Friendships are a strange part of life. They have the potential to be both a positive and/or negative influence on one’s life, depending on their outlook and how they behave around you. No matter how one chooses to deal with the aspect of friendship, everyone needs them. And everyone should have them. Humans are inherently social creatures and one could even say that we’re pack animals, hence the fact we usually gather in large groups and communities, such as towns and cities.
During my youth, my father always used to tell me, “Beware of fair-weather friends.” I never knew where he got the quote and I can’t be bothered to research it now. But I know he always said it in the context of being wary of others, especially as it related to friendships. So what does this expression mean, exactly? The term fair-weather friend refers to someone who is there for you when times are good but will usually conveniently disappear when times are tough. This type of person can also be referred to as a good-weather friend.
There are plenty of these terms, such as an all-weather friend, which refers to a friend who will stick by you, no matter what the circumstances. These types of friends are rare and should you have one, you should hold onto them with your best effort. Last but not least, are foul-weather friends. These are the ones who only seek you out when they have a problem or have need of you. Although I’ve been blessed with the benefit of some pretty awesome all-weather friends, I’ve recently come to understand that some of my oldest acquaintances are foul-weather friends. Not a realization I take lightly.
It’s a bit like the concept of giving someone an inch to have the other person take the whole yard stick. One good example I can provide is a friend who moved three times in a two-year period. Obviously I stepped up to lend a hand when I was asked to help. On the second occasion, I had my reservations, but it wasn’t any of my business and the friend simply needed my help. So once again, I gave my time and effort to help move my friend from one residence to another. But when that third time came around, I made a point of indicating that I had to work and couldn’t afford to take another day off to help once again. It took a long time before that friend spoke to me again.
Another friend only makes a point of coming to see me or contacting me specifically when they need something. This can be disheartening, especially if you’re the type of person who does like to help. Making a point of bringing this up can be difficult, especially when you’ve been friends with such individuals for so long that souring the friendship can be harmful. The worst part is when these individuals don’t realize what they do. And even though it would be incumbent on me to recognize these toxic situations and step away from these relationships, it’s tough when you’ve been friends with such people for years and even decades.
Part of it is my fault. Perhaps I simply need to learnt o be a bit firmer and say no. But it would definitely be nice if some of these long-standing acquaintances didn’t just come to me when they needed something from me. And that’s the lesson; be certain that YOU are the one who dictates and decides where the line is. Helping others is a wonderful thing. Being taken advantage of by others is not. It isn’t until you learnt o see the difference that you’ll know what the weather’s like, and who may be worth weathering the storm with. Food for thought… ☯️