10 Friendships That Will Ruin Your Life
True Friends Are Rare in This Life So Make Sure You Keep Good Friends Close
My kids are at the age where they are leaving home and striking out on their own into the cold and cruel world.
There are lots of people who are willing to be a "friend" but only a handful of those people will become true friends to the bitter end.
As my kids begin their journey out there, I wanted to give them some advice on what to look for in a good friend - then I realized that they will really have to make that determination for themselves.
SO, I decided to let them in on the things that I think make a bad - or toxic friend. I have had many of these bad friends in my life and so I know a bit about these things.
These 10 "Friends" can really cause problems in your life and shopuld probably be avoided...
You know what? Friends who continue to give you unsolicited advice about what you do, who you are with or anything else about your life just don't need to be your friend. Friends like this are only going to make you second guess every decision you make, especially those life-altering big-time decisions.
You don't need to feel insecure about every decision you make. True friends let you make your own decisions and remain your friend - even if you don't agree on everything and even if you make the wrong decision.
These friends make you feel bad about everything - your clothes, the car you drive, the people you hang with, etc. No matter what you have or who you know, this friend always critical and had something better.
I learned that by spending time with these snobs, I was actually giving them a sort of control over who I was and what I did. Not to mention I always seemed to feel bad about myself when I was around these people. Ask yourself if you really need to be around a "friend" who is critical of everything in your life.
I had a lot of friends throughout my life who always seemed to be broke. If we went out to dinner, they never seemed to have any money to pay their portion of the bill. Not only that, some of them seemed to think nothing of borrowing - and never paying back - a couple of bucks.
Over time, I became extremely resentful of these "friends" even though it was my own fault for lending them money. I worked my way through college and money was tight for me. I finally had to learn to say "no" to my perpetually broke friends.
Now we didn't have Facebook when I was growing up or when I attended college. I have Facebook now and I can see the pitfalls and problems that come with this convenient technology.
Today, I have friends who spend way too much time on Facebook, some never leave their home anymore. These folks are missing out on real life and the chance to have a deep, personal relationship with some real friends. I say, shut off the computer and get out there.
Facebook friends are typically not real "friends." I discovered this when I met a friend I had made on Facebook recently. It seemed we really "clicked" online. So we decided to meet over coffee. The whole experience was abysmal. We soon discovered that there was a big difference between real friends and Facebook friends.
As much fun as I have had with these sort of "friends" throughout my life, they always seem to get me into trouble when I'm around them.
I had one good friend with whom I went to college who was like this. No matter where we went, trouble was inevitable - and it was usually caused by something my friend did.
I discovered that the one thing I had in common with this friend was the one thing that was unhealthy in my life. Trouble was, this one thing was all we had in common as friends.
I made the decision to end the friendship when I determined that this friend was bringing me down rather than building me up as a person.
These "friends" can be especially damaging if you have moved ahead and experienced change in your life. I discovered that when I was around my "old friends" I reverted to my previous behaviors - and I didn't even realize it until another friend pointed it out to me. My new friend reminded me that maybe I had grown and was a different person. He was right.
I found I could keep a connection with these old friends but I couldn't keep returning to the past. I had grown past that and they had not. I discovered I wanted to spend time with friends who wanted to make some new memories.
The great thing was that only one of those "old friends" saw the same thing happening and decided to leave the past behind as well. Fortunately, we are good friends to this day.
I typically ran into these types of "friends" where I worked. In one case, I actually had a frenemy who went into a high-level meeting as my supposed friend and supporter, but soon turned on me and threw me under the bus during this same meeting just to make himself look better to the boss.
I thought being friends with this person would help my career and mistakenly believed that people normally acted this way in business. I almost lost my job and learned a hard lesson. True friends support each other's victories as well as being there in defeat.
Sad or Bitter Friends
Friends that are consistently down or sad seem to gravitate toward me in my life. I have had many "friends" like this and they always made me feel bad about myself. I felt bad for them and found that the only reason I would spend time with them was because I felt guilty when I told them "no."
These folks are typically not very positive and that spreads like a virus to other people around them.
Bitter friends seem to believe that everything in their lives are always bad. Spending time with these friends sucked the joy out of my life and pulled me down into their negative pit every time I was with them. Makes me wonder why I spent ANY time with these friends.
Don't waste your time with sad or bitter people unless it's to direct them to seek help.
Folks who can never make a commitment are typically not going to make good friends. In my experience with these sort of people, they always seemed to have a sense of low self esteem. I never really felt good about myself when I was around them.
In this world, people have so many different value systems. This makes it even more important to take a position based on what you truly believe.
Friends who are fence-sitters always made me feel insecure about myself and the things in which I believed.
Remain open to other ideas, cultures and possibilities but surround yourself with those that know who they are and what they believe.
You know people will always talk about other people and typically that's just fine.
It's those friends who seem to relish every sordid detail, imply every negative possibility and just push their bitter opinions onto everybody and everything in a destructive manner.
These "friends" were spending a great deal of time around me spreading this damaging gossip. I discovered that I could simply ignore these gossip-mongers, but other folks around me would see this person spending way too much time with me. Due to this, my own integrity was questioned by those around me because they thought I wanted to participate in this destructive behavior.
I once had a good friend tell me that if you can't say anything nice about someone, it's best to say nothing at all. There is a lot of truth to that. Your true friends will not trust you, and may abandon you if you spend time around those who spread damaging gossip.
The Bottom Line on Good Friends
So that is the sum of my wisdom regarding friends. My kids, like most kids their age, think they already know everything so it's hard to know how much they will listen. I know one thing for sure and that is true friends are like a rare jewel and you will be lucky to make a few good friends in this life.
One last thing, when you find a good friend, do whatever it takes to keep that friendship alive. I have learned that as I get older, those true friends are such a comfort and encouragement, especially if life has thrown a few curveballs your way. If you haven't talked to your best friends for a while, maybe you should give them a call and let them know what they mean to you.
Here's to good, true friends!