As I get older and wiser, I’ve come to realize that my dad taught me one of the most valuable lessons in life. Even though he wasn’t really around when I was growing up, and we aren’t particularly close, he actually passed on some words of wisdom to me that I haven’t forgotten and stand by daily. About twelve years ago or so, my dad told me, “you may think you have a lot of friends now, but in life you really only have a few friends, and many associates.” Now if you swap out “associates” for “acquaintances”, this one quote should stir something in your spirit. And if doesn’t, perhaps you just haven’t reached a place in life when you’ve been hurt by enough people or seen enough things. But either way, my father had and has an amazing point.
Too many people have gotten caught up in using the term “friend” too loosely. And I understand folks have Facebook accounts with 1500+ plus friends, and have followers on IG and Snapchat from across the globe, but no person should realistically have that many people they call true friends. Truly, a person should only have a select few that have been extended reciprocal friendship, but a host of people approved as acquaintances and colleagues. If you find yourself disagreeing with me, this is a good time for me to get to the point of this post.
There are five types of “friends” that in fact should not be anywhere near your inner circle, and perhaps life. As I go through the list and you find yourself identifying people in your head that you call friends, it’s time you do some late spring cleaning. Let’s begin.
Friend of Convenience
Now this is really the standard acquaintance. You and this person met at work or something, and you two associate because there is no one else at work to laugh and kiki with on your breaks. You don’t really go into the intimate details of your life with this person, you wouldn’t call this person if you were at your lowest point, and you two don’t make plans to hang outside of the place in which you met (you two may talk about making plans but never really do). In fact, this is an individual that if you no longer had to be in the same environment with, you two would stop speaking altogether. Now this not a bad individual to have around you necessarily, but again this isn’t a friend. It’s an acquaintance.
I’m certain we all have that person(s) we can call up whenever we want to take a break from watching Netflix on the weekend, and go out and party. That individual who is always down to go to a bar or club, knows what spots are popping and on what nights, and will encourage you to drink one more drink regardless of how much liquor you’ve already had. This type of person is always a good time. However, they aren’t always a good confidant.
Again, this is another person that probably doesn’t know the most intimate details of your life, or need to, and you wouldn’t really call if you were in a dire situation. Heck, you probably get a text from this type of “friend” all the time asking if you want to go out, and instead of being straight up and declining, you pull one of three moves.
- You act like you don’t see the text inviting you out, and never respond.
- You see the text, but purposefully don’t respond until the next day claiming you didn’t see it or that you fell asleep.
- Or you hype it up like you’re going out but then go ghost when it’s time to make moves.
This person is not a bad person to have around, but once more, not a real friend. Especially if you only communicate about “turning-up.”
Prepare yourself to weed your inner circle of this type of guy right now if you haven’t already. Heck, let’s say your life. This is the type of “friend” that only wants to be around you when you have great things going for yourself. He only associates with you because he sees what can get from you and who he can meet through you. As soon as you hit a rough patch or aren’t treating him to things, he goes away faster than you can even say friend. A person like this is not a buddy of yours but a leech. He will suck you dry of your energy, time, and resources.
Crab in the Barrel Friend
Another type of individual you will want to rid your life of, and pronto. This is the girl that won’t ever support you in your quest for greatness. She will cast doubt on your dreams, question you taking steps to go further in your education or career, and will give you a side-eye for every major purchase you spend cash on. This individual will hate on you so bad for no other reason than she doesn’t want you to be doing better than her. Instead of looking at the upward mobility moves you make with pride and feeling inspired to do better, she puts on her green shades of envy and throws nothing but salt your way. If a name of a person popped into your head reading this description, I want you to start the blocking process immediately.
This person is similar to the Crab in the Barrel Friend. He doesn’t want you to being doing better than him. Or doesn’t want you to elevate. However, this person actually thinks you are in a position of “less than” at the moment, and that’s where he wants you to stay. As if he is the king and you are a loyal subject. If he even hints at you trying to upgrade your status, he will place doubt in your mind that you can do it, while slyly doing what he can to undermine you. That may even include gossiping about you and attempting to discredit you with any and everybody that will listen. Again, anyone not happy to see you grow up and grow out is not someone you want as a member of your necessary support system.