Friendship Day: With all the world on social media, everyone’s a friend. But Neeti Sarkar finds that lots of people are busy discarding bad friends in the real world

If you’re a sucker for Hollywood gossip, you must have already heard that actress Lindsay Lohan has allegedly made two lists of her friends, putting some on a “good” list while placing others on a “bad” list in order to remove the “toxic” influences from her life when she leaves rehab. Of her 100 acquaintances, 80 of them were on the “cut” list!

With Friendship Day only a day away, we cannot help but wonder who makes it to people’s good and bad lists and if like LiLo, people halfway around the globe are also discarding bad friends.

Anusuya Kumar, a freelance photographer says: “Toxic friends exist at almost any given point in one’s life. In school it’s the one who perhaps never let you choose what game to play. In college it is the person who gets too friendly with your boyfriend. At work it’s a colleague with the crab mentality and especially among us women, a bad friend is always someone who double crosses us.”

“As hard as it was to let some of my closest friends who I’ve known for the longest time, I had to do so when I realised they were the same people who took advantage of my naivety and had squandered the money I’d invested in certain places only upon their insistence,” says Mohan K., a sales executive.

So how does one decide who to keep and who must go? According to School Counsellor, Shireen Sait, “It is quite true that you know a person by the company he keeps so cutting off from people who are all out to harm you is among the wisest things a person can do for himself. If you feel someone is constantly trying to pull you down, lower your self-confidence, criticise you without cause to the point that your whole life seems like it’s in shambles, maybe it’s time to tell that person off.”

Behavioural trainer Nainitaa Sharma advises: “Thought it takes time to get to know someone fully well, it’s not difficult to spot the promise breakers, the snitchers, the fierce competitors, and the vain/self-absorbed ones. The faster you cut off from these kind of people, the sooner you will begin to progress in your personal and professional life.”

Breaking up with a friend can be tricky, however, Shireen suggests: “If you’re convinced you’ve been a good friend to that person always and the other party has let you down too many times than you can forgive or deal with, remember you’re only being a friend to yourself by letting that person go. That said, there’s always a decent and courteous way to bid adieu.”

So this Friendship Day, while you’re busy making cards, buying gifts and taking your “good” friends out for a meal, from what experts suggest, it’s hard to imagine the freedom you find from the “bad” friends you leave behind!

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