7th Grade Flashback: 5 Friends To Avoid
Although I tire of hearing that women are petty, nasty and don't support one another, it's true that in my life I've come across a few that have indeed been all of those things. Admit it, you know them, too.
Credit Image: richelleantipolo on Flickr
Maybe once or twice you've even been them, as we are all guilty of being less than the perfect friend now and then. Even so, as a 50-year-old woman, I am always surprised by my surprise that so many years after middle school, women are still capable of acting like twelve- and thirteen-year-old girls. Over the years, never one to be fond of drama queens and high-maintenance friends, I've managed to identify a few "types" that should be avoided at all costs. This is a public service blog, so befriend them if you dare, but do so at your own risk.
5 To Avoid:
1. Everything Is Debilitating Debbie Downer: She is the basis for a Saturday Night Live skit because we can all relate. Debbie is all too familiar in all of our lives, and she's hard to miss. Her kids are always the most sickly, the most exhausted. Her husband has the hardest job ever invented, and she's allergic to all good food. When her first post on Facebook on January 1 reads, "Woke up this morning and had a flat tire. Should've known this year was going to be as sucky as last year," I suggest you stop returning her phone calls.
2. Green Is Not Your Color Gretchen: Here's one that takes some time to show her true colors. She's the one who is really only happy in the relationship when she's winning. Her kids have to be smarter, be better athletes, and be considered better looking. At the very least, they need to get more attention than yours. It's better for everyone if she has more money, wears better clothes and has plastered a bumper sticker from a prestigious college on the back of her car. Should you happen to make a run toward equality on any of those playing fields, prepare for the cold shoulder.
3. I Thrive In A Crisis Cathy: Cathy is happiest when everyone else is miserable. She loves to take a problem and make it bigger, and she's the first one over with the casserole when life takes a turn for the worse in the neighborhood. She loves nothing better that to start a meal chain, to get on the phone to spread the bad news and to take control of the collection for either the sympathy card and flowers, or the get well soon fruit basket. Having her around makes you feel like she's just waiting to run you over with her car so she can get busy. If necessary, she'll create a crisis herself if nothing conveniently presents itself.
4. I Know Everything Nancy: This one is particularly dangerous and insidious. She can hide beneath her amazing organizational skills and make others believe she's helpful and amazing. Quite the opposite, her need to control everything makes her a miserable team player and if you cross her, or God forbid, disagree with her, you will never hear the end of her. When someone signs up to run everything, run in the other direction. Just sign up to bring the paper products and consider yourself lucky.
5. Please Root For Us Robin: She is more annoying than dangerous, and if you don't mind responding enthusiastically to everything she tells you, she might be okay for you. She's easy to spot; on Facebook or other social media, you will be asked to cheer her on as well as her husband, her parents, sisters, brothers, cousins, nephews, nieces and her children as they make their way through their very blessed lives. We are treated to a day-by-day posting of their accomplishments, we get to see pictures of letters of acceptances to colleges, of their kids traipsing through Europe during semesters abroad, and posing with famous people while sitting in the box at the big major league games. As long as you "like" these posts and respond in an upbeat enthused way, Robin could be your new best friend.
I hope that in your life, you have surrounded yourself with fun, supportive and caring women who have got your back. Hopefully, you are subjected to a minimum number of Debbies, Gretchens, Nancys, Cathys and Robins. If not, it's time to move beyond 7th grade and make your way to the big leagues. If there is a woman in your life whom you consider a friend and she makes you unhappy, either address it, or move on. There are plenty of women out there that are eager to build kind, supportive and generous relationships and now, thanks to this, they should be easier to spot. Happy hunting.
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