As I was looking up quotes on friendship I was reminded of a term being thrown around so callously: False friends.
I’ve seen it often in recent times and have even had it attributed to myself by someone when I did not play along the way they wanted and it subsequently led to the end of the friendship.
It’s such a petty and childish term. How can someone be a false friend? You’re implying that the friendship was since its inception started under false pretences. Friends can be immature, they can be incompatible, they can be abusive and they can even be downright manipulative; most of these included under the banner of “bad” friends. But it should be considered that even the most manipulative person will be hard pressed to be friends with someone they truly can’t stand.
The friendship usually starts due to a mutual interest, liking or advantage. And in all three there is a sense of purity. Is a friendship that started due to the one person wanting something the other had any less pure than the one that started due to a mutual laugh at a joke. I don’t think so. Neither friendship would’ve grown if the two people involved didn’t find more about each other to like. Sometimes this liking is short lived and sometimes people stay “friends” longer than they should.
And I think this is when people start throwing such hurtful terms as “false friends” around when a friendship dies. Because lets face it, people tend to say that when the feel they’ve done nothing to jeopardize the friendship. When the other person disappointed them so much that it amounts to a betrayal big enough that it taints what the whole friendship might have symbolised. They’re hurt that this “friend” didn’t stay the person they had met at first and fallen in friend-love. Out of experience and observation you need two people to foster a friendship and it cannot happen if one of the parties is apathetic. Thus it stands to reason that all bad friendships once started off good.
I always wonder what sense of entitlement and vanity leads a person to use a term such as false friends. They are actually portraying themselves as the perfect friend; innocent of any part they might have played in the horrible end. Do they actually believe they were completely innocent or are they doing it so other people will believe them the victim? I have reason to believe the second.
I am not denying that the betrayal of a friend is heart-rending but I do feel if you had any respect for what you shared with that person, regardless of how it ended, that you should not disrespect it with such petty terms. They once had an influence on your life and whether bad or good you have grown through knowing them. By demeaning the time you’ve spent together you’re doing the same to an experience that has shaped you as a person.
I’ve had bad friends for sure, and I’ve been betrayed by friends, just as I’m sure I have been cast in those categories myself by past friends. But there’s the rub: no-one sets out to betray another on-purpose. It usually happens through stupid choices or well intended actions. And being labelled a false friend is just adding insult to the injury of a failed intent or action.
I will say this – that to date I have not seen men whining about “false friends”, it’s mostly girls/women. Here’s something to consider: do girls lash out so much more because they feel entitled to “true friends” as portrayed in almost every teenage targeted production or is it because they’re weapons generally takes the shape of words and emotions?