I’m Not the Nice Friend.

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.

Wait, what?

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.


    About DrPretzel

    Student of philosophy and medicine, mother of 2 Creatures of Mass Destruction (a.k.a. "boys"), Soldier, sister, daughter, friend, cat person, social inept, INTJ, blah, blah, blah...are you even reading this?
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    5 Responses to I’m Not the Nice Friend.

    1. Charisse says:

      Certainly why I consider you a ‘real’ friend. Although I don’t know you as well as some of my other ‘real’ friends, the things you listed above don’t take long to see. Many of these qualities I envy about you. -While I don’t lie to anyone, I’m much more likely to soften things to the point that… well, maybe I’m not as helpful as I could be? (is that too soft on myself? lol) 🙂

      I’d tell you the old cliche: “Never change!” But it’s not needed, is it? 😉

      • drpretzel says:

        I’m all for change. Change is good, as long as I’m not repeating my mistakes. I am not yet wise enough to be at the point to which Confucius refers.

        The cliche that most fits me: The older I get the more I realize how much I don’t know.

    2. Majeh85 says:

      Everything you listed as doing is what I consider makes someone a nice friend. If you don’t respect me enough to give me an honest answer or opinion no matter how you try to flower your speech you’re being cruel. And as one social inept to another, that can also count the people I consider friends on one hand with fingers left over, it isn’t easy finding those people that put up with it and are willing to give it back in return. I have a note I wrote some time ago I’ll go ahead and tag you in that may be able to help explain the type of person I am. Feel free to comment on the note or message me or whatever, if it helps validate your opinion or not, etc

    3. drpretzel says:

      Okay, I didn’t fall on the floor. I had a computer in my lap to hold me down, but if it hadn’t been there…

      You are absolutely right on about real friends and location. It doesn’t matter where they live. My closest friend literally lives 3 states away (yes, literally!). She is closer than family to me because she sticks around even when things suck, but she isn’t required to. There have been several times when we have called one another on a hunch and found that we were right on…we were needed!

      I love the author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s term for this type of friend, “kindred spirits.” She once wrote “True friends are always together in spirit.”

      I agree wholeheartedly.

    4. The DA says:

      I have to say I agree with what you have posted.

      I find that if I am honest with myself and truly sit down and think of my “real friends”, I have less than 5, probably more like 2. This does not include family that I consider to be my “friends” also because they are of course family and some of them (not all) have to deal with my crap anyway. LOL
      The biggest thing that stands out for me when I mention my “real friends” is that they have been there through ALL the crap, good, bad and indifferent. They have given more than 90% on more than one occasion and I feel that I have done the same in return.
      A “real friend” doesn’t care if you live in the same town or across the country, they will still be there for you no matter what. You will always be close no matter the physical distance between you. If you are extremely fortunate to have that real friend who has some strange “link” with you, you will know when you need to call that person or when something just isn’t right. (I am very fortunate because I have such a friend!)
      All in all, I believe you are dead on about “real friends”. (I just had to post a reply to see if you would “literally” fall on the floor! rofl

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