Let’s just get this straight before anyone gets the wrong idea about me.
I’m not the nice friend.
I’m the friend who is known for being stubborn, intelligent, tough, innovative, witty, philosophical, and very, very blunt. I am the primary lady of the moral and ethical high-ground. I expect the best of myself, and of everyone I associate myself with.
I am not known for being nice. As a matter of fact, as someone who completely fails at lying or schooling my facial expressions, I truly am the not-nice-est person I know. Yet, for whatever oddball reason, those I’ve allowed into my inner circle think I’m the nicest, warmest, most thoughtful person they know.
Considering how much I have struggled with interpersonal relationships for…oh, about my entire life, I just don’t get this. I have just a few friends. I can count the closest on one hand and still have fingers left over. The rest are acquaintances. The reasons? Let’s go over them, shall we?
Who is in my “True Friend” category, and why everyone else might what to consider making some cuts. Because, really, most of those people you call friends? Yeah, they probably aren’t.
Dr. Pretzel’s Friends (and Dr. Pretzel does this in return, naturally):
- Say What They Are Really Thinking. This is what usually causes any potential friends to run for the hills. I’m honest. If I am asked for my opinion, I’m going to give it. Most people don’t actually want to hear what you think when they ask what you think, they want their own opinions validated. I’ve learned to ask acquaintances “What sort of answer are you looking for?” to avoid hurt-feelings drama. Real friends know that they will get a no-holds-barred type of response from me in whatever they ask.
- Share Shit Sandwiches. Simply put, if you can’t hang with me through any bad stuff that might come my way, don’t expect the same in return. Real friends hang through the shittiest of shit-storms. I’ll hang with you if you hang with me. Multiple times. Whatever it takes.
- Know That Reality Bites. It bites big-time, but if you can’t cope or learn to cope with life, we’re going to become annoyed with one another. Permanently. You are not a victim of anything but your own excuses.
- Motivate. When the going get’s tough, the tough get real friends who will listen and give useful advice…and then apply pressure to get things moving.
- Know That 50-50 is Stupid. Real relationships are never 50-50. Anyone who expects that lives in a fantasy world where polar bears and baby seals slide down rainbows together (See “Reality Bites” and “Shit Sandwiches”). Sometimes a friend needs 90% of your support and effort. Sometimes you need 90%. Get the hell over yourself and give it. What goes around, comes around.
Now it’s your turn, my dear lurkers…post what you think it takes to be a great (albeit not so nice) real friend. Hopefully someone will actually post something.
If someone did, I think I’d fall off the couch. I’ll take a picture of my view from the floor.