We forge new relationships all of the time. Some are obviously closer than others. Some people stay in your life for years. Some have been permanent and dependable fixtures in your life for as long as you can remember and the relationships are still going strong.
Some people only stay for a short while.
They need to go…immediately!
I’m talking about fair-weather friends here. The ‘friends’ who are only there when things are going well for you. The ‘friends’ who are there during your calm water periods but who you won’t see for dust when your waters turn choppy.
This type of friendship is extremely hurtful and can feel like the ultimate betrayal, especially if you have known the person for many years and you have always been there for them in their times of need. You have been the one that talks to them way into the early hours of the morning, happily sacrificing sleep to make sure they are in better spirits; abandons your own priorities to help them in an emergency; offers support if they have lost a loved one or a job etc. I’m sure you can think of a great many other examples.
There is no point clinging to such a toxic, one-sided relationship in the hopes that your friendship will eventually improve – most of the time, you will just be prolonging the disappointment and frustration. Usually, the relationship would have been dead from the start but you might not have been aware of (or didn’t want to accept) it. Don’t let it haunt you. Bury that coffin deep in the ground and move forwards.
Do you have any fair-weather friends that you need to kick to the curb? Here are some signs to look out for:
1. They are never there when times get tough
They are absent every time you are going through a spot of trouble. Breakup, loss of a relative or friend, job loss, debt, sickness etc., lead to the same outcome. In fact, their non-presence is as guaranteed as the sun rising and setting every day. Strangely enough, it is one of the only things you can depend upon them for!
2. You can’t confide in them
You realise that there is no point in spilling your secrets to your ‘friend’ because they wouldn’t care anyway. They never have in the past and they are too self-absorbed to accommodate you on their planet for one. Many attempts in the past have just resulted in an absent stare and body language blatantly conveying that they would be rather be anywhere than listening to you and your problems. But if you are lucky enough to get a response…
3. When you ask them for advice, they keep it short and general
If they asked you for help, you would dedicate hours to giving them helpful advice that could improve their situation and lift their spirits. Unfortunately, they will not do the same for you. Their advice is usually very clichéd, maybe one or two lines at most and too general to be worthwhile to you. They cannot be bothered to try and tailor their response to fit your circumstances.
4. They contact you only when they want a favour
You are their first port of call if they need money, to be chauffeured around, or help with something etc., even if they know if will be highly inconvenient for you. Indeed, you might even hear or see them three or four times within a day or a relatively short period! But this isn’t for the pleasure of your company – just to ensure that you haven’t forgotten about their important task (after all, it is way more important than your own life!) and to make sure that you get the job done. You usually are happy to oblige. When they have what they want, they vanish.
5. They won’t usually turn up to events unless there is something in it for them
Excuses as to why they can’t possibly attend something you invited them to roll off the tip of their tongue. That is, until the event has something that will benefit them. Maybe a person they like? Great opportunities for networking? A free bar? If they accept it is not for you, but rather an ulterior motive.
Don’t let fair-weather friends treat you appallingly. You deserve much more than that. If they use and abuse you, then they have ultimately burnt a bridge. Don’t try to mend it – the fault is not your own. Seek genuine friendships elsewhere.