|Posted on June 9, 2015 at 11:10 AM|
Friends... How many of us have them. Loyal. True. Honest. Confidant are just a few character traits that I can use to describe a real friendship. When it comes to friends, some of us are more in tune in that department than others. When we were younger, friendships were easier to come by. As a child you were my friend if you wanted to "play" with me, shared your Oreos on the black top and wore cute clothes. (Shallow... I know right. Hey, I was in elementary school) As I mature, friendship has taken on a different meaning for me. There comes a time in your life where you should evaluate your inner circle of acquaintances. Who's riding and who's lying. Yes, lying! Side note: Why do we say ride or die. Are you willing to lay down your life for me or is that just lip service? I only know of one man who did that freely. But I digress.
The Bible tells us that a man that has friends must show thyself friendly. At some point, you can't help but to notice your circle of friends because your friends are a true reflection of you. Friends should add value to your life and not bleed you dry, talk about you to others or pass judgment as if they are the "invisible" one. We take the word so lightly when friends have a major impact in our lives. We tell our dirty secrets to our friends, share and bear each other's burdens, celebrate as well as sympathize but more importantly our friends are adopted members of our families. That's the beauty in having a true blue friend.
We’ve all heard the saying "one bad apple spoils the whole bunch," and have probably seen instances where it applies to people. Every now and again, an apple falls into the barrel that wasn't ready to reap the benefits of harvest. It is spoiled, no good and infested. After awhile it will contaminate other fruit it is stored with. Now, do you really believe I'm talking about apples? Not hardly. I'm talking about that friend that doesn't know he/she is spoiled. That friend whose intentions are good, but can't identify the maturity of the friendship. We keep them around because they may be a good person at their core, but during their growth process something happened that caused them to get infected. What kind of friend am I speaking of? Let me introduced you to the "High maintenance acquaintance." As I progress in life, I am learning that I can live without the "The high maintenance acquaintance," because they add no value. I steer clear like a ten car pile up on the freeway. The high maintenance acquaintance have standards and expectations so high that no one can meet them. The sad thing is, if you were to turn and demand those same expectations they will fall short every time. Be aware. The high maintenance acquaintance can be deceiving as if they want the best for you but honestly their opinion and views are very distorted.
Let me break this down for you.
1. Burger King syndrome- The High Maintenance Acquaintance loves to have things their way. They love to outshine, compete and be the center of attention. The demands are borderline narcissistic because it's all about what they want, how they want it and when. This narcissistic mindset is often the result of failing to learn as children and young adults that we are not so special, and other people don't merely exist to serve our needs and wants.
2. You will do things out of obligation and not out of love for the High Maintenance Acquaintance for fear of the backlash or ridicule. Compassion is an after thought and never in the forefront.
3. Their advice reigns supreme- The High Maintenance Acquaintance believes they are very knowledgable in every facet of life. They have advice for everything, even things they have not experienced. Hello! What worked for someone else may not work for others. Listen, advice is always great but you have to consider the source. I don't like to listen to advice from people that I will not trade places with. Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
4. They can't recognize their problem- The High Maintenance Acquaintance loves to point the finger and place the blame on others. It's hard to look at self in the mirror at times. Being in a reflection state is scary. In their eyes, they are perfect and hardly wrong. Others opinions, lives, situations never matter because it's all about them. Which brings me to point #5.
5. It's all about me- No one ever listens to me. Me! Me! And me some more. The High Maintenance Acquaintance goes silent almost into hiding when "me" didn't get their way. They won"t call you for days, weeks or months on end because they are mad with you for standing up to them. Crazy huh? A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (That's the word)
6. They never let sleeping dogs die- It's ok to talk things over, but the high maintenance acquaintance loves to go on and on and on and on. They must get their point across and will not stop until it's heard. Their comments have to be validated and or justified. They never take in consideration your feelings or thoughts. The best way to shut down a High Maintenance Acquaintance is soft answers. Soft answers turns away wrath. During a quarrel go completely silent without responding. After they have stated their claim to win the war, say this. "Are you done." Watch how that sends their rocket into orbit. Arguing adds fuel to the fire and many of them feed on that behavior.
7. They don't adapt well to change- No matter how they may stress I'm "easy breezy" underneath it all, they still want things their way. A sudden change in plans, new friends to the crew, or heaven forbid if your opinion is different from theirs automatically leads to disputes. Any change causes them to stress and has a major impact on their life. I think it is the fear of the unknown. The High Maintenance Acquaintance is be a bit of a control freak.
8. Insert vs Assert- The High Maintenance Acquaintance can not distinguish the difference between insert and assert. Being assertive can be seen as a bit bossy at times. By all means, that should be saved for professional relationships never with your friendships unless the friend is causing eminent danger to themselves or others. But when you are a positive ray of light, people will insert you in their lives. You don't have to be assertive when people want to be around you. You bring goodness, cheerfulness, and being around you is a sure delight.
9. Entitlement- The High Maintenance Acquaintance has a sense of entitlement in your life. They believe they should be on the front row in your life's audience. How dare you put someone else before them. Entitlement, or sense that we have the right to have something, can be a dangerous expectation. However that same sense of entitlement is never deemed necessary when the shoe is on the other foot. For example, they want to be invited everywhere with you, but they never offer or invite you anywhere in return. They are borderline offended when the invitation is not extended. But as the good book states, "And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them."
10. Judge and the juror- The High Maintenance Acquaintance can be very judgmental. People need to learn the difference between criticism and critique. One is done with love and the other one is laced with malice. Encouragement is the key. The Word tells us, "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."
At the end of the day, we love our friends, but are you really entitled to keep friends around that drain you and vex your spirit. As I can round my age to the next perfect number, I have to evaluate my circle of friends. My life is enriched and my friendships should be as well. It's just a thought and something to ponder. These ah-ha moments that I am having are so real, but refreshing.