There is no crystal ball to predict if that particular friend will turn out to be a best friend for life or your worst nightmare. Since destructive or negative friends are not always that easy to spot, being forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes.

Some friends may be problematic from start ; others think it is their birth right to be problematic after being friends for a long period. If your “best friend” makes you cringe most of the time, sending you running in the other direction, maybe it is time to bite the bullet and say goodbye!

The Promise Breaker

This friend constantly disappoints you or breaks promises, most likely because she herself was constantly disappointed during her formative years. Your friend is unable to stop herself from repeating that pattern. It is an annoying but comfortable pattern for your friend, and without psychological help, it may be hard for her or him to alter this pattern.

You could abandon the friend and the friendship, or you could find a way to detach yourself by lowering your expectations for this friendship. If she promises to do something for you, even to meet you for a cup of coffee, you can say, “Sure,” but protect yourself by knowing, in the back of your mind, that this friend “nine times out of 10” is going to cancel on you.

The Double-Crosser

This negative friend betrays you big-time. It could happen when someone does something to hurt you, such as spreading a malicious rumor about you. Or it could be an emotional double-cross; for example, when a close or best friend stops speaking to you and you never find out why. Someday out of the blue they will send you a friend request on Facebook, pretending everything is normal.

If you have been double-crossed by a particular friend, you may want to consider ending the friendship. If you have not been directly harmed by this friend but have evidence that she has hurt others, you have to decide if you are risking too much by maintaining the friendship.

The Discloser

When you say to this friend, “This is just between us,” she nods her head but unfortunately that promise will last only as long as it takes her to get to her phone or e-mail. Although there should be an assumption of confidentiality and trust between friends, this friend can’t help herself.

Telling this person a secret makes her feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. Like the game “hot potato,” she has to pass the hot secret along to someone else in order to relieve the anxiety knowing the secret made her feel. There are also some Disclosers who simply have a big mouth. If someone you know has this personality trait, avoid telling her your innermost secret — unless you don’t mind if it’s shared with the world.

The Fault-Finder

Nothing you do, say, or wear is good enough for this overly critical friend. The Fault-finder was probably raised by extremely judgmental parents who were also rearing equally hypercritical siblings. Being criticized during her formative years laid the groundwork for an overly critical adult. It’s a hard trait to reverse, and your friend may even be unaware that she is so critical or that it annoys and upsets you so much.

Before labeling this type of friendship as hopelessly destructive, you might want to see if your friend could recognize this excessively derogatory behavior and, with time and help, change that orientation. Otherwise, you may decide that you just have to accept this trait in your friend and realize that it reflects on her, not on you or your friendship.

Does any of your friends fit the bill? If yes, go back to the drawing board and assess if this person is worth having around. Unless she does a million things right by you, we do not see why you have to put up with such nonsense!