Better an honest enemy than a false friend
~ German proverb
Life can take us on some rather interesting journeys, and having good friends with us on the long ride makes both the best and worst periods of our lives a lot more enjoyable.
But having crappy, fake friends can turn even the best situation into a horrible experience, and it’s unfortunate that we all have to get burned before we can spot a bad friend from a good one.
Below are some of the worst traits exhibited by pseudo-friends: have a look at them and ask yourself if anyone in your circle embodies these traits.
1. You hear from them only when they want something
You might have not heard from this person in six months, but funny how you sprung to mind as soon as they needed an urgent favor. If you’ve proven that you’ll come to this person’s aid whenever needed, that’s the role they’ve labeled you with: the helper, the fixer, the one they can depend on.
They’ll appreciate you at the moment, thank you with food and beer and what have you, but you won’t hear from them again for the next six months until something else pops up that they need help with.
2. They’re never there when you need them
They are with you when you’re at the top, but never when you’re at the bottom.
You can find them say ” I always knew you could do it” but never once did they make it known or wanted to associate themselves with you.
If you ever hit rock bottom, they will never be there. And in such times they might even pass judgments about you to others. But when you get back in the game, they’ll claim to have stood by you all the time.
3. They’re never happy for you
As a friend, they ought to be your biggest fans as you should for them. If you ever noticed them giving you confusing congratulatory remarks (Sure you can win. But if I entered the contest, you’d lose. Congrats anyway!…), blatantly dismissed your success (“Well done, but you know that’s really nothing”) or anything like that, these fakers are not actually your friends.
They might see everything as a benchmark to be better than you instead. Although this sounds like a motivation, it feels like a constant battle, and will never be a fruitful friendship. The only time they’re happy for you is when you’re not better than them.
4. They disrespect and belittle you
They are not the one to trust if they openly or secretly demean you – especially in public or in front of friends and family. No one should have to feel small and miserable around their friends. There is a fine line between being constructively honest and being purposefully rude to belittle you in front of others in order to lower your social status.
They can repetitively tell you to “get over it” or something of that sort, but never listen with interest to what you have to say, never put in the effort. We are all humans and we all get emotional sometimes. If they never empower you, throw them out of your world.
5. They bring too much drama into your life
You probably know that person who only tells you about the awful stuff going on in their life.
They constantly ask your opinion about their choices or situation, but never take your advice. Instead, they often do the opposite and tend to keep repeating the same awful, self-destructing patterns of behavior, without ever learning from them, and, in the end, pour all their frustrations and negativity on you.
They make you do their emotional labor for them, and will likely tell you how good it makes them feel to talk to you. A good example might be a person who is constantly abused by their partner, telling you all the horrible things that happen behind closed doors, but stays with them out of a misguided sense of “love” and “loyalty”…
So you’re the only one who fidgets at the table when they’re over for dinner because you know what has been happening, but your so-called friend is having a good time because they’re not stressed at all: they’ve transferred all that negativity onto you to deal with, so their heart has lightened.
6. You’re wary of sharing certain opinions around them
Such people expect you to be an ever-agreeable, nodding, smiling, boneless worm, who supports everything they say and are quick to pull the trigger and start a huge argument if you express an opinion or idea that differs from theirs.
They might spout off about social or political issues, expecting you to echo their points of view, and put you down if you dare disagree. And if you do, they may mock you publicly for doing so, tell you how saddened they are for you not seeing “the truth”.
True friends can disagree, but they have to respect one another’s opinions and beliefs.
7. They may search you for information
There are some people who might come into your life and try to be friends with you solely to suit another purpose. It’s ridiculous and petty, but it’s quite shocking how many so-called adults can’t seem to behave with integrity and maturity.
A new person may make their way into your life (usually through social media) and become immediately chatty and impatient to get to know you. In no time, they might start asking personal questions about other people in your circle, and if you do a little research, you’ll find out that you have an acquaintance in common, and that could be someone you’ve had a falling out with.
Have you ended a relationship with someone recently? This new “friend” might be fishing for information from you to see what you’re up to so they can report back. Or it could be a coworker who has a grudge on you, trying to dig up some dirt to get you fired.
You might find these scenarios funny, but you’d be astounded by how often they occur, despite being utterly ridiculous. Be aware of this!
In the end, you’re allowed to outgrow people. Once you cast out the “friends” that eat you alive, you will find a better, healthier, and more meaningful path in life with real friends who truly matter.