We all have some annoying or negative personality trait, perhaps several. It is simply a side effect of being imperfect. This is not always a bad thing; sometimes it is just a small blip on the radar that is easily overshadowed by our more attractive qualities. Truthfully, though, it is not getting any easier to have and maintain close friendships. According to Wikipedia, the number and quality of friendships for the average American has been declining since around 1985, and a 2006 study showed that 25% of Americans have no close confidants at all. Sure we can rationalize, "I've tried to make friends but I just can't seem to connect with anyone," but sometimes the problem lies with us. There are some characteristics that in large doses can be harmful or even fatal to our relationships. What types of negative traits you ask? Read on.
This individual has been everywhere, done, and seen it all. There is no book they have not read, movie they have not seen, food they have not eaten-you get the point. The conversation generally is dominated by their tirade of knowledge on an endless variety of subjects. You can blurt out a make-believe city or country and they will tell you all about that too. This person is too smart for their own good, but not smart enough to realize that they are the reason that their friendships quickly fizzle out.
This lovely creature cannot make a decision to save their life. Big or small choices are all the same. They frequently can be heard saying, "I don't know, why don't you decide?" It is virtually impossible to figure out where to go for dinner or whether you should go to the beach or not. You end up making the lion's share of the decisions. The only other aspect of this personality that's worse is when the undecided cannot make up their mind and then complain about the choice you made.
This is the friend that missed their calling to be a defense attorney. Nothing is ever cut and dried; instead, every little issue becomes, well, an issue. Don't bother to argue because you are guaranteed to lose every time. The debater generally ends up friendless when no one wants to argue anymore.
Nothing you do is ever done correctly and probably never will be as far as the perfectionist is concerned. Their systematic way of doing everything is the only way things should be done. There are no gray areas, only black and white. Any potential friends thin out once they realize they will never be good enough and that they are done trying.
Unlike the undecided, the procrastinator can as a rule make decisions. The problem is, however, acting on what's decided. Frequently, plans and appointments fall by the wayside or are put off until the very last minute. Because they don't follow through and lack motivation, the procrastinator quickly burns through relationships.
Remember Eeyore the donkey in Winnie the Pooh cartoons? He was always melancholy with his head hanging down and usually said in a long drawn out voice, 'Ooh Pooh.' The real life Eeyore is always in an emotional valley. Things just never seem to go quite right. You spend countless man-hours trying to pull them out of a funk, only to find that you need someone to help pull you out of one. It's no wonder why this person is lonely.
Usually found with mouth ajar, rambling endlessly before taking a breath and starting again. Conversations tend to be one-sided because no one else is able to get a word in edgewise. This character never heard that 'loose lips sinks ships,' and so eventually talks up a literal firestorm, and in the process alienates their friends.
The turncoat is not loyal to anyone. While appearing to be a good friend, this person is usually rooting for whatever team is batting. Because of not being trustworthy, a turncoat will end up by their lonesome.
Like a raging storm, the tempest will erupt in a volatile manner with little or no warning. Prone to blow up at the slightest trigger their erratic behavior quickly becomes problematic. Being in public is no deterrent for the tempest and public displays of anger come with the package. After tiring of attempts to calm the storms or becoming victims of it, friends head for cover and make themselves scarce.
The Property Owner
This type treats their friends like property--their property. In a possessive attempt to hoard the relationship, they may become suspicious of anyone else who associates with their friends. The insecurity leads to this person inviting him or herself along to dinner and even on vacations. After some time, the smothering atmosphere becomes too much and any friendships are habitually suffocated.
We may humorously read this and actually see glimpses of these tendencies within ourselves. It does not always mean that we are doomed. Sometimes these little nuances are what make us interesting. It's only when the negative aspects take over and ruin the core of our relationships that we may find difficulty making and maintaining friendships.