Are Your Friends Fake?

These days I’m a bit of a loner. Not to say I have no friends anymore but I definitely have a better quality friends. It took me a while to figure out that having a lot of friends didn’t mean I had great friendships or that I was a great person to be friends with. During that time when I considered myself pretty popular, most of my friends ended up being fake.

It was a painful realization to know that a majority of my friends were just friends with me because of circumstances, not because they genuinely liked me as a person and valued me in their lives.

The first thing I needed to learn was the difference between friends of circumstance and friends of value.

Friends of circumstance gravitate to you because they enjoy your company AND because you have some shared activity together.

High school friends are a good example. These are people that you saw for maybe four years day in and day out, going to the same school, the same classes and the same activities. It’s easy to build close relationships when you see someone all the time. But they’re still friendships of circumstance. Everyone experiences this. It becomes painfully obvious after high school ends. When everyone goes to different colleges and you see the friendships begins to fade. You don’t get texts as much from them or calls. You start to notice that you’re not getting invited for birthdays or meet up’s. Maybe that friend joined a different group of people, many of which you’re not familiar with. The reality is that most high school friendships end because the circumstances that brought the friendship together is over and then maintaining those friendships start to require work.

This is the main cause for why people perceive certain friendships as fake, especially if you could’ve sworn that the person liked you for you. But they were just circumstantial.

And this is why you’ll see a lot of people stick around their hometown because they have the comfort of their circumstantial friendships. Subconsciously, they know that if they leave the circumstance that created the friendship there’s a chance the friendship will not continue. From what I’ve seen, circumstantial friendships tend to breed complacency, lack of growth and staleness.

Friendships of value are very, very rare. I would say that maybe 1-5% of everyone’s friendships are friendships of value. If you meet a friend like this, it’s good to keep nurturing that relationship because it’s a healthy, honest, no strings attached friendship.

A telltale way of knowing if you have a friendship of value is that no matter how far you go, how many years pass by or how many changes occur in your life, that person is always able to be there for you. Maybe not physically, maybe they live far away, but they make the effort to contact you and share their lives with you. Why would someone do that when they’re no longer in a situation that makes it easy for them to be friends with you? Because they value who you are as a person.

Another way to tell if someone is less than a good friend is if they treat you differently then they treat others.

Some people view their lives as a movie and see their friends as just supporting characters, supporting them. Someone to make them look good, someone to fill the silence in their lives. People who have poor character will NOT make good friends. These people are capable of being kind, friendly and fun but their lack of character will keep them from being good friends in the long term.

For example, you see your friend Emily talk down about another friend that’s going through a rough time-maybe that person is a little strange or shy. You see her talk badly about that other friend behind her back but in person she’s friendly with them. What does that tell you?

That Emily would easily just talk as badly about you as she would about that other person.

Sure, you might shrug it off as just gossip or small talk, but that kind of behavior is very toxic and is sure to rear its head as soon as Emily finds someone better so they can talk about YOU behind YOUR back.

I had a friend like this once. She was very two-faced and I kind of gave her the benefit of the doubt because she never treated me badly. But once she found a friend that she considered “better,” I was the new person gossiped about.

So it’s really important to look at a person’s character even if they don’t treat you badly, if they treat other people badly, to just avoid them and not even bother building a friendship that way. Because it’s only a matter of time before that friendship collapses and you find out that you wasted so much time with a toxic person.

I wish I had better advice to give other than avoiding someone who’s fake. I wish had advice for how to change a friend and make them better. But whether a person is a good friend or not, that’s a choice they need to make for themselves, it’s not something you can help them with.

The important thing for you is to determine if they’re fake or not. And if, after reading this, you find your friends to be circumstantial, self-centered or two-faced, it might be time to manage expectations on how loyal you expect those friends to be.

Why Integrity Matters

My Best Friend Ghosted Me

How To Make A Change in Your Life

Blood Is Thicker Than Water: The Power Of Family

Or so the saying goes. I’ve been thinking a little bit about how my friendships have gone over the years and how things are so different now.

I used to think my friendships were everything. Ten years ago I had a group of friends from high school. We basically promised to be friends forever. But over a ten year period we all kind of fell off. At first I would get jealous when I perceived that I was being left out of a group. Like say I wasn’t invited to a random brunch or if I wasn’t included in a group text where some inside joke happened.  And to be honest, I WAS being left out by them. I wouldn’t call myself the most interesting or exciting person be be around at 18, true friendships just seemed to allude me.

So I felt really lonely during that time. What I didn’t realize was that I still had my family and that was my rock in life. During that lonely period, I didn’t realize that I was still going home every weekend and spending time with my sisters and my parents. They were in the background while I was out trying to keep my friends and make friends.

Then I got married and had a blessing child, one that I was neither prepared for nor mature enough for. I was 24.  All the friends that said they would help me out and visit when my child was born, gone. Ghosted. They were too busy traveling and partying. I guess that’s life. The weakest ties are the first ones to break.

It’s something I really didn’t value when I was younger. My cousins who are in the US are literally 3 hours away and I just felt so different from them. But now that I live closer, we text and chat and do eachother favors like no time has passed. I helped my cousin fix her resume so she could be a practicing esthetician and she helped me with some beauty treatments.

When I married my husband, I was marrying him but I didn’t realize that meant I was marrying into his family too. That can go either way depending on who you’ve married. I’ve heard stories of marriages and relationships being bliss until a mother in law steps in and places seeds of doubt into the husbands mind and undermines his wife.  Or the sister that likes to walk around in short shorts around your husband.  (Yes, I’ve seen this happen to someone I knew and it wasn’t pretty).  But I got lucky and his family is pretty amazing.  I just love that he has a large extended family.  Like 10 aunts and countless cousins.  It can be so confusing to remember everyones name but over time I kind of just became like one of them.

Every year they do a holiday party and its pretty awesome to be part of another family you weren’t born into.  Aunts and Uncles catching up.   His cousin Clara was telling me her career plans while I shared a few tips of my own.  And all of us sharing drinks and cheering to another year together and good company.  It just seems so much more effortless with family.  Family makes time for each other.

Meanwhile me and my “friends” want to meet up and it becomes:

“Oh wait, I realized I have a thing that day, can we change it” Of course this comes last minute after everyone else makes the commitment to meet on a certain day.

Or, “Thats so inconvenient, let’s meet closer to my place.  That restaurant is just too far from where I am and I’ll have to spend $ in order to get there.”  Meanwhile, it’s just as far for everyone else.

Or, “Don’t invite ____, me and her aren’t talking.”

Maybe women are just catty like that and don’t know how to be good friends.  But these kind of rude interactions are a freaking regular occurrence.

Or maybe I was looking for friends that had a bond like family, when really only family can treat you like family.

True friendship is probably the hardest thing to maintain and accomplish and I have yet to find it.  A true friend is someone who always has your back and through thick and thin.  They will support you, or at least listen to your problems.  They don’t get jealous of your good fortune or try to shoot you down.  They laugh with you and find moments of happiness to reflect on.

It’s sad, but I’ve never had a friendship like this.   My marriage is like this, but never a friendship.  The closest I’ve ever had was with that friend that ghosted me.  The friendship was great until we had our own families and decided to go our own ways.

I’m not saying that all friendships will fall apart.  I’ve certainly seen many friendships that surprisingly were able to with stand decades.  But friendship, like any other relationship requires effort, time, respect, and forgiveness.  People in my experience, just don’t have that kind of commitment in them.  Some people can’t even commit to their own families.  So I think it’s harder to find a true friendship like that.

So yes, blood is thicker than water.  In most cases that is.  I hope all of you reading this can take a moment and appreciate the value that family can have in your life.  Don’t be like me and realize this nearly 30 years later in life.

Some great quotes on family that I think capture it’s true importance

“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” ~ Michael J. Fox

“Family is a unique gift that needs to be appreciated and treasured, even when they’re driving you crazy. As much as they make you mad, interrupt you, annoy you, curse at you, try to control you, these are the people who know you the best and who love you.” ~Jenna Morasca

“You need a strong family because at the end, they will love you and support you unconditionally. Luckily, I have my dad, mom and sister.” ~Esha Gupta

Feel free to check out my other posts:

The Power Of Positivity

Stand Up For Yourself, Even When You Have Everything To Lose

On Gratitude…

The Power Of Change

My Best Friend Ghosted Me

I remember graduating from high school and some of the girls were crying. We were all excited about our next chapter in our lives.  But those girls were bawling their eyes out.   They knew. They KNEW things were going to be different and that the comfortable shelter of childhood was coming to an end.

I had a best friend.  Let’s just call her M. She was middle eastern and both her and I suffered from some light bullying, so I guess we both found solace knowing we both came from strict households and were the outliers in the high school social scene. She lived 4 blocks from my house and, even now, I remember what her room looked like. For some time she shared it with her Grandmother and had soccer posters up and Turkish evil eye jewelry laying around. We would spend our free time in high school working at Auntie Anne’s pretzel shop at the mall, I got a job there and brought her in. She was the first one to get a car and would drive me home from school from our after school activities. We did a school dance show and came up with a belly dance routine together, we joined the school play and did orchestra.  We got drunk for the first time together. I remember passing notes and gossiping about the boys we liked.  I was her maid of honor in her wedding.  I thought she was a true friend.

We honestly shared a lot of great memories.   I can’t go back more than 5 years without finding a picture of a moment we shared.   But now we don’t talk or text and it’s been this way for a while.

We just kinda stopped talking. I would send her texts and try to make plans and they weren’t reciprocated. Nothing.  A text would just not get much of a response. Plans would be cancelled last minute. It sucked.  All I wanted to know was why my friend is ignoring me.

A part of me wants to believe that friendships sometimes can drift apart and that maybe that they can be brought back together somehow and be the way they were.

But another part of me is like, “F that B*tch!”

Life didn’t keep us from being friends. Sending a text is nothing now. Keeping up to date and making quick call takes no time. We’re no longer friends now because one day she decided she didn’t want to spend time with me.  SHE decided she didn’t want to be a good friend.

I was noticing other things though. Like how she would make time for other friends, she would post pictures of them doing things and making plans together. I know, I know… I shouldn’t be comparing myself to other people and focusing other people’s social media highlight reels. But I couldn’t really shake the feeling that our friendship wasn’t drifting apart but rather suddenly ending.  My friend was not there for me.

M stopped liking my stuff except for really positive items. Once in a while I’d get a random text like, “oh hey, how are you? It’s just been so busy but we have to hang out soon!” But then no real plans would materialize from her end.

I guess this is how it feels to be ghosted by your best friend.

My husband asked about her last night, “What happened to M? How couldn’t you guys just stop talking like that? For literally no reason?” I cringed inside when he said that, because I don’t really know either.  If I think too much about it, I start to question all the things I did to deserve the ghosting.  Maybe I wasn’t there for her either, maybe I’m too selfish.  Maybe I wasn’t good enough? The truth I need to accept is that maybe I’ll never know.   Human nature is a fickle thing.

The hardest part is that this happened during the toughest part of my life. I had an unexpected pregnancy, was failing career wise, was struggling to pay bills, and drowning in debt. It would have been nice to have my best friend there. It would have been nice to been part of her hardships too. But she stopped being my friend.

Things have changed for me now. I have new friends, not really a best friend now but good friendships that are understanding, light and easy. My relationship with my sisters have replaced that best friendship I lost. We call eachother weekly. I call my mom too. I have K’s family and sisters in my life.  One friendship was lost, but so much as been gained at the same time.  I really need to think of it that way.

I don’t know what I would do if M suddenly tried to pop back in my life. Life has gotten better for me since we stopped talking, that’s for sure. It seems a shame to let 10+ years of friendship fizzle out.

But what’s the quote people like to use?

“If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best?”

I feel kind of silly being this grown ass woman worrying about friendships from my childhood.  Like I should be past these kind of disappointments by now, right?  But friendships were a major part of my life when I was growing up.  From ages 14-24 I had a best friend who was like a sister to me.  My friendships and relationships were the most important thing to me and it was even more important to keep them.  If you would have told 18 year old me that in seven years I would no longer be talking to M, I would have called you a liar.  I would have never believed it.  It would have been unfathomable to me.

Maybe that’s part of growing up though, its accepting that friendships and even relationships can’t last forever.  Two people aren’t even obligated to keep in touch after so many years.  M doesn’t owe me anything and I should really stop having these kinds of expectations on people.

Part of growing up is realizing that people can grow apart and sometimes the ship’s just sailed.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  Please feel free to like, share and follow.

Please check out my other similar posts:

When Good Enough Is Okay

Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 18