Lindsey and I have been blessed with many genuine friends — ones that make us laugh, can celebrate our accomplishments, and extend considerate help.
This week, while visiting one such family, we discovered that they’ve been dealing with some “friends” that reputedly became envious and judgmental of our friends’ recent good fortune. This saddened me. Time is too precious to waste on such superficial friends.
With that in mind, here’s my proven guide to ditching and avoiding fake friends, so you can better enjoy your days in the sun.
- Respect and appreciate the difference between friends, colleagues, and associates. It’s meaningful and healthy to have all three, but only trust your free time and personal information to friends.
- Avoid people who “size you up.” Likewise, don’t size up others (i.e. “Do you rent or own?” is a useless question, unless of course you’re a loan officer). Sincere friendship is built on fellowship, not comparison.
- Surround yourself with people who are kind to strangers, especially waiters and cab drivers. (I used to be good at this, but could definitely do better).
- If a “friend” pauses, becomes physically jealous, or feigns excitement when you share some genuinely exciting news, kindly show them the door and wish them well. A true friend will always be excited with your achievements.
- Avoid people who brag about how busy or tired they are — it’s a cheap way of saying they’re more important than you, and you don’t want to be around people like that for extended periods of time.
- Avoid “one-uppers,” or at least let them know that you’ll only continue the relationship so long as they stop one-upping.
- Surround yourself with good company that will fight over the restaurant tab with you. Avoid those who pretend like mom and dad are around to pay for everything.
- Avoid people who feel entitled to something from you or who constantly seek favors without return. This is good indication that said person is selfish, not to mention rife with ulterior motives.
- Avoid people who brag about materialism or how often they travel. Not only are they likely to be up to their eyeballs in debt, hating their chosen profession, or miserably alone, they’re bad friends.
- If you have “friends” that make you feel uncomfortable in any way—especially negative ones—talk to them and establish boundaries. If they continue to break those boundaries, drop ’em like a bag a dirt. You can tactfully accomplish this by not reaching out and/or declining further requests to hang out. They’ll get the message.
Interests may come and go, but authentic friends are constant. Have the courage to find and maintain the keepers in life while exiling the duds. You’ll be much happier for it.
This story first published to blakesnow.com in 2008