Today’s essay is learning the difference between having a friend, having a bully friend and learning how worthless fair weather and spineless friends are to a victim of bullying.
Here is my two cents on having friends and being a good friend:
Over my life I’ve heard friends complain about how mean their friends are, and to my great surprise they are STILL friends, and I don’t get it. I don’t keep friends that are like that, even if I love them. I’ll be extremely hurt, but I’ll go down that Green Day lonely road.
I used to keep mean friends, and it never became something healthy. Maybe I stopped because it’s because once I reached my adulthood I realized that just knowing someone forever doesn’t make them a friend, or even worth knowing. Knowing someone for ages doesn’t count if the person is mean to you and you don’t like it and they don’t care. If you guys enjoy the back and forth, then that’s one thing. If you don’t, and they know. and they do it anyway is called being a bully, not being funny. They don’t get to get away with it because she/he calls you a “friend.” You’re not friends. Friendship is about love. Have more respect for your mental health than you do for those shit heads. You’re the one that will have to deal with your scars long after they’re gone. Make your choice.
A person being a friend is a choice, and if you think about it, a gift of love. It’s should be treated like an honor, instead of it being another name on your friend’s list. Giving and accepting that friendship is an act of trust that should never end with the friendship blowing up in your face and scarring you emotionally, like what happened to me. Having a little spat here and there doesn’t constitute a platonic “break up”, but if you guys don’t make up with the same amount of respect given on both sides it’s not worth it. Your choice though.
Having a mean/abusive friend is similar to having an abusive romantic relationship with a person. You may love the person, but if they treat you like shit, especially if it’s repeatedly, then you need to get out. If they’re mad about it, who cares? They brought it on themselves, regardless of the abusive attack they’ll give you after the fact. Prepare for it, but know it’s not true. No matter how much they blame you for their treatment of you. The fact that they blame you for THEM being an asshole means you are in an abusive relationship, and need to try and find better friends. A friend needs to know when to push and when to lean, but you should never be mean. I didn’t mean to rhyme, sorry. If you like it, feel free to use it though.
Because bullying is such a problem in general, I think in high school they need to hold an assembly detailing what a friend ISN’T. In the end it boils down to your choice. They need to know that this applies to every relationship they will ever have, romantic or otherwise, and when they need to get out. They need to detail how abusive relationships can even change your brain chemistry under the stress. Bullying is a risk to your physical and mental health. Do what’s right; don’t puss out. Being scared and doing the right thing anyway is called bravery. That is one of the first lessons I ever learned in life. Remember, you deserve to be loved.
FAIR WEATHER FRIENDS:
There are also the fair weather friends. These are the people who are only friendly with you when it’s convenient for them. Learning to listen, learning to have compassion is essential to being a good friend. They clearly don’t have that in them.
If you’re having some sort of trauma, they stay away, but when you have something fun to do you’re suddenly BFFs and know everything about each other. They weren’t around when your dad died, but they still want to go to Disneyland or whatever with you.
They aren’t friends, that makes them an acquaintance. A friend is there for you through think and thin. A friend still loves you on your worst day, and loves you on your best day.What YOU wish the friendship is doesn’t mean that’s how it actually is. You need to be realistic. Also, if you have more than two-three people telling you that guy/gal is a super dick to you, then you should probably think about what they’re saying. Remember, you deserve to be loved.
This is similar to fair weather friends, but they are also the normal friends that would be awesome except for their lack a spine, and because of this may not deserve to be your friend at all. Remember, you deserve to be loved.
This sort of friend I saw in high school a lot, but I still see it in adults occasionally: Knowing your friend is being bullied by your other friend and doing jack shit about it. Your friend is supposed to have your back, not show up with the drama is over. This is if you KNOW it’s bullying in any shape or form and doing nothing at all. IMO that makes you 10x worse than the bullying. You’re no friend at all because you are weak.
You don’t tell them to stop, you don’t protect your friend…what sort of friend are you? A shit friend and you deserve any feelings of guilt you have. I realize things could be awkward, or even lead to a fight, or even have more serious consequences (like you’ll be bullied along side him/her) then you still need to do the right thing BECAUSE it is the right thing. It doesn’t even matter if you’re closer to the bully friend: You know it’s wrong so do something about it.
Being a friend might sometimes mean you have to weather the storm together. A friendship isn’t always smooth sailing. In my opinion a spineless friend can be worse than a bully friend. They know what is right, they know what they are doing wrong by their friend, especially if they continue to be friends with a bully, and do so because it’s easy for YOU. You’re victimizing your supposed friend as much as the bully. Shame on you.
If you have this sort of friend you’re better off “breaking up” with them. How much worth could they possibly have as a friend if they stand by and watch your pain. You’re hanging your friend out to dry. You’re abandoning them. You’re leaving them at the mercy of someone else. Why won’t you do what’s right? Remember, you deserve to be loved.
These are my thoughts on fake friends, and I hope this helps those of you that are continually hurt by your “friends”.
There is the possibility that your friend will actually make an effort to change (though they usually won’t because your words will trigger defensive behavior, just be aware of that, this goes back to my whole bravery thing.)
In the event the friend is trying to put forth the effort to be a better friend stand by them. Consider that this might be your act of thick and thin. Let them know their attempts are appreciated, especially if they continue to try. Make the effort to forgive them if they actually want to be a good friend to you. Don’t be a bastard out of revenge, that makes you as shitty as the faux-friends listed above. If you’re leaving, leave. Don’t leave on an insult.
Remember, you deserve to be loved.