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6 things to avoid if you don’t want to lose friends and burn bridges

By Winnie Mabel October 14th, 2023 3 min read

Unless you are a friendly extrovert, you will find that it is rather cumbersome to have and maintain more than a handful of true friendships in one lifetime. I’m sure you’ve often heard of people wondering how some people are able to maintain years long friendships or even keep up with friends in light of daily life activities….this one has to be the funniest though- that Jesus Christ, in his 30s, was able to ‘miraculously’ maintain 12 close friends unlike today’s 30 years olds who can’t tell heads or tails among people.

But let’s say by the grace of God (or the higher power you believe in), you do manage to have a handful of close friends with whom you can face life with, adventure and invest with as well as consider each other family, what can you avoid doing if you don’t want to lose these treasured friends in the long run in the hopes any of your future children will also get to enjoy their presence in their lives?

  1. Don’t develop romantic feelings for a friend. This is the first chapter in friendship 101. If you end up falling in love with your friend and you find you are courageous enough to confess to them, imagine what would happen when they reject your feelings? That’s the end of the close friendship. A wall will come up between the two of you and no matter how much you both attempt to backtrack things, it will never be the same.
  2. Don’t, especially, develop romantic feelings for a friend already in another relationship with someone else and make the mistake of telling them. First of all, your friend will begin viewing you differently. Did you care that he/she is with someone else? Did he/she do something to encourage you? What do you think about boundaries? In the end, the relationship dynamic changes. There will be some level of discomfort between the two of you no matter your innocent interactions. Don’t fall for a committed friend!
  3. Worse still, do not covet your friend’s romantic partner. This will show you are not a genuine friend, you lack boundaries and have no idea what loyalty is. And even if he/she does end up breaking up with their partner, you and your friend are basically done. You probably ruined a friendship that was 10 years old because you couldn’t keep your hormones in check…
  4. It has to be a cardinal sin if you begin gossiping or backbiting your friend- especially if unprovoked and the friend finds out. No matter if it was factual or lies, talking about a friend behind their back hurts as much as driving the actual knife into their back. Don’t talk about them, don’t betray their confidences and don’t create stories about them because you are the one who will lose and your common friends will side with the victim of your gossiping. So you lose 100%.
  5. Avoid borrowing money all the time/scam them- Money is a sensitive issue but if you begin turning your relationship into a bank teller/customer relationship, they will begin avoiding you. They will screen your calls and avoid meet ups if they happen to know you will be around. And if they don’t necessarily give you money, do not start scamming them with imagined emergencies and fabricated financial deals that may also benefit them. Were you a friend to begin with if manipulation and scams become your fall back plan? Utatokwa!
  6. Don’t set them up in drama- Don’t create lies about people and attribute the stories to your friend. Don’t implicate them in drama that does not concern them because your friend will turn into a formidable enemy at the blink of an eye. Remember, your friend knows much about you and would know how to use the information against you should you set them up in dramas or illegal activities. You will become persona non-grata to them and fair game for the take down.

Don’t say you weren’t warned…

Also read: Why begging for money during early stages of relationship might be a deal-breaker

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