15 Unspoken Social Rules in Friendships That Everyone Should Know

Written By Elizabeth Ervin

Today is a great day to be sober. Thanks for stopping by.

Are there any unspoken social rules in friendships that aren’t obvious to everyone or talked about enough? Someone recently asked an internet forum for examples of these. Here are their best responses.

1. Don’t Jump To Conclusions

woman no arms in X
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One user suggests, “Don’t make passive-aggressive comments or jump to conclusions. You’re an adult. Choose a time to talk calmly and be willing to listen instead of diving straight into character assassination.”

2. Don’t Make Friends With Your Buddy’s Enemies

mean girls talk to the hand
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

This isn’t to say you can’t have other friends. One explains, “Yes. You don’t try to befriend your friend’s peer that she loathes. Regardless of how popular those peers are. You’ll never get to get into their inner circle. Your original friend will drop you. No, your friend doesn’t own you. But she can choose who she feels safe with.”

3. Tell People When Something Is Off

woman showing teeth
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

I will never forget when I walked around all day with my shorts inside out, and nobody said anything. There was writing and a tag that made it obvious. It sucks that more people don’t help others in embarrassing situations. Knowing today’s world, someone probably recorded it, posted it, and roasted me maliciously like everybody else.

A forum member agrees that if someone has something visibly wrong with them that is fixable (spinach in teeth, skirt stuck in drawers, mascara smudge), tell them: friend or a total stranger.

4. Don’t Compete With Friends Over Romantic Interests

women fighting over man
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Don’t ever make your friend feel that they are competing with you over the attention of a romantic interest or anything for that matter. A woman laments, “Can we PLEASE stop being in unspoken competitions and support each other?”

5. Give and Take Should Be Reciprocated

woman buying for friend coffee
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“If you bought me drinks last Friday, I’ve got dinner on Wednesday, you know?” Countless women agree with this sentiment. One even opines how crummy it is to stop fitting the bill for friends you care about but never show you that same care.

6. Don’t Date Your Friends Former Partners

Black woman saying no
Image Credit: Deposit Photos – Krakenimages.com.

This should go without saying, but dating your friend’s exes is a significant no-no in the social rules of friendship. Multiple women suggest that if they weren’t a serious item (a couple of dates), it’s OK to ask if you are interested. However, if they were serious, it’s never alright. Others disagree and believe all exes are off-limits.

7. Delayed Replies

Duh pregnant woman
Image Credit: Shutterstock

A woman implies that if she hasn’t replied for a couple of days, she probably accidentally saw the message, forgot to reply, didn’t have time, and then forgot to later.

Another explains she’s the type of person that requires “a lot of space.” As a result, she only keeps friends that understand her need for space. I relate to this one so much. My close friends know I love them, but I shut down socially sometimes.

8. Keep Conversations To Yourself Unless Noted It’s OK to Share

women gossiping
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Keeping conversations between you and your friend unless it’s implied that you can share the information is an unspoken rule of solid friendships. Numerous people express disbelief at the betrayal of having their business spread without consent.

9. Don’t Bully Your Friends

laughing and pointing bully
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Countless people advise that you shouldn’t make jokes at the expense of your friend to make others laugh. It’s a bullying behavior that too many accept as OK, despite it not feeling good for your friends.

10. If You Cancel, Reschedule Plans

woman on phone
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Canceling plans with friends happens sometimes. However, if you cancel a catch-up with a friend, one notes, “Then you should make an effort to find another date to catch up with them.”

11. Sometimes, You Just Need To Listen

woman comforting friend
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It’s no secret that many women like to vent issues and bounce ideas off a partner or friend without advice. Sometimes they just want to be heard. So listening and knowing when those times are is prudent.

12. Don’t Be a Yes Person, and Tell Your Friends the Truth

friends comforting friend
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A good friend is not always going to support everything that you do. Instead, they will keep it real with you and let you know if a bad idea sounds like a terrible decision.

13. Put Your Phone Away and Be Present

friends having coffee
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

I love this one. If a friend invites you to hang out, “You should put your phone away and be present.” Nothing is worse than asking someone to catch up and then spending the time watching them scroll and text the entire time. “If the person you’re texting can’t handle a simple ‘hey, I’m busy. I’ll text you later,’ that’s an issue.”

14. It’s Always Polite To Invite

welcome opening door
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Someone suggests even if you “know your friend is 100% not going to join something, it’s still polite to invite them.” She clarifies, especially for introverts like herself. “I will 100% not come partying with you, but it feels good to know that you’re thinking about me and still want to do stuff with me.”

15. Keep Kid’s Names Out of Your Mouth Unless It’s Positive

woman ssh quiet
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Our kids’ names stay out of each other’s mouths unless it’s positive.” One lady explains, being “appalled at how many mom friends don’t know this one.” She elaborates that if a behavior issue significantly impacts each other’s family, then it renders conversation. “But don’t let me find out you’re gossiping about my children.”

This thread inspired this post.

17 Jobs the Internet Says Is Filled With Toxic People. Do You Agree?

Image Credit: Deposit Photos -RostyslavOleksin.

Have you ever worked in a toxic working environment? I have. I wasted my youth serving the public and being run into the grown from management that threw pizza parties for employees instead of giving them living wages and health benefits.

15 Old Celebrity Scandals That Aren’t Well Known to the New Generation

Hugh Grant Elizabeth Hurley
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Are there any old celebrity scandals you remember that aren’t well-known to the new generations? Recently, in a pop culture forum, fans reminisced about the drama that was hot when it happened. Here are their juiciest tidbits.

11 Trashy Guilty Pleasures That Americans Confessed to Indulging Shamelessly

The Real Housewives of Potomac Gizelle
Image Credit: True Entertainment.

Are you an American who indulges in guilty pleasures? You’re not alone. I think we all have our vices. After someone asked an American online community for examples of what their shameless indulgences are, here are their top confessions.

15 Disgustingly Unattractive Things Men Cannot Stand That Women Do

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Are there any habits or things you find unattractive about people? You’ve got a company. Men recently took to an online forum to discuss the “grossly unattractive things” women do. But, of course, these are not my opinions before you come at me in the comments.

This post was published and syndicated by Sober Healing.

Website | + posts

Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.