Things I Wish I Had Known Ten Years Ago: Friendships Part 1
For my next blog in the series Things I Wish I Knew Ten Years Ago, I want to focus on friendships. I decided to divide this into two parts because there are good and bad types of friends. I wanted to shed light on both equally. Here’s my take on what to stay away from. In Part 2, we will focus on the good friends to look for.
I’ve had many friendships in my life. It’s important to understand that not every friendship is meant to last a lifetime. Some are meant to teach you lessons. Some are meant to get you through phases. Just like romantic relationships, friends oftentimes grow apart due to life changes. That’s totally normal. But, if you find friends coming and going too quickly, maybe you are choosing the wrong friends. Here are some people you may want to avoid. I’ve broken it down into 5 different types of people. It’s by no means an extensive list, but it definitely hits the high points.
The User: Have you ever noticed there are people who only seem to be around when you have something that benefits them? There’s the friend that needs you to do this or that for you. Hey, can I borrow a little money? Hey, can you car pool (and you always drive)? Hey, can I bum a smoke (please don’t ever have a smoke to borrow)? What’s funny is that this sort of friend is pretty genius actually! You are probably thinking, genius? Yes, I said genius. Here’s why: these folks are excellent at wanting to hang out and lend an ear when they know they need something from you. They actually seem like great friends. But, when the fulfillment of favors stops, so does the friendship....sound familiar? We’ve all probably had people like that come into our lives. More than likely they exited just as quickly as they entered.
The Lover: You May be thinking, what could be so bad about a lover? Well, maybe this person’s intentions are good, but it doesn’t always turn out in your favor. Ever had that friend that never got blamed for drama but he or she always seemed to be around for it? Or the friend who loves to party it up and will get along with everyone for the sake of a good time? Your mind is zoning in on someone right now, I can feel it. (Just call me Miss Cleo.) You’re thinking of that one friend who never called anyone out on their shit or never wanted to be involved in any altercation, but by doing so, this person caused more harm than good. This friend has an opinion but doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or step on anyone’s toes. There’s nothing wrong with being a peace keeper, BUT NO ACTION IS AN ACTION. If you don’t think this person would have your back when people are talking smack about you, then he or she isn’t your friend.
The Attention Seeker (This One Mainly Applies To Women): You can probably visualize this one pretty easily. It’s the girl that lets it all hang out (I don’t need to elaborate here), wants everyone’s attention, flirts with everyone (including your significant other), and likes to be the queen bee and most attractive of your crew. Usually this type of friend doesn’t ever try to boost your self esteem and is always complaining about having lots of drama with women. If you wouldn’t trust this person alone with your partner, then it’s a safe bet that you shouldn’t be friends. Who needs a friend with low self esteem that just brings yours down to boost hers? No one.
The Jealous One: This friend is usually she Debbie Downer, the one who loves when your life is falling apart. This person will revel in your breakups and misfortune and appear to be so thoughtful and kind. He or she is the perfect friend, that is, until good things start happening and the fear of you leaving them behind sets in. The new boyfriend isn’t good enough, the new job is a big mistake, the sky is falling....you get my point. If you don’t pay enough attention to this person, he or she will play the victim. Here’s my advice, the more positive you are, the less likely someone with this attitude will enter and stay in your life. So, KEEP SMILING!
The Flipper: This trait isn’t one that people grow out of. In fact, most of the traits I’ve discussed, people keep their entire lives, especially if they still exist in high school and college. So, let me explain my last friend “type” you want to stay away from. I call it the flipper because this person can flip or turn on you in an instant and sometimes for no reason. They will flip the script on you quickly! I can visualize one friend growing up that was the perfect definition of this kind of pal. This friend always kept you close enough to think you guys were friends, but he or she would always have someone better to hang out with. I always found myself very frustrated with this friend because it was an up and down relationship. In fact, when I confronted this person about it, she actually said I wasn’t there for her. Well, that’s interesting because this friend only showed up when people could see her be a great friend. But, I was constantly ditched for a boyfriend or friend that was cooler or more fun. I list this friend last for a reason. The reason is because The Flipper will also have characteristics of one of the friend types mentioned above. The take home message here is that you don’t ever want to feel like you’re not good enough. This friend tends to have that effect on you.
Stay tuned for Part 2: Types of Friends You Absolutely Need in Your Life