Who Needs Enemies When You Have Friends Like These... 5 Fake Friends to Avoid!
FAKE FRIEND ALERT!!
When you think about your friends, you think about the people who are constantly there for you, the ones that pray for you, the ones that will tell you when you are wrong and the ones that are a positive influence in your life. They're real with you and you can genuinely feel that they're making a consorted effort to be in your life. BUT you also have those bad apples. You know... the ones you're questioning in the back of your head when they say something slick or the ones you offer a mean side eye when they make a passive remark. They may even be the person you raise an eyebrow to every now and again. Fake friends are like shadows: always near you at your brightest moments, but nowhere to be seen at your darkest hour. In my past, I was not as mindful or intentional about my friendships. I focused more on trying to make myself fit into the friendship rather than finding friends who were a good fit for me. I probably spent more effort than was reasonably acceptable trying to establish connections that weren't worth keeping in the first place. Since maturing, I started to be more mindful of value propositions. I noticed that my self respect increased and my tolerance decreased. I started choosing me! In that transition the true characters of my so called "friends" took a drastic turn. But that was ok because it was necessary for me to realize exactly what I needed in a friendship.
Jan Yager, Ph.D., sociologist and author of When Friendship Hurts says,"keeping toxic people around could take away time and energy from positive friends, damage your self-esteem or put you in harm's way." Now I'm sure if you're reading this you too have watched an episode of Friends... #thefakeedition. I'm also sure that at some point you never imagined that you would have to interview, assess, or even reassess the connections you have. You're probably Ms. Fix It or the Peacemaker in your past or current relationships; Doing this even when you're left as collateral damage from being the bigger person. Now the age of petty is among us and we're CALLING THEM OUT! So let's take a moment to identify my top five toxic types of “friends” to avoid.
1. Miss Me Too. Competition never hurt anyone EXCEPT when it does! It can actually be a healthy source of motivation when used to inspire or encourage your friends to be better. Have you ever had some amazing news and the first people you wanted to share it with were your girlfriends? So you hop in the group chat and share the details about your NEW promotion. BUT Miss Me Too chimes in about how she got promoted last month. She goes on and on about her new perks and neglects to acknowledge your accomplishment at all. Uhhhh THIS AINT BOUT YOU BOO!!!! Miss Me Too seems to constantly want to one up you. You can’t seem to have a happy moment without her trying to add that she's either done it or tried it more successfully. Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a friendly wager amongst friends. The keyword is FRIENDLY. Miss Me Too wants to see you do better, just not better than her. Your truest friends are the ones that share authentic happiness when you are happy. Good friends celebrate with you and are genuinely proud of you. Envy is normal, but great friends make an effort to either seal those feelings from spoiling your moment OR they wait to acknowledge those feelings at a later date. They're not looking to steal your joy and they're definitely not looking to diminish your achievements.
2. The Copy-Cat. You know when you are about to go out and you send that text to your girl and ask “Hey! What are you wearing tonight?” Yes, we have all done it! You ask because you want to either check out what the scene is like before you step out, you want to match your friends fly so you're not in jeans and a white t-shirt while she's in a bodycon dress and stilettos, or you simply want to avoid wearing the same thing since you probably have similar taste (this happens to me alot)! But picture this: you buy those new heels, your friend snags those new heels; you get a new car, your friend gets that exact same car a month later; you cut your hair, your friend now has those same Chinese bangs. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but ummmmm it’s kind of creepy. Middle school has passed and the goal is to no longer step out as the long lost members of TLC or Destiny's Child. We are not the Supremes! Great friends have their own identity within the friendship and go beyond superficial attachments to connect.
3. Necole Bitchie. You want your friends to support you in everything you do. When you tell them good news, you want them to celebrate you and your accomplishments. But Necole Bitchie is N-E-G-A-T-I-V-E! Not only does she question everything, she may have a complaint to go with it. She judges your flaws and highlights your mistakes. Babygirl is a tough critic and can infect everyone with her sour patch kids attitude. It’s like homegirl can’t be happy for you. She has to find the negative and the “what if” in EV👏🏽ER👏🏽Y👏🏽THANG! Mainly, because she is quite possibly unhappy with her own life and we know “misery loves company.” Unfortunately some people have a hard time being happy for the success of others. Please don't allow her heightened sense of self-importance and lack of emotional intelligence to break your stride. Real friends lift you up! They're your biggest cheerleaders, team captains, and coaches. Her positive attitude should make you feel good and being around her should be like a breath of fresh air. Anything else is FAKE!
4. Big Sister "Not I." You know who she is! She's miss never take responsibility for her actions. She is the one that gets into it with everyone, but is always the victim. The one that has a big mouth, but hides in her hands when crap hits the fan. She's the one that knows she's in the wrong, but refuses to admit it. If apologizing was expected you'd probably end up feeling like you're the crazy one. She is a master manipulator! True friend rise above their differences and don't become angry or critical when being accountable. Don't find yourself agreeing just to keep the peace. Our true essence is not in the "I told you so" but in how we recognize our own flaws and sincerely apologize.
5. Gossip Queen. Okay. So I would be a hypocrite if I were to say that I don’t like a good laugh or two. And sometimes it’s from some good tea! BUT the Gossip Queen likes to divulge ALL kinds of tea. She even serves it with lemon AND honey! She will literally tell everybody’s business with specific detail related to who did what to whom. She may even say to you “girl your secret is safe with me” or “I wont tell anyone, I promise.” DON’T TRUST IT SIS! If she can run her mouth TO you, she can run her mouth ABOUT you. There's nothing worse than broken trust among friends. Real friendships are grounded in trust and loyalty. Now this doesn't mean that you allow yourself to become a reservoir for dumped secrets, but if you're not confident that your friend won't betray your trust, talk about you behind your back, or diminish you in front of others explain to me why she's around again... I'll wait.
Take a good look at these types of “friends.” They're not bad people. They probably and most likely have amazing qualities otherwise why would you be friends with them in the first place. Just be aware of toxic attributes. Energy is transferable. Positive and negative. Make sure that the energy being transferred into your space is positive. If you find your "friend" is manufacturing too much unhappiness and draining your emotional energy, it may be time to take a break! We all have our moments, but those moments shouldn’t grow into negative character traits.
It's easy to be a friend when things are going well and life is easy, but when things are not going so well what is your capacity to be a great friend? Can you encourage your sister when she feels insecure? Do you offer grace and forgiveness when she hurts you? Can you respect her opinion even when she doesn't share your sentiment? If I can offer any advice, make an effort to avoid being oblivious to the moods or state of mind of your girlfriends. We all hurt... Some just mask it better than others. It's vital that we make an equal effort to connect with each other. That's not only in establishing your connection, but maintaining it. You may often than not be the one in a friendship who is always initiating. An uneven balance of effort in any friendship is draining and frustrating. Over time, it may make you feel disrespected and unloved. REAL FRIENDS invest equal time and energy into maintaining the relationship! And like any good relationship, a solid friendship requires time, effort, and commitment from BOTH people. At the end of the day don't you think you deserve the kind of friend that you are to others?
So let's play a game. If while reading this you thought of at least one person in your life right now SAY IT WITH ME... If she doesn't help me grow, LET HER GO! Don't waste another day in superficial connections that are bound to end anyway. I know it's hard because we all want to feel loved and supported, but NOT at the expense of your dignity or well-being. Become more self aware and set healthy boundaries with your sisters!
Any other toxic friends you know? Let's chat about it!