I have been thinking about my fab friends lately. I have been blessed with more than a few of them and I was thinking on what advice I would give past-me about making friends.
I am perhaps the most loyal person you will ever meet. Did me wrong in the past? Chances are if you show up at my door tonight, I will invite you in for dinner and give you just one more chance to prove yourself. I have had to learn over the years to protect myself from a few personality types that just are not going to work for me. I am not saying that I am a perfect friend or that I am completely unforgiving (or not in need of forgiveness) when we all fall into one of these traps. I am just learning to follow my gut a bit more.
Dear past-me, please avoid these five people...
1) The Out-Bummer-er
You know the type. She likes to one-up your misery. You have a cold? She has tonsilitis. You had a rough night sleep? She hasn't slept in a week. You are fighting with your husband? Hers spent the entire family savings on a motorcycle.
You need a friend who listens to your bummer moments without trying to out-bummer you. We are all struggling with something, big or small. Look out for this phrase after you tell your story - "Well, at least you don't.... like me"
2) The Rainbows-and-sunshine-vortex
This guy, known as Debbie Downer, sucks all the positive juju out of a room. Nothing goes right, and there is something wrong with every moment. They just can't wait to rain on any parade, remind us of all the danger out there, or recite facts about oh, say, genocide, the bad economy, or how the meal was just a little over cooked. I consider myself a positive person and love to spread the rainbows-and-sunshine and it is just simply exhausting to be with someone who makes it their job to remind us of the downside (and there is one).
3) The Whats-Your-Name-Again?
I am definitely the giver in relationships, that is my status quo and I am totally okay with that. There is definitely give-and-take in all good friendships. However, the friend who is all about her her her all the time time time is just a no no no. She is so self absorbed that she can't really remember any details about you, maybe even your own name. If they follow up the question "so, how have you been?" immediately by bringing back the subject to themselves, this is a big clue. These friends ask too much and are unable to understand they are taking all of the relationship energy for themselves.
4) The Flake
This has to be a top-five pet peeve of mine. You really are only as good as your word, right? Didn't someone famous say that? If you say you will be there, be there. This goes beyond simply making your appointments and goes into knowing when you are in need of a friend. A good friend doesn't shy from a tough moment, but instead is there when you need a little extra love.
5) The Holier-than-Thou
Okay, you want friends that you admire. But you don't need friends who make you feel bad about yourself. I do a good enough job at putting myself down, I don't need other people to do that for me (am I alone in this?). Chances are they are making you feel small because they themselves are insecure. You don't need to be the stepping stone for someone else to feel better about themselves. (Because, psshh, girl, you are fabulous!)
Bottom line, past-me: Make friends with people who have the same idea of what a friend is as you do. Understand some friends are forever and some are just for right now. And that is okay.
What friends do you make? What are you looking for in a new friend? What are your friend deal breakers? And what is with this chimp and leopard?