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03 June 2010

Friendship reached its sell-by-date?

We all have different kinds of friends. There are people you could still phone at 3 a.m., because your dog is missing or your partner has left you for a none-too-intelligent gym

We all have different kinds of friends. There are people you could still phone at 3 a.m., because your dog is missing or your partner has left you for a none-too-intelligent gym instructor. These are the wonderful people who, in many ways, make our lives easier and more worthwhile. If we are lucky, that is.

The old schoolfriend you haven’t seen in ages
Peoples' lifestyles, values, interests and behaviour can change - and so can those of your friends. Most people have had the experience somewhere along the way of having lunch with an old school friend, only to realise that the conversation had dried up after reminiscing about schooldays. And then silence. You frantically try to keep the conversation going, but you are flogging a dead horse. Even though you feel guilty, your situation is still understandable. You and your school friend live on different continents and your lives bear about as much resemblance to each other as an aardvark to an amoeba.

  • They have told other people things we told them in confidence;
  • They do not really listen to you and what you say, they merely await their turn to talk;
  • Unless it was of a scandalous nature, they do not remember what we say to them from one visit to the next;
  • They talk incessantly about themselves, but show signs of discomfort when we want to discuss anything that is important to us;
  • They subtly try and put us down, so that we always feel slightly inadequate after seeing them;
  • They tell us horrible things other people have said about us;
  • They never give us compliments, because they feel too insecure within themselves to let go of the limelight for ten seconds;
  • They cannot let the conversation go to the realm of real feelings or vulnerabilities - they stick to the anecdotal or the scandalous;
  • They are no longer on the list of people we would call in a real crisis.

 
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