5 types of friends from your social roster can be difficult—but in the long run, your real friends will thank you.

The Flaky Friend

She’s skilled at making plans. Frequent texts, constant emails—she wants to hang out this weekend! She’s dying to catch up! But come Friday night, she bails. Or, even worse, she just ignores your calls. A few weeks later, she’s back in your inbox, apologizing for breaking the previous plan (Things got crazy) and wanting to set up another date, which she’ll inevitably miss. Her flakiness is not only frustrating, but it makes you feel bad about yourself. You’ll find yourself asking, “Is it me?” (It’s not.) Ditch the Flaky Friend, and clear your calendar for the friends who actually want to spend some quality time together.

The Friday Night Friend

This girl likes to end the workweek with a bang, and that bang is the sound of the empty shot glass hitting the bar. She’s unavailable the rest of the week, when you want to head to the book signing at the local coffee shop or hit the trails at the park. Sure, the occasional Friday night rage is fun, but it’d be nice to actually talk to your friend, not just attempt to lip-read through the strobe lights on the dance floor. The Friday Night Friend may not realize it, but being a friend is more than picking up the tab.

The Friend-of-a-Friend-of-a-Friend

She’s just moved to your city. She’s looking for a job, she needs a place to stay, she’s really into belly dancing, which didn’t you try once when you were fifteen?—great! You two should really hit it off. When a friend asks you to help another friend acclimate to a new place, it’s polite and appropriate to have lunch with her, take her on a quick tour, maybe even send her resume to a former colleague. And if during your walking tour of the antique district you realize that you two share a love for jeweled fruit—fantastic! But if her unfamiliarity turns in to neediness, don’t feel obligated to make her your new BFF.

The Exclusively Facebook Friend

You haven’t spoken to her in ten years, but you’ve seen photos of her new baby, checked out the wall color she chose for the dining room, and you think she may be losing too much weight. Though social media is useful for keeping in touch with friends, family, and co-workers, it can also monopolize our time. The temptation to waste hours and hours of your evening sifting through Facebook photos is almost too great to bear. But estimating the carat-weight of an engagement ring belonging to someone you haven’t spoken to since high school is not the healthiest way to spend a Thursday evening. And more importantly, this borderline voyeurism is detracting from the energy that you could be spending on your real-life friends.

The Geographically Convenient Friend

It’s nice to know your neighbor, especially when you run out of eggs or lock yourself out of your house. Who cares if she constantly asks you to walk her dog, help her drag her trash to the curb, and makes you feel guilty when you tell her that you’re in a rush, right? Wrong. There’s no law dictating that you have to be friends with your neighbors, especially if their personalities drag you down. Give them a wave and a smile when you run outside to get your paper, and leave it at that.

Photo courtesy of photostock.