Boyfriend Has Bad Friends? 28 Must-Dos, Types & Ways to Do the Right Thing

2 months ago 41

If your boyfriend has bad friends, and they are negatively influencing him, keep reading and learn how you should handle this situation.

boyfriend has bad friends

You are the sum of the people you hang out with. Frat-mentality is a real thing, and girls do things to impress other girls, such as dress trendy, and guys do things to impress other guys, such as lift weights, or challenge one another to beer-chugging contests. This happens all the time, at any age, and yep, both men and women are guilty of it. It’s one of those human things we all get caught up in. So, when your boyfriend has bad friends, it’s more than just a minor annoyance.

It can actually have a big influence on him – from the way he acts, the choices he makes, to how he views your relationship. Seeking approval is a powerful motivator, and when it’s coming from a not-so-great crowd, well, that’s when things can get a little tricky in your love story.

Unfortunately, the negative aspects of the people we hang out with can sometimes end up being absorbed by us, without us even realizing it! [Read: Choosing his friends over you is one sign of a bad boyfriend]

The Real Deal on How His Friends Influence Your Love Story

You’ve probably heard that saying about being the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Well, it turns out there’s more truth to that than just a catchy phrase, especially when it comes to understanding why your boyfriend’s choice of friends matters.

Let’s start with this thing called the Chameleon Effect. This is a psychological phenomenon where individuals unconsciously mimic the behaviors, mannerisms, and attitudes of those around them.

Think about it – when your boyfriend spends a lot of time with his friends, he might start to mirror their behaviors, even the not-so-great ones. It’s an ingrained psychological response. If his friends have some negative traits, there’s a chance he could start reflecting these behaviors, even if that’s not his usual style.

Moving on, also consider the concept of Peer Influence. It’s a powerful force, especially in shaping attitudes and behaviors. In a relationship, if your boyfriend has bad friends, their influence can extend beyond just their immediate interactions.

It can seep into his decision-making, risk-taking behaviors, and even how he views certain aspects of life. This is because our brains are wired to value the social information we get from our peers, sometimes even overruling our own better judgment.

Finally, let’s not forget about Conformity. This is the tendency to align our behaviors and beliefs with those of a group. Even if your boyfriend doesn’t fully agree with everything his friends do or say, the pressure to conform can lead him to go along with them, sometimes at the cost of his own values or the health of your relationship.

The People You Wish He Wasn’t Friends With

Before you decide to do something drastic like “ask” your boyfriend to find new friends, you need to familiarize yourself with the problem and the people who are causing said problem. This is a list of the usual suspects in a guy’s life and what they are capable of.

1. The Enabler

This is number one on the nope list. Every group of guys has one. He leads a charmed life that most of his friends are jealous of. His experiences are the basis of everybody else’s goals in Guy World. The problem, however, is that he is very territorial when it comes to his friends.

Once a girl gets into the picture, he starts to feel like the dynamics of the group are being messed with – thus, he will do everything in his power to make his friends, including your boyfriend, step over your established boundaries just to prove that you do not hold any power over their boy.

He will urge your guy to cheat, stay out late, not reply to your texts, and will do so using misogynistic, passive-aggressive, and just downright annoying tactics just to get what he wants. [Read: 18 ingenious ways to catch a cheating partner]

2. Pseudo-Alcoholic

This guy is either always having a “bad day” or a really “good day.” Either way, he will want to commemorate each one with a pint of beer, followed by an unlimited round of shots from an open tab at the bar.

In order to justify his penchant for ordering a nightcap in the middle of the day, he needs someone else to be present and drinking as excessively as he is.

That’s where your nice, loving boyfriend comes in. Having a girlfriend makes him the most tempting prospect, because that’s just how life goes. At the end of the day, your boyfriend made the choice to get drunk before happy hour, but that’s the price of being a really good friend.

3. The Down-On-His-Luck Guy

Admittedly, helping other people is a very noble trait. However, if said helpless person starts to rely on your boyfriend for anything and everything, you might just start to get a wrinkle on your forehead.

There is a limit to what a person can do, but letting someone else move in indefinitely with you and your guy just might be pushing it.

Letting his friend borrow half your savings is also a bit much. If you notice his friend being too comfortable with asking for “help” and never doing anything to fix his situation, I’d say you have a really big problem on your hands. [Read: How to tell someone is using you: 22 signs a user just can’t hide]

4. The Handsy One

Girl, you are hot and your boyfriend knows that. Unfortunately, some of his friends might be thinking the same thing and the worst part would be when they’re not shy about showing it. Some call them “players,” while some are just “desperate.”

Either way, when their hands start assessing your merchandise with a little too much enthusiasm, you’re in trouble.

Not only is it hard to catch this guy in the act, he’s probably very good at turning the tables on you once you do start to complain. Definitely nope.

5. The Badass

This guy is everyone’s Will Ferrell, Batman, and Regina George all rolled into one. He could be the best guy on Earth, or else he could be your worst nightmare. [Read: What is masculinity? 46 manly & toxic traits women love & despise in men]

Sometimes, he even manifests as all the other guys that were mentioned above. The bad news is that your boyfriend probably worships him and will do anything that he asks. The good news is – wait, there’s no good news.

6. The Eternal Bachelor

This guy is the epitome of the single life. He’s all about parties, late nights, and never settling down. When your boyfriend hangs out with him, there’s a risk he might start idolizing that bachelor lifestyle, even if he’s in a committed relationship with you.

The influence here is subtle – it’s not about doing anything outright harmful, but more about planting seeds of doubt about the joys of a committed relationship. It’s a classic case of “the grass is always greener” syndrome.

7. Mr. Conspiracy Theorist

This friend sees a conspiracy in everything from the moon landing to what’s in fast food. While it’s healthy to question things and not take everything at face value, this friend takes skepticism to a whole new level.

The danger here is that your boyfriend might start adopting some outlandish beliefs or become increasingly distrustful of mainstream narratives. It’s one thing to be open-minded, but another to fall down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories.

8. The Perpetual Gamer

Video games are his life. It’s cool to have hobbies, but when your boyfriend’s friend is always plugged in, it might encourage similar behavior in your boyfriend.

This can lead to endless gaming sessions, where real-world responsibilities and relationship time take a backseat. It’s all fun and games until someone neglects their partner for one more level or quest. [Read: Dating a gamer: 42 tips, perks, pros & cons of being in a relationship with one]

9. The Rude One

This is the friend who doesn’t seem to have a filter or a sense of common decency. He’s always making inappropriate comments, disregarding others’ feelings, and just generally being offensive.

When your boyfriend spends time with him, there’s a risk that he might start normalizing this disrespectful behavior.

It’s like being around someone who swears a lot – eventually, you might find yourself slipping up too. The main concern here is that your boyfriend might start to think that this kind of rudeness is acceptable or, worse, funny. [Read: Why are people rude & mean to nice people & ways to deal with them]

10. The User

Lastly, we’ve got the classic case of ‘The User’. This friend is like a black hole for favors – always borrowing money, asking for stuff, and magically disappearing when it’s time to give back.

And the real issue here isn’t just him treating your boyfriend like an ATM. [Read: Is a friend using you? 40 signs & bold ways to confront & handle them]

You definitely don’t want to see your boyfriend being taken advantage of, right? It’s like watching your favorite person being tricked into a one-way street of giving. Not cool at all.

Plus, there’s the worry that your guy might start thinking this kind of behavior is normal, which is a big no-no. It’s all about keeping that balance and making sure your boyfriend isn’t caught in the crossfire of a user-friendship.

What If His Friends Are a Bad Influence?

If you find that your guy always hangs out with unsavory company, here are some things you can do to make sure their mentality doesn’t rub off on him.

1. Get to Know Them Better

Before anything else, you have to assess whether the problem really lies with his friends. There might be times when you’re putting the blame on someone who’s not at fault.

Find out why his friends are the way that they are. Just make sure that you keep your distance, lest they start to think that you’re being too comfy with them. [Read: 30 secrets to get your boyfriend’s friends to like you & mistakes to avoid!]

2. New Faces

One way you can handle the energy vampires whom your boyfriend happens to call friends is by keeping him busy with activities that involve meeting new people. Ideally, you will already know the new faces you introduce him to, which means that you know they wont be negative influences on him or you.

If you introduce him to new people, and you both make new friends, then the less time he will have to spend with the friends of his that are taking him down the wrong path in life.

Obviously, it’s up to him at the end of the day to hang out with new faces or old, but if he’s serious about you and values your relationship, he’ll have no problem trying new things.

3. Express Yourself

No one likes a nag. However, there are many ways you can express your thoughts and concerns to someone you care about, without sounding like their mother or coming across as a Debbie downer.

If your guy has been hanging out with his friends, and you feel that they are a negative influence, one way you can handle the situation is sitting down and talking to him in a mature way.

The key to doing this is making sure you don’t come across as someone who is giving him a lecture. You don’t want to sound like you’re teaching him D.A.R.E. or talking to him as though he’s a child. He’s not. In a calm, mature way, express your concerns and give examples to show the negative influence you’ve been witnessing take place when he hangs out with certain friends of his.

If he loves you and cares about your relationship, then he will value your opinion, and realize that you care about him so much, otherwise, you wouldn’t take the time to communicate and express yourself. [Read: 7 signs you’re not being heard and how to fix it]

4. Encourage Positive Activities

Suggest activities that you, your boyfriend, and his friends can do together that are positive and healthy. This could be anything from a group hiking trip to volunteering.

It’s a subtle way to shift the dynamics from potentially negative influences to more constructive ones. Plus, it’s a chance for you to bond with his circle in a different setting, which might help change your perspective about them.

5. Set Up Double Dates

Arrange double dates with other couples. This introduces new people into the social mix and can dilute the negative influence of the bad friends.

It’s a sneaky, yet effective way to broaden your boyfriend’s social circle and subtly show him the kind of friendships that could be more enriching for both of you. [Read: The best double date ideas & why every couple should double date]

6. Positive Reinforcement

Whenever your boyfriend makes a decision that goes against the grain of his bad friends’ influence, make sure to acknowledge and praise it.

Reinforcing his good choices helps him see the value in steering clear of negative influences. It’s like giving him a high-five for choosing the healthier path.

7. Engage in Open Discussions

Regularly have open, non-judgmental discussions about friendships and their impacts. This isn’t about pointing fingers but about understanding each other’s viewpoints.

It can help your boyfriend see the consequences of his friends’ actions without feeling like he’s being backed into a corner. [Read: 34 secrets to get a man to open up, communicate & understand you better]

8. Let Them Know That You don’t like the Way Things Are and Give Them a Second Chance

You can be the bigger person and talk to your boyfriend’s friends while he is present. There may be a chance that the whole thing could build up to a confrontation, but it will be good for you to put things out in the open.

Once his friends understand that you have issues about what they do when they’re together, they might be open to changing their ways just to ease the tension and not risk losing their friend in the process.

Just remember to watch your words. Make sure that you don’t sound condescending or high-handed. That happens easily, especially when you’re dealing with unpleasant people. Be calm and magnanimous. And whatever you do, don’t nag the friend. [Read: 10 ways to deal with difficult people]

9. Lead by Example

Show him the kind of friendships that are nourishing and positive by being an example yourself. Spend time with your good friends and invite him along.

When he sees the difference between healthy friendships and toxic ones, it might encourage him to reevaluate his own choices.

10. Encourage Self-Reflection

Sometimes, a gentle nudge toward self-reflection can do wonders. Encourage your boyfriend to think about how he feels after hanging out with his friends. Does he feel uplifted or drained? This self-awareness can be a powerful motivator for change.

11. Mutual Friends Strategy

Try to build friendships with people who have a positive influence and encourage your boyfriend to join in. If he forms bonds with these healthier friends, he might naturally start to drift away from the negative ones.

12. Copy

Actions speak louder than words. Sometimes in order to get your point across and make others see things from your perspective, you have to literally put yourself in the situation you’re trying to describe.

If you aren’t fond of your guy’s friends because you think they are negatively impacting him, then treat him the way he’s been treating you.

What he will realize is that you’ve changed. You dress differently, maybe you started cussing more, or maybe you’ve stopped calling him to see what he’s up to when you two aren’t together.

Once again, if your relationship is important to him, he’ll definitely notice that you’ve changed, and he’ll want to know what’s going on, because he’ll want to fix it.

Once you explain to him that the way he feels about you now is exactly how you are feeling, he will probably have the light bulb go off in his head.

13. Explore New Interests Together

Dive into new hobbies or interests together, which can help him build a new social circle. Whether it’s joining a cooking class, a book club, or a sports team, new activities can mean new, healthier friendships.

It’s a fun and indirect way to reduce the time he spends with those bad-influence friends. [Read: Couples bucket list: 32 must-do things to create experiences together]

14. Intervene

Interventions aren’t only for highly addicted drug users. If you really care about your man, and you feel like no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get through to him, and get him to realize that the friends he’s hanging out with are negative influences, then one way you can handle the situation is by setting up an intervention.

If you have noticed a change for the worse in his behavior, more than likely, his family has too.

Talk with them to see if they have noticed these changes, and once you are all on the same page, figure out a way to sit down with him and talk out loud.

Express your concerns, and as always, give examples to help emphasize your points. He may not like that you have confided to his mom and dad, but he’ll realize you all did so because you care that much for him.

15. Politely Pretending

We are all familiar with the saying “kill them with kindness,” and no matter how hard this might be to do, it is one way to definitely handle an uncomfortable situation, especially when it involves your boyfriend and his friends.

If you are always polite, and kind to his friends, even when it takes everything inside of you to be, then they will never be able to complain about you to him when you’re not around.

By being polite, it gives you the power, and it also is a way to make sure that your boyfriend thinks of you as a sweet daisy when you aren’t around him and his friends. The less ammo you give his negative friends to use when talking about you, the better.

Of course, this one is hard to do, but sometimes it’s worth doing, especially when you are caught in the middle of having to share your guy with others that you want nothing to do with.

16. Create Rules

This one is not our favorite, but sometimes, desperate times call for desperate and drastic measures. No one likes feeling like they are trapped or being told what to do, especially your boyfriend. We mean, would you really want him to tell you who you can and can’t hang out with? Probably not.

But you would respect his opinion, and probably consider abiding by some guidelines when it comes to hanging out with certain people, especially if he expressed his concern to you about why he does or doesn’t like certain friends of yours.

17. Don’t Make Him Cut His Ties

Friends are friends. You know that very well. You can’t expect your boyfriend to just end his friendships, just because you think it’s the right thing to do. He has to come to that decision on his own, but it won’t hurt for you to point out why he should start entertaining the idea.

Show him how his friends might be affecting his work and personal life. Explain to him why it’s important to you and why you feel it’s necessary for him to cut back on the things that he does with his friends that make you upset. [Read: Possessive relationship: What it is, 39 signs you’re in one and secrets to fix it]

18. Fade Away

Although this one is probably not going to be your first option, it is an option nonetheless. If you honestly don’t believe that any is getting through to your man to help him realize that the people he’s associating with aren’t looking out for his best interests, then you can simply fade away.

Stop being there for him, and stop worrying about him. If you really want to find out if your relationship is important to your guy, then one way to know for certain is to quit holding his hand and doing everything for him.

Along with this, that also means quit trying to make him see his friendships and behavior from your perspective, and instead just stop trying and walk away. Remove yourself from the equation.

He’ll notice that you’re no longer there for him during lulls, or to listen to him when he wants a shoulder to lean on. He may start to realize that your presence is more important to him than the people he calls his friends. [Read: Toxic friends: 22 types, 54 signs and ways to end friendships that hurt you]

You and Your Man Need to Team Up on This

Okay, so having a boyfriend with some not-so-great friends can be a real headache, right? It’s like walking a tightrope while juggling your feelings, his feelings, and not wanting to be the ‘bad guy’ in the relationship. But hey, this is all part of the wild ride called a relationship!

[Read: 16 types of friendships, benefits and how many friends you need to be happy in life]

So here’s the deal: You and your man need to team up on this. Have those heart-to-hearts where you both can be real about what’s bugging you. It’s all about balance and keeping things as light-hearted as possible, even when you’re dealing with something as tricky as your boyfriend having bad friends.

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