Friendship is one of the best aspects of life. That said, certain friends are certainly much better than others. A real friend and fake friend can be hard to distinguish, but they are very different!
You confide in them, you spend time with them, you love them. Something absolutely normal as they are your friends. However, keeping close some of them is not always fulfilling or beneficial. Here are the portraits of the 6 types of friends you shouldn’t have around you.
1. The Me – myself – and – I
He tells you about his last vacation, his conflicts and worries at work, the ups and downs of his relationship, but also about his dreams, his fears, his projects. In complete confidence, in complete privacy. This is what friends are for and this is something precious. The problem is the distribution of speaking and listening time. Overall he talks, you listen. And when your turn comes, either a phone call or an emergency will dramatically shorten your speaking time. If this is not the case, he listens but by interrupting you to slip in personal anecdotes or regularly sends you facial expressions to signal you that he is following without however really getting involved in the exchange. His listening is superficial, basic, he sometimes has trouble hiding his impatience.
What is at stake: His narcissism calls for an audience, a devoted and attentive “faithful” audience. You play that role. The needs of his ego make an egalitarian relationship difficult if not impossible. You are his friend, the reverse remains to be proven.
The advice: Note the times he ends the conversation abruptly after taking a long time to speak about himself, as well as the times when you find him distracted, impatient or not listening. This will help you put facts about your diffused frustration and feel legitimate the day you want to bring it up with him.
2. The non-empathetic kind
You appreciate his frankness, his sharp eyes and the relevance of his criticisms, but you regularly tell yourself that he could put a little more softness and roundness in his communication. On the pretext of being of service to you, he asserts his truths, gives advice and often makes blunders that embarrass you, but instead make him laugh. In its less crude version of stripping, the one lacking empathy is the friend in a hurry, distracted, always between two meetings and who is sorry when you talk to him about not having felt your sadness, heard your problems, considering your distress. You have to understand, he himself was tired, stressed, sick… In short, he always has a good excuse not to have decoded the messages or been by your side.
What is at stake: a powerful egocentricity. The need to feel that you exist in the eyes of the other, to give substance to your existence by staging it, by “eventising” the slightest fact. It can also be pure and simple selfishness: being too focused on yourself and your life, it is very difficult to deploy your antennae for others.
The advice: Take into account and give value to your feelings. If you’ve been disappointed or hurt, there’s no reason to remain silent or to pretend. Expressing your feelings when these are negative is one of the conditions of an authentic relationship and also the way to make the other evolve. Your life is as important as his.
3. The envious
Nothing massive, openly unpleasant but little bittersweet remarks, questions in the form of negative innuendoes (envy very often takes the form of passive aggression), moderate enthusiasm (even a little forced) to share your successes, on which he passes quickly or that he tries to downplay (invoking for example your luck instead of praising your talent) or to devalue through humor. Another clue: he will point out as a priority, under the pretext of being intimate and therefore frank to you, everything that is wrong with you or around you, or everything that could be better (your marked face, your apartment which would be great with a balcony or a few more square meters etc.). It may also be that the urge takes the form of competition: he manages to be (and shows it) always a little or a lot “more” than you.
What is at stake: a rivalry present in all your exchanges even if you are not aware of it. Over time and unconsciously, you undermine your successes, you feel guilty about the gifts that life sends you, you show more generosity with him than the reverse to compensate.
The advice: Listen to your feelings and impressions, because deep down, we know when affection and generosity outweigh envy; we perceive jealous reluctance. If we accept them, it is probably because we are replaying something from our family background. It is up to everyone to reread it and decipher it to put it in touch with their current relationships.
4. The hypersusceptible
With him, you walk on eggshells, you apologize very often, you protect him constantly, this is normal, you think, he is hypersensitive and therefore hypersusceptible. You often feel like you’re not doing enough or doing too much. His reproaches, frontal or deviated, make you feel guilty and make you question yourself very often. He often complains about life, about others, about his bad luck, about his difficult past, about his fatigue, and that makes you swallow your desire for tune-ups. Anyway, he can’t stand any remark. No sooner does he feel the criticisms arise that he positions himself as a victim.
What is at stake: passive-aggressive manipulation. Like a child, he manipulates, instrumentalizes to get what he wants (attention, attentions, affection, privileges) without ever questioning himself. It is the “fragile” friend or the “bad temper” that we protect so much ending up censoring ourselves totally.
The advice: Set limits! As one does with children. By stopping censoring yourself and feeling pressured to be “kind and understanding” all the time. Dare to say no, think more about your comfort and your interests. It would be interesting to ask yourself who in your story, in your family, played the role of the tyrant-victim.
5. The ultra-positive
With him everything is better than good. He is always in a good mood, has a fabulous married life, incredible children and a job that fulfills him. You have never seen him in the grip of depression, stress or doubt. Normally, he only presents his best profile to others, and this is what makes him a priori, sunny and attractive. The problem is that in his company, all the imperfections in your life take on considerable relief, to the point where you leave him with a very critical and demeaning look on you and your life. And this, especially since you never hear him mentioning problems, failures or mishaps. That said, he doesn’t want to hear yours either. Of life, of others, of you, he only wants the sunny side. What is at stake: his anguish and his fears that he thinks to curb by giving him an ultra positive image and by refusing to be contaminated by the problems and worries of others. In this case, it is difficult to have an intimate and authentic relationship with him. Professional “suns” very often plunge others into the shadows.
The advice: Keep in mind that his show is not directed against you. Don’t hang out with him in times of questioning or personal crisis. Put yourself at a safe distance, or even at short notice, if you feel that he is using and feeding on the sufferings or failures of others to reassure himself and enhance his life.
6. The judge
He has values, he is honest and frank. That’s a big part of why you like him. You can count on his objective point of view, on his impartiality. He keeps a cool head in conflicts and often serves as arbiter. The problem is that his affection and support are far from unconditional. In times when compassion, comfort, signs of affection and tenderness should prevail, he dissects the situation, assesses the responsibilities of each and makes his judgment. Of course you were two in your relationship, the responsibilities are obviously shared, but you do not need to be reminded of this when you are suffering.
The judge does not hesitate to point out the errors of taste, the shortcomings or the errors of judgment. As his high standards and probity are indisputable and his emotional neutrality merges with benevolence, you end up thanking him for his lucidity and his concern.
What is at stake: intolerance and intransigence which pass themselves off as demanding. And an absence of generosity of the heart. “Judges” like to dominate others without appearing to be domineers, they undermine confidence and self-esteem, reinforce feelings of guilt and shame.
The advice: keep in mind that a friend is not a director of conscience and that generosity and benevolence are the two seeds of genuine friendship. You can also wonder about the reasons for your consent to his authority (who does he remind you of in your family, in your past?). It might be time, too, to realize that you are no longer old enough to be reprimanded.
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