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How to figure out if a Friend is Trustworthy or Just Plain Deceptive

Updated on October 21, 2008
Who needs enemies when friends like this push you around?
Who needs enemies when friends like this push you around?

Friends wasn't just a television comedy show about six people in hilarious situations. The show depicted the close bonds of those people for the good times and the bad times as well. Those friends are the kind worth keeping in your life regardless of the chaos that may ensue. Much my dismay, there are also some individuals who pretend to be there for you whenever it's convenient for them and vanish when it's not. Keep those friends close and your phony friends even closer.

Understand the importance of friendships above your own personal interests before determining which of your potential friends are worth your lifelong trust. Friendships are just as important, if not more so, as romantic relationships. Your friends are the type of people that stick by you through everything. You can lean on your closest friends through your professional success (a career promotion) and personal failures (divorce or a break up). Observe each one of your friends for any sign of disinterest before requesting one of their shoulders to cry on. See if their eyes search for the exit or a solution to your current dilemma. Take some of their feeble excuses as true or half baked fiction. Be your own private investigator to learn which of your friends are worth keeping and which ones need to be forgotten completely. Also be aware that the world doesn't entirely revolve around you and that you need to return the favor with your friends. Help them as much as they help you.

Test your friends by trying to include them in your joys and your woes. You'll know by instinct if those friends are worth of your time and effort. If a friend runs for the hills every time you've to deal with a problem, write them off as someone you can trust. Sadly, I learned this problem the hard way. When I was in college, I had this neighbor who lived on my floor that was going through a really tough time with some collegiate bullies. They pushed her around and treated her like dirt literally. She would constantly come crying to me for someone stable to lean on, but when it came time for me to ask for help she disappeared. She wrote me off completely and we didn't speak to each other for more than two years.

Use your judgment to determine if your friends are truthful or deceptive. Be careful about who you call for advice, help or a good time. If your friend has an ulterior motive to being in your social circle, forget about that friend unless you need an additional slot for a social event where you hardly have to see that person. Make yourself unavailable to that person. Protect yourself from any future betrayals that person may thrust upon you. In my youth, I came across a friend that never told me the truth. It took me one too many of her lies to realize she was not worth my time. I told her to stay away from me and she tried to make me a social pariah. After months of torture, I snapped and shouted in front of the entire grade in lunchroom to "get a life and stay out of mine." She finally got the hint and left me alone ever since.

In the end, not every friend is going to stab you in the back. There are some that actually retract their claws when your back is turned. Keep being positive that not all of your friends are out to get you. Learn from your past mistakes in trusting the wrong people. Try a different approach by keeping a little mystery about yourself and not overly relying on someone else to solve yourself. Your strength lies within you and not your friends. Accept that and you can go far in all worlds.

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