10 Types of Friends You Do (and Don’t) Really Need in Your Life

While some friendships are fleeting in nature, others stand the test of time. You know the ones: The friends who’ve stuck by you through thick and thin, no matter what. And because not all friendships are made to last forever, it’s perfectly normal to take inventory of your current relationships. This means it’s time to give up on the ones that do you no good, and hold on tight to the ones that do. When it comes down to it, there are just some friends you should keep — and some you should ditch.

Keep: The friend who brings happiness

Smiling happy young woman giving her friend a lift in her car

Keep the friend you’re always happy to be around. | iStock.com/UberImages

Happy people have the ability to effortlessly spread their feel-good vibes to everyone they meet. And who doesn’t want to surround themselves with happy folks? People who have a genuinely good, healthy outlook on life are likely to project their positivity onto you. In fact, research shows your happiness can depend those you’re connected with. A simple, yet true, fact giving you another reason to keep that perma-happy friend by your side.

Ditch: The negative friend

Sad and worried entrepreneur working online with a laptop

Your negative friend might stress you out, too. | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

There’s nothing worse than being surrounded by a truly negative person. Simply put, it’s a bummer. Their work life is terrible. Their relationship is always on the fritz. The list goes on. While everyone’s allowed to complain to their friends when they need to, it shouldn’t be the basis of your entire relationship. Venting conversations are healthy. Chronic complaining, on the other hand, is not.

The difference between you and your complaining friend, though, is your ability to do something about it. You know you can, and will, change the things you’re unhappy with. The problem with having a Negative Nancy in your life; however, is they can take a toll on your well-being, as another person’s stress can eventually rub off on you.

Keep: The friend you can talk to

Three happy friends talking and drinking coffee

The friends you can be honest with are the best. | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

Honesty is an essential part of any relationship. And having a friend you can confide in? Well, that’s priceless. If you can truly count on a person to provide a listening ear, they’re clearly in it for the long haul. Whether you go to them for relationship advice, to vent about your boss, or to shed a tear, they’ve got your back. Professor William Rawlins told Motto, “Acceptance is a cornerstone of friendship — you can open up and be vulnerable with friends.” Keep these friends close, and confide in them when you need. Just make sure you return the favor.

Ditch: The friend who’s always bragging

woman talking about herself on the phone

No one likes the friend who’s always talking about themselves. | iStock.com

Being friends with someone who’s constantly bragging about how amazing they are is plain annoying. You know every time you see them you’re bound to be bombarded with tales of their latest escapades. The only problem is they totally lack any sense of self-awareness. So, yeah, it’s a problem. As Elite Daily mentions, this person is probably only fishing for some kind of compliment, like, “I wish I could do that!” Well, you probably could, and if your friend were actually a real friend, they’d instill that same confidence in you.

Keep: The friend who challenges you

a heterosexual couple lie on their stomachs in bed while they have a discussion

A good friend will challenge your opinions. | iStock.com

While you don’t want a friend you’re constantly arguing with, there’s value in one who challenges you. Someone who just agrees with everything you say probably doesn’t have much of an opinion of their own. Surrounding yourself with people whose opinions don’t always 100% jive with yours is how people learn, after all. A friend who’s brutally honest and challenges you is a keeper.

Ditch: The flake

Jealous woman looks at cheerful couple

You don’t need a friend who flakes on you for other plans. | iStock.com/princigalli

We get it, everyone’s busy. But just because something else came up is no reason to bail. There are always exceptions, but if you have a friend who’s constantly flaking, it’s time to really evaluate what they bring to your life. Why are their plans more important than yours? Well, they’re not.

According to The Huffington Post, a friend who’s constantly canceling on you isn’t thinking about how their actions affect you. If you’re not important to them, they clearly don’t deserve your friendship.

Keep: The friend who takes risks

two people on top of a mountain

Hang on to the friend who pushes you outside your comfort zone. | iStock.com

Live fast, take chance … and do so with like-minded friends. The experiences you gain by stepping outside your comfort zone are part of what makes you who you are. You gain confidence, hone decision-making skills, and develop a greater sense of self. Ski in the backcountry with friends who ski harder than you, and save coffee shop dates for those who just need a good chat.

Ditch: The friend who stabs you in the back

gossip among co-workers

No one needs a back-stabbing friend. | iStock.com

This seems obvious, but sometimes, it can be tough to actually say goodbye. Some people are two-faced by nature, but who has time for all that drama? Not you.

Professor Beverley Fehr tells U.S. News & World Report a betrayal of trust is likely to end a friendship, which makes total sense. Whether the offense was flirting with your significant other, or talking behind your back from time to time, it’s time to cut the cord. Trust is an essential element in any relationship, no matter what.

Keep: The friend you look up to

Three beautiful women talking and enjoying

It’s good to admire your friends. | iStock.com/Tijana87

It’s important to respect your friends, particularly a friend whom you actually look up to. According to Lifehack, you should consider yourself lucky if “you have someone smart, inspiring, and admirable in your life.” And we couldn’t agree more. “We all need a friend who inspires us to be better people without making us feel inadequate,” the publication notes. It really is the truth.

Ditch: The friend who’s a bad example

man who's had too much to drink

Leave the bad decision-makers in the dust. | iStock.com

By the time you’ve reached adulthood, chances are you have a pretty good grasp on the kind of person you are and want to be. Although the days of succumbing to peer pressure may be long gone, there’s still opportunity to be negatively influenced by others. Fox News Magazine recommends staying far away from folks who are bad examples. It may not appear so at first sight, but even a person whom you love spending time with can have a less-than-great impact on your life. For instance, a friend whom you only get wasted with probably isn’t the best choice for a lifelong pal.