Good friend, bad friend

How to tell the dif­fer­ence

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Contents -

two friends meet for cof­fee. Friend 1, who has gained a few ki­los, laments to Friend 2 that she has noth­ing to wear to an up­com­ing for­mal func­tion be­cause she is ‘way too fat’. Friend 1 to Friend 2: ‘So I was think­ing, YOU must have some­thing I can bor­row, right?’ Friend 2: ‘Um…’

Was Friend 1 just hav­ing a mo­men­tary lapse of sen­si­tiv­ity? Nope. Fact is, Friend 1 al­most never asks how Friend 2 is do­ing. She has no real idea of what’s go­ing on in her life. Dur­ing a re­cent health scare for Friend 2, Friend 1 was AWOL. (So busy! So stressed! So sorry!) Friend 2 how­ever, is the ever-present safety net in Friend 1’s drama-filled soapie. So, no mo­men­tary lapse, just self-ab­sorbed busi­ness as usual.

THE IM­POR­TANCE OF GET­TING A CLUE!

All take and no give = bad friend. Don’t be that per­son! Of course, it’s not al­ways so black and white. Our lives are hec­tic and we’re all guilty of drop­ping the ball oc­ca­sion­ally. The trick is to have a lit­tle self-aware­ness and pick it up again quick smart.

Like­wise, if you are the ‘wronged’ friend, don’t be a door­mat. A friend­ship worth its weight should be able to with­stand a lit­tle truth-telling. If not, re­assess.

IT’S A FACT

We need friends – they’re essen­tial for well­be­ing. Pos­i­tive friend­ships can help add years to your life, speed re­cov­ery from ill­ness, re­duce risk of de­pres­sion and even im­prove men­tal acu­ity.

Good friend­ships add mean­ing and pur­pose to life, es­pe­cially as we age, when con­nect­ed­ness is vi­tal. Shar­ing every­thing from the mun­dane to the mo­men­tous, they help shape us, ground us, guide us. They sup­port, cel­e­brate, com­mis­er­ate and call just to shoot the breeze. They get you, they let you be you. They make you feel loved and val­ued.

Bad friends, on the other hand, just make you feel like, well, bad!

GOTTA GET AWAY?

Back­ing away from a friend­ship that’s gone bad – or sim­ply no longer fits – can sting but some­times there’s lit­tle choice. The up­side? You can de­vote more of your pre­cious time to those who truly make your heart sing.

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