1. Just because you went to school with someone doesn't mean you have to be friends with them.
So you and Bea were super-good friends for two years because you were in the same classes, but now you realize she's boring and incredibly negative and makes you feel like garbage? Fuck Bea.
2. You can have a lot of fun with someone but still think they're a terrible friend.
Yeah, they're fun, but if they show up two hours late every time you hang out, then most of that "fun" is you waiting alone for the fun to start, which is not fun.
3. Your coworkers totally count as friends.
It can seem like they don't count if you never actually hang out outside of work, but if you adore them and you have fun with them and you spend a bunch of time with them, even if it's at a coffee shop that plays way too much Taylor Swift sometimes, they're still your friends.
4. If you find you're complaining about someone all the time, stop being friends with them.
I'm able to see this so much more clearly now that I see all my friends complain and complain about this one friend who I know for a fact they don't like, but they're holding onto anyway. And I've done it too, because everyone has. But seriously, if you have that many complaints about someone, just end it. Because everyone's tired of hearing you talk shit about that person, it's not a nice thing to do, and be honest, you're pretty tired of talking shit about her too.
5. It's better to have a few really good friends than a million friends you don't really like.
You're not fooling anyone when you say, "I was talking to my friend Karen," and you don't even know that chick's last name because you met her last night. I know it's easier to say "my friend," because it's shorthand and most people don't need the whole backstory of how long you've known each other, so if you want to do that, fine. But as long as you know there are "friends" and there are friends, you're golden.
6. Sometimes someone wants to be friends with you, but you don't want to be friends with them.
That doesn't make you a bad person. Do what makes you happy. Sometimes friendship isn't a great idea for both parties.
7. You don't have to give someone seven chances to prove themselves.
Some people are just inherently shitty friends, and most of the time, the people your friends reveal themselves to be in the beginning are the people they're always going to be.
8. The ones you have a really good feeling about will stay in your life.
You know when you first meet someone and you feel excited about them on some otherworldly level and they feel that way about you? Yeah, those friendships are usually as good as they seem.
9. Not every friend is going to be a really good friend.
Some are going to be friends you love drinking with, some are going to be friends you love seeing movies with, some are going to be friends you go to clubs with, and some are going to be friends who let you cry for two hours because you dated an asshole who you knew was an asshole, but it still hurts so fucking much. They don't all have to be the last one to still be your friend.
10. Just because someone did something nice for you doesn't mean you owe them your friendship now.
Just because a girl you don't have much to talk about with bought you a latte because she felt like being nice doesn't mean you now have to surrender every Friday night to hanging out with her.
11. It's OK that you don't want to be friends with someone even though there's nothing wrong with them.
I've met people before who were super nice and kind and pleasant, but for whatever reason I didn't feel any connection to them. I wanted to, but I just didn't. Similar to dating, friendships often have some kind of X factor that you either have or you don't. And if you don't, it's OK to skip the friendship part and just think of them fondly from afar.
12. Being a woman who isn't friends with other women is unacceptable.
It just makes you sound like you hate other women, which maybe you do on some level. But that can be changed once you reexamine your reasons for feeling that way. My guess is they're brought on by the crappy culture we live in that pits women against each other. And my guess is probably correct. Make some female friends, yo!
13. Having a friend who is there for you, no questions asked, is a goddamn miracle.
They're not just "nice" or "sweet," they are a legit miracle and they are to be treasured.
14. There are always ways to be a better friend.
Even if it's just a matter of bringing over snacks and/or booze when you go to a friend's house, there are always ways to make your friendship better and happier, and you can absolutely be a big part of making that happen. Plus, it always feels really good—eating snacks, I mean, but friendship is cool too.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.