“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph is not wrong.You’ve gotta be a friend to get friends. I want to take it a step further and say you’ve gotta be a good friend to get good friends.
Every one of us has had moments of not being a great friend. That is normal and ok. Today, I’m talking about chronic behaviors. The types of friends I’m going to describe have many of their own issues to work through before they can ever recognize their ways and change them. You can keep yourself safe and your energy clear by recognizing these types of “friends” and keeping your distance.
Vickie Victim: Poor, poor Vickie. Everyone is ALWAYS out to get her. She is a complete victim to her circumstances and doesn’t take ownership over any area of her life. Nothing is her fault. She just has rotten luck - always - and can’t ever catch a break. Every time you get together it is ALLLLL about her and her problems. You’ve spent hours/days/years listening to how so-and-so wronged her and such-and-such injusticed her. You try to empower her and build her up, but she won’t have it. She’s too comfortable in victimhood.
No matter what problems you have, hers are always much worse. Having a problem with your kid’s teacher? Wait til you hear about the problem she had with her kid’s teacher. Feeling a little under the weather? Her too. And it’s probably much more terrible. She should probably go to the hospital. Will you go with her?
Are you picking up on a theme here? A “friendship” with this one will not be reciprocal and it will likely not give you anything you need. We recommend backing away slowly, and not giving her any more of your time.
Surface Sylvia: Sylvia is terrified of depth. She’s probably always down for fun stuff, but when the shit hits the fan, she’s nowhere to be found. You’ve tried to confide in her a few times, but she doesn’t seem to want to hear it. The truth is, your problems, emotions, and/or humanness make her verrrrry uncomfortable.
She can’t hold it down for you when the big stuff happens… divorce, death, illness, infidelity, injury, job loss… all of life’s painful curveballs have her keeping her distance. If you try to bring up anything serious, you’ll be brushed off or avoided.
Sylvia doesn’t have the emotional maturity to hold space for you in times of need. She probably can’t hurt you as long as you know this. Arm’s length is a good place for her (and she probably won’t mind that either).
Manipulating Mandy - Oh, the webs Mandy weaves. What is she to you? I know, it’s difficult to say, because she changes every day. She can be moody, undependable, and a real head scratcher. The truth is, she’s a chameleon.
She will become whomever or whatever she needs to be to gain a leg up. She will be your best friend one minute, cold and distant the next. She can make you believe anything - that she has your back, that you’re special to her, that she thinks the world of you - the good times are really good!
But she has a dark side too. A deceitful side that will say one thing to your face and do something else completely behind your back. A side that will use secrets or things said in confidence against you. A side that when push comes to shove, will always choose the option that makes her look best, whether it’s right or wrong. You’ve noticed that she’s only interested in hanging out with you when you agree with her.
The truth is, you are a cog in Mandy’s web. When you’re useful (i.e. if she can still control you), you’ll be kept around. If you mess up the image that she’s trying to maintain in any way, there will be consequences. We say, RUN, don’t walk, far far away from this type of “friend.”
Do you have a Vickie, Sylvia, or Mandy in your life? It might be painful to realize someone isn’t the friend you thought they were. Remember, there is a difference between a friend making a mistake or two and chronic bad behavior. We all need a little grace from our friends. There will be times when we (or they) drop the ball. Again, that is normal. But if the continuous pattern is that of using and/or abusing, learn your worth, Love. It’s time to break up with those peeps. Maybe they’ll come around and see the error of their ways, but don’t count on it. You can move on with your life and find incredible new friends with whom you don’t have to walk on eggshells.
You deserve to have the type of friend that you are. Remember that. ❤️