Friends are the stuff of life. They’re the family you get to choose, and the people who are with you because they want to, not because they have to.
Maybe it’s because I live in a big city, maybe it’s the era of technology, or maybe it’s because we’re all getting older, but something is happening to friendships. Something bad. And I don’t like it.
I have always been a social person and enthusiastically befriended everyone I met. But as I get older, I am slowly losing my patience with certain types of people because time is too valuable to be wasted on shallow friendships.
The most irritating type of people are those whose friendships are guided by the fear of missing out on something better.
The eternal ‘pending’ or a ‘maybe’ responses to invitations. These are very strategic bastards. It allows them the freedom to either come, cancel or pick up something better at the last minute without feeling guilty because, after all, they never said they’d come. You too can be strategic, dearest reader, so take a pen and cross them off your list.
Second on the list is flakiness. Everyone knows a person who suggests plans, but when it comes to scheduling, they magically don’t respond and disappear into a cloud of silence. Or perhaps they agreed to meet you, but they don’t show up, without even making the effort of at least pretending to have diarrhoea.
The next thing on the list are people who use you. Perhaps you have a skill they need, you have a network they’d like to tap into or you are simply a generous and helpful person that they can count on. Such friendships tend to be transactional and one-sided, and your investment is clearly turning into a loss for you. Time to take your business elsewhere!
Finally, people you don’t really have anything in common with. We often mistake old high school friends or work colleagues as friends, and we later realise that all we truly had in common was bitching about work or memories from school. I had this realisation when I sat with former co-workers who ordered a pumpkin pizza to share and spoke about having casual sexual intercourse with a friend. As I am too proud to consume pumpkin on a pizza, and I don’t casually fornicate, me and my ethnic Catholic upbringing sat very quietly and hungrily.
Please rest assured, dearest reader, that the abovementioned people are not your friends, and it’s ok to say goodbye.
Once you’ve done all the friendship list chopping, what remains are the people I talked about – the kind that become your brothers and sisters.