The Collegian
Saturday, December 09, 2023

Friends: How many of us have them?

The word "friend" is used so casually in our society. Let's face it, you tend to call just about everyone a friend, whether it's the girl who lives on your hall who has only spoken to you twice this entire year, or the guy who you've known since kindergarten who knows more about you than your own parents.

Do all of the people you deem friends deserve such a title? Everyone you call a friend may not be the ideal friend you have in mind. Maybe it's due time for all of us to re-examine our so-called friends.

Fair-weather friends: These friends are not meant to last. Fair-weather friends only surface when times are good. Expect to see a fair-weather friend when a party, money, gift or other pleasurable thing is involved. When the going gets tough, a fair-weather friend disappears. When you call a fair-weather friend when you are in need of help with chemistry homework, he or she doesn't answer the phone. If you need advice on a personal issue, he or she doesn't have time to listen. A friendship with a fair-weather friend is never a balanced relationship -- you lose, and he/she always wins.

Frenemies: Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and the rest of their inner circle may have glamorized the idea of having a frenemy, but the truth behind the frenemy is really not as glamorous as it's portrayed to be on television. As you may know, the term is a combination of "friend" and "enemy." A frenemy may compliment you -- "I like your new shoes," he or she might say. In the frenemy's mind, this translates to, "I hate those shoes, but I'll tell you that I like them to convince you that I actually like you as a person," or, "I wish I had those shoes, and I wish I was more like you, so I'm going to butter you up and say that I like them, to hide my jealousy toward you and your shoes."

Beware of the frenemies -- they are the slickest, most cowardly people of all. They really can't stand you, but try to mask it with fakeness. The wolf in sheep's clothing is all a frenemy is. He or she may look like a sheep from a distance, but the frenemy is just waiting for the opportunity to unleash the inner wolf and attack.

Acquaintances: These are not necessarily bad or good. An acquaintance is someone you are in contact with, but you and the acquaintance may not share as strong of a connection as you may share with a close friend. An acquaintance might say hello to you in passing, but anything more than that shouldn't be expected.

Oftentimes, people try to turn acquaintances into close friends. I hate to break it to you, but the guy you eat lunch with from time to time, and the girl who sat behind you in English last semester are not your close friends. Just stay cordial toward your acquaintances and keep it moving.

I know there are many other types of friends, but these three seem to be the most problematic. I don't understand how these are types of friends in the first place. Who wants friends who don't help them out when help is needed? How can you call a person who hates you a friend? Why do people add so much more value to their acquaintances than what their relationship is really worth?

We all have these types of people in our lives, but in the end, it's our expectations that really matter. So, next time you refer to someone as "my friend _____," make sure the name in the blank is indeed worthy of the title.

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