Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Friendly Faces?

You know that line in Something’s Gotta Give about versions of the truth?  Jack’s character says, “I have always told you some version of the truth,” to which Diane’s character wryly responds, “The truth doesn’t have versions.”

She’s right. But it seems there are different versions of friends because, let’s face it, an awful lot of people have no idea what it means to be a real friend. 

Now, I understand friendships sometimes drift apart over the years due to distance, marriage, and/or children. Those things happen.  And I know people aren’t perfect—even true friends can make mistakes or say things they don’t mean. Again, those things happen. I’m not talking about changes in circumstances getting in the way of friendships; I’m talking about people who were never really your friend to begin with.  

I used to think friends meant being there in good and bad times, being supportive when they’re weak, helping them rise when they fall, and celebrating when they succeed.  I used to always think there was only one kind of friend.  Boy, was I as naïve as a little lamb trusting a slightly bigger lamb with unusually big fangs, gray pointy ears, and poorly fitted wool. 

It seems like the friend thing is getting worse. I hear it all the time: “She just stopped being my friend when I got a boyfriend;” “She says really cruel things to me, then turns around and brags about something in her life;” “He says he values my friendship, but only calls to flirt, then disappears for weeks.”

So, I’ve put together a short list of “friends” to avoid:  

  1. Fair weather friend: These “friends” wear their masks very well. They give every indication of being a real friend until the bottom drops out, things get rough, and then they zippity-do-da right on outta there.  Ultimate Friend Fail: No better than a fair weather football fan—not loyal, unreliable. 

  1. Foul weather friend: Polar opposite of fair weather.  When something makes you happy or fate hands you a golden egg, this “friend” goes M.I.A.  They are unconditional friends so long as your life, in their view, is less than stellar, but when your life finally decides to get good, they split.  Ultimate Friend Fail: They rejoice in your sorrow or failure; can’t be happy for you; total evil queen or king in manner of Maleficent.

  1. Footstool friend: Like bacteria in human form, these charming sorts will be true as tar until you unwittingly help them reach a premeditated goal, at which point they will dump you and move to the next.  You are a means to their ends. You are only friend material if you know people, have something they want, or can get them to a particular place in life, whether professional or personal.  Ultimate Fried Fail: It’s all about them, the materialistic-Cruella de Vil-mongers.

  1. Fire-stoking friend: The one who likes to stir up trouble.  This friend seems to cause strife between you and your other friends, family, and sometimes your boyfriend or significant other. Ultimate Friend Fail: The Siamese cats from Lady & the Tramp. ’Nuff said.

  1. Fur-stroking friend: These types are in desperate need of an ego boost. Whether it’s a guy needing a little flirt after being rejected elsewhere or a girl wanting to show off about this or that, these friends keep you on speed dial for a quick “I am so great and wonderful” moment.  Ultimate Friend Fail: You are simply their mirror, mirror on the wall. 
Conclusion: If confronted by any of the above...run. True, real friends are hard to find, but when they do come along, it's special--they're almost a once in a lifetime kind-of-thing. 

Um, one more conclusion: People just kind-of suck sometimes.

22 comments:

  1. You're right. A friend should be there for you in the bad times, and he happy for you when something good happens. I had never thought about the foul weather friend before but you have a point. I guess as long as your life sucks they feel better about themselves. It kind of sounds like life has been beating you down a little. Hopefully that stops :)

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  2. Love the list :-)

    I've a family member who falls under the "foul weather friend" category. She's pure poison. And I've unfortunately had to break off all contact with her to keep my sanity.

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  3. Have you had a footstool friend, Miss Virgin? I hear they're very common in show business. Madonna was a classic example before she became famous. Sadly, the Butch-and-Sundance frienship is quite rare these days.

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  4. I say I have a lot of friends, but in reallity I have about 5.

    Those five people will help me hide a body and some already know where the bodies are. :)

    I had to laugh the other day when a I saw a woman on TV who was so sad because she posted something on FB and only got 6 responses, even though she had 287 friends. Huh? I hardly call the woman who sat 3 seats behind you in Homeroom 20 years ago a friend. Just sayin'.

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  5. me thinks thou hast been wronged by friends. Sorry. Hugs.

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  6. I don't know darlin.... I think that perhaps we have been tuned into exceedingly high expectations of others. Perhaps, if we only put expectations into ourselves, we will be less hurt by the ones we call friends...

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  7. I have known several people like all of the above at some point. They are all toxic.

    I did love the Disney references, though!

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  8. Jay: Oh, I'm doing just fine, promise. :) Lately, I've been hearing it from friends about their "friends." And I had one "friend" recently prove himself otherwise, which was terribly disappointing. There's a stark difference between friend and faux friend, which I recently saw plain as day. So, between that and hearing what my friends have been experiencing, it got me thinking, hence the list.

    Cat: Thanks. :) My brain sometimes gets carried away. lol Oh, it's crazy tough when it's a family member. I'm sorry you had to go through that. :(

    GB: I've had a quasi-footstool friend, but, luckily, I recognized it pretty quickly. Oh, it wouldn't surprise me if Hollywood is full of footstool friends. Shame, too. I didn't know that about Madonna! Wow. The true friendships are terribly rare. I'm lucky to have a few. :)

    Julianna: Yep, I can count on one hand the number of true friends I have as well.

    Okay, that's just silly about the FB comment stuff. You're absolutely right, I mean, how many of those people are really your friends? My mom and dad always taught me that you're lucky in life if you can count on one hand the number of true friends you have.

    Eva: Well, I have been wronged in the past, certainly. Recently, I did have a friend show his true colors and it was disappointing. But, I've been hearing it like crazy lately from friends about their "friends" wronging them in the most despicable ways.

    So, my brain got to thinking and out popped the list. lol

    I'll take those hugs though! :)

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  9. Average Girl: Aw, heck, I've had exceedingly hgih expectations of myself since I was 4. lol As I get older, I just expect one thing from a true friend: be real. That's it. Unfortunately, many people wear a mask and it can fool you. Nobody deserves that.

    J.Day: Toxic is a great word. Thanks--Disney just seemed to fit. I don't know why. lol

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  10. Okay, checking for the red squiggly line that tells you "Hello, you can't spell, idiot," would be good.

    I meant, "*high* expectations" in that last comment.

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  11. Oh so true sweetie. I literally have a whole list of friends to avoid titles and was going to put them into a book form. Female friendships (and really friendships in general) are very complex and people's motives aren't always as pure as mine are. I think it would get me down more if I didn't have a close group of friends I've had for almost my whole life to love, support, and accept me. I wish everyone had such a great experience with friendship as I have but I know it isn't the case.

    HUGS sweetie.

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  12. Hey, great list! You put a lot of thought into this, and unfortunately it's all so very true. Spot on!

    Btw, I just love how many Disney references you pepper into your blog updates. You're a true Mouseketeer! :)

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  13. Well, Disney usually comes up with not only good villains, but good villainous names. ;)

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  14. Jewels: It's sad, isn't it? I mean, I don't understand why it's so difficult for people to be a friend. If I didn't have the friends I have, I guess I'd be alone. But I'd rather be alone than have a bunch of faux-friends--think that would be even lonelier. Many hugs!

    David: LOL-my mom taught me the Mouseketeer song when I was a toddler. lol I do love Disney. *blushes* :)

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  15. All are true. Sad isn't it? Great job with the list FV!

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  16. Right on Sister Blogger.

    Love,
    Lola

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  17. Yvonne: Very sad. Thanks, sweetie. *Hugs*

    LOLA: :) *Hugs*

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  18. I LOVE THIS!
    So accurate.
    I've come across the Fire-stoking friend and the Fur-stroking friend.
    Yes, people suck sometimes.

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  19. I have very few friends, but a lot of acquaintances. That's how I break down my relationships. Most people fall into the acquaintance bracket because they are not someone I can always count on.

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  20. Purple.Mist: Thank you! :) Reckon it just makes us appreciate our real friends even more. :)

    George: Well said. I use "acquaintance" more often than not now as well.

    Carole: :) Same here.

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