As children, there used to be this funny joke between us whenever we made new friends. It was as if we could easily classify our friends. For instance, that girl that always came to gist whenever you opened your lunch box was called a Friend For Food (FFF). The one that you didn’t know her name but was always there to play was called Friend For Fun. There were different classes of friends then and there still are.
As grown ups now we interact with different people and develop friendships with some of them. We have friends for different occasions. There is the one you call when you don’t want to attend an event alone. There is a friend to call when there is a party. There is a friend you go to church with. There is the one you discuss politics with. There is the one for gossiping and discussing social issues with. There is the one that gives marriage tips to you and there is the one you confide in. Then there is the one that knows every issue that is going on with you and you trust her with your heart.
In all these instances there is a symbiotic relationship between both of you. You do the things that you enjoy. However the one that you should be wary of is the parasitic friend. She is the one who will always borrow money from you. When you both get on a cab or eat lunch together she’ll wait for you to pay and look the other way. She always borrows your clothes, jewellery and other things. She has nothing meaningful to contribute to your life but steals ideas from you. You know there is something wrong with your relationship with her but you just can’t put your finger on it. Does she really care about you? Is she concerned about your feelings? Does she have genuine interest in the things you like? This kind of friend is similar to the small fish called a remora that latches onto a shark. When the shark is eating it feeds on the remnants that fall of the shark’s mouth. The shark does the swimming and the remora doesn’t have to stress itself. So the relationship is more beneficial to the remora than the shark.
If like me you have a big heart and you just allow her to latch on to you for the rest of her life, then good for you as long as you don’t mind her feeding off you and adding no value to your life. But if you realize that this kind of relationship may have a negative effect on you then it is time to step up and say enough is enough. It wont hurt to express your feelings to her and avoid her where necessary because in my experience there is no such thing as ‘in-between’. It is either your friends influence and add value to your life or you influence them. So my advice is… get rid of that parasite before it gets rid of you…
Dare to stand out!