Since I was a child I’ve always had friendship problems. The irony lies in the fact that I’m a friendly person and don’t find it difficult to make friends. But therein lies the rub. I click with people easily but have the tendency to show a lack of discernment.
Most people have experienced some form of bullying in their lifetime. I’ve definitely had my fair share. I mention this because it largely came from so-called friends in my youth. In my early twenties this died down but then a new problem erupted: fair-weather friends.
You know the type. They’re the ones you only hear from when they need something. Whether it be emotional support, a kind ear to listen to them vent about the same problem they refuse to solve, or when they need you to actually do something for them because you’re a people pleaser and won’t say no.
But these aren’t the worst offenders, though. The ones I truly detest are those who keep you around to feel superior. Truly disgusting. As explored in this post life does not always go our way. We’re not always on a high and there are some horrible people out there who relish in our failings and misfortune.
As I’ve grown my friendships have changed. They’ve become stronger, weaker or they’ve ended. Experience is a great teacher and has taught me to watch out for these five offences:
They insist on vetting you
Now, what the hell does this mean? These are people who believe they’ve achieved some higher status in this competition known as Life. Subsequently, their company should only be bestowed upon the worthy. What makes you good enough? Usually your level of education, salary or career aspirations. You know you’re being vetted when they’re sat across from you, stoney-faced, firing question after question about your goals and plans. They will only smile in approval if they like what they hear (usually in line with shallow interpretations of success). Avoid these people, I beg of you. They will do NOTHING for your self-esteem and will make you feel like a failure. You don’t deserve that.
You enable me, I’ll enable you
I won’t pretend to be innocent here. I have been an enabler and I have nurtured toxic friendships in order to be enable my own bad behaviour. If you’re trying to grow and change these friendships won’t help you. They will leave you emotionally stunted and raw. You’ll know you have a friendship like this if every time you try to exert change it’s met with ridicule or pressure to engage in past behaviour. It may seem harsh but if you want to achieve any real progress you need to leave these friendships behind.
You do not have time for people who deliberately cause problems in a bid to gain your attention or keep you wrapped around their finger. If you’re anything like me, you have a penchant for trying to fix people. But not everyone wants to be helped and your time is precious. Those that like to invent drama are a threat to your inner peace. They’re not happy with you being a mere spectator. They need you to get involved. The world is chaotic enough without a friend who is consistently destructive. You can’t control people’s actions but you can control yours.
They lack empathy
People who fall into this category freak me the hell out. I’m an emotional person and I feel other people’s pain. I go out of my way to advise and console. When I encounter someone who flaunts their lack of empathy, I don’t know what to do with myself. Friendship is about love and I don’t know many friendships that flourish where one party doesn’t give a damn about the other’s welfare. Be wary of those who feign empathy through their word. They’re full of it. You’ll know they’re doing this because their word is never backed up by action. You deserve a friend who would move mountains for you. A friend who doesn’t make you feel naked and vulnerable for trusting them. Which moves us along nicely to my personal ‘favourite’…
Your plight is entertaining
I’m going to try hard not to use too harsh a word to describe the friends who fall into this category. First off, they’re not friends. Secondly, they aren’t genuinely concerned about you. These people honestly make me sick. They are the ones who make it their personal mission to pry about details you’ve made perfectly clear you don’t wish to share. For the exact reason above! Memes abound about this very problem. Not everyone who expresses concern is truly concerned. Your personal problems are a convenient distraction for them. Nothing more. Ask yourself if they willingly show you the same level of trust that they demand from you. These people are lucky to get a hello and goodbye from me.
My mom always said that too much company is never good. Another wise woman told me not to let anyone hurt me. If you’ve read this entire post I hope it helps you to identify those frenemies you need to cut loose. I hope you continue to nurture and love your friends who truly care about you.
Love black pistachio x