Fair-weather friends, they call them! At our highs, we have many people, including high-profile ones, queue up for my attention, but they soon disappear in times of storm. Shameless people, they soon re-appear when they sense a turn-round.
Jesus had them
Fair-weather friends! Even Jesus had them. The Easter season brings them into focus. Some of the voices who hailed Jesus during his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, marked last Sunday, where the same people who shouted, “Crucify him.”
Why? For many of them, Jesus couldn’t fulfill their expectation for a Messiah to end the Roman domination. There were genuine cheerleaders among them, but there were many more that number with selfish reasons, miracles inclusive.
All that didn’t bother Jesus because of His focus and dedication to His assignment. Not so public office holders in Nigeria. The cold of loneliness from the desertion of so-called friends, admirers and well-wishers is a dreaded phenomenon.
Dropping overnight from the high of public adoration and boss-worshipping into loneliness is a traumatic experience that turns some victims of fear-weather friends to drugs to remain high.
The Urban Dictionary describes fear-friends as friends who are only friends when circumstances are pleasant or profitable. At the first sign of trouble, these capricious, disloyal friends will drop their relationship with you.
Experts have observed that they are more common in life than true friends or even enemies. They are fueled by greed and inordinate personal ambition.
There is a more appropriate name for them. It is FRENEMIES. The term was first mentioned on the TV drama, Sex and the City and more recently joked about by Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert.
True friends are easy to spot. And enemies too! In a definition that is said to go back at least as far as Aristotle, a friend is simply one who makes us consistently feel happy, and we reciprocate.
It addresses those situations where someone smiles to our face, but eventually proves true to have had ulterior motives toward us. Someone who gives us praise one moment, but spreads gossip unnoticed by us the very next.
Dr. Paul Dobransky says “they are ‘everyone else.’ Not quite a friend – you’re not ever sure. Not quite an enemy – after all, they sometimes seem to advocate for you, like you, or smile at you even if they don’t seem to spend much time with you actually helping you achieve your goals.
They exist in family circles too. According to Dobransky, “some people in your family might also be true friends, but some others might be more of the frenemy variety. You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your frenemies.
“Your lawyer, doctor, or accountant had better be more than frenemies – they need to be both competent critics, and reliable advocates over time, but they are driven by personal interest.”
So how do you know your true friends? Experts say you have a true friend when:
Both sides see the relationship as an opportunity to give. The more someone focuses on getting, the more selfish he or she becomes. That’s why the willingness to give is essential for good relationships. Both parties should see the relationship as an opportunity to give. This is the foundation upon which the other points below are built.
Both sides support each other: The law of reciprocity states that when we do good to others they will also do good to us. We reap what we sow. By supporting each other, both sides in the relationship get what they need.
Both sides are open to each other: When they have something they don’t like about their partner, they should communicate it rather than just keeping it in their heart. Of course, they should do so in a respectful way so as not to offend their partner
Bishop T. D Jakes has preached a beautiful sermon about friends to keep to keep or kick out!
He says, when we wonder why friends, spouses desert us when the going gets rough and tough, we should note that it is all about motives, as these three types of friends show!
They are your friends because you have a common enemy – they are against what you are against.
They are not for you or what you stand for but to fight a boss or a colleague or a neighbour.
The fuel of the friendship is rumours about the common enemy.
When the enemy is defeated, or it becomes impossible to defeat him, they move on.
They are not for you: they are for what you have.
They walk with you, play with you, but when they meet other people who will further their agenda or offer better things, they leave you to hook up with them because they were never for you.
It is easy to mistaken this group of people for true friends.
But by the time you fall in love with them, they will break your heart because it was never about you anyway.
Common in male-female relationships, it is about what they want, and not about you.
They are very few and therefore rare to find. They are in your life unconditionally.
They are with you whether you are up or down; through thick and thin.
They are there during life’s storms; through the sorrows of the night and the joy of the morning.
They help you get out of trouble and do the victory dance with you.
You find one to be your spouse or friend, you are made!