The other day the children had a friend over for a play date. I was in the other room when I overheard one of the children claim that they would no longer be the other child’s friend if they did not give them a certain toy. I chuckled to myself. It is rather amusing how we regard friendships when we are young. By simply sharing a toy, or, as my daughter has attested to numerous times, a treat from your lunchbox you instantly have a BFF. Now, mind you that same BFF will totally take back that status if you don’t have a treat or toy to share the next day.
There are so many growing pains in life that revolve around friendships. Thankfully as adults we are more mature and we don’t have to worry about a person being a friend one day and unfriending the next. Wait! Nope. I take that back. While just last month I experienced that precise scenario on Facebook. Perhaps adults have not evolved far beyond preschool and elementary school when it comes to friendships? Or has the definition of friend simply changed?
With the introduction of Facebook the natural process or evolution of a relationship has become complicated. It used to be evident who an acquaintance, friend, best friend were but thanks to Facebook everyone is now a friend. Your neighbor, friend! The woman at the grocery store who had to have that recipe, friend! Your child’s music teacher, friend! You get the idea. A lot of these individuals would be given the title acquaintance back before we had Facebook. Now we quickly give everyone the title of friend without ever earning it.
It has taken me a few years but I have come to the realization that a friendship is something that is earned. You can’t instantly be friends without earning the title, without putting in your time, nurturing the relationship. Also, in order to have a true friendship you need to be a friend worth having. Are you honest, trustworthy, loyal, kind, compassionate, empathetic, a good listener? It can take time and energy to truly be a friend worth having. And it can take many trials and errors before you find a person who can reciprocate. Unfortunately the pain of realizing an individual whom you thought was your friend isn’t doesn’t lessen with age. In fact, I think it hurts more. Children don’t know any better, adults do.
I did some research on the topic and here is what I found.
Signs that your friendship is fake…
- A fake friend does not feel genuinely happy when you have positive news. Smiles in front of you but fumes with anger inside.
- A fake friend will always find fault about you, and highlights your fault.
- A fake friend will never be humble towards you. His/her ego is bigger than yours.
- A fake friend is secretly happy to hear about your weaknesses and will use it against you, or worst, spread lies about you.
- A fake friend will use you as a punching bag, whenever he/she needs an escape goat, he/she will talk down on you to feel good.
- The worst case, a fake friend is suffering from mental issues, would hurt you verbally, emotionally, mentally and destroy you as a person, without rational explanation
Fake friends always expect a person to visit, call and see about them, but they don’t want to give in the same effort. They think that it’s okay not to give their effort to put back into the friendship at all, which drains a person out…… Fake friends don’t keep their word! They always leave another person in the dark about something! This means that they don’t call to say that plans have changed, or they don’t call to say something has happened!
Craves attention from your peers…. Ever experience a friend adding a lot of your friends on Facebook to their own list? This comes after only saying hi to your friend once if they’ve even said anything at all… sounds like someone is jealous of your popularity and wants your friends for them.
Disappearing or shying away…..Have you ever experienced trying to make plans with a friend and suddenly they’re always too busy or don’t even call you back altogether. All of a sudden they never want to hang out anymore. Sometimes when people are jealous, they would rather stay away then face the fact that they feel bad about themselves in your presence.
Signs of a Real Friend……
- If your car is off the road they will offer to drive you even if it means that they are going out of their way to do so, neither will they accept any petrol money from you for doing it.
- Even if you only see each other two or three times a year, when you are together it’s like you have never been apart.
- They will offer their unfailing support no matter what you try to do, even if they don’t agree with your choices they will support you in them.
- They won’t say anything behind your back or gossip about you when you are not there.
- They know about all of your insecurities but won’t broadcast them to the masses.
Though I have been hurt a few times and yes, even un-friended a couple of times, I have not lost all faith in mankind. I believe people by nature are good, God created it so. However our society feeds the ego so much that the good can become difficult to find. Thus when making new acquaintances tread lightly and be cautious. And when you do find that true friendship hold on to it, treasure it, for it is an invaluable gift, and lastly do remember that we are all human, no one is perfect, and forgiveness is a necessity for any relationship to thrive.
What qualities do you look for in a friend? Have you ever found yourself in a fake friendship…what were the signs? Please share your thoughts, idea, and experience.