Everyone knows the phrase ‘fair weather friend’ — the ‘friend’ who is only around and interested in you when when circumstances are pleasant or profitable. If the going gets tough or tricky, they just completely disappear. Not many consider that the opposite type is also possible.
Allow me to introduce you to the foul-weather friend: she only seeks you out when she has a problem and needs advice, or other concrete solutions. For her, you are ‘old reliable’ the one who listens when no one else will.
Foul weather friends seem like fair: hard times bring them out as warm rain brings out mushrooms. Like mushrooms, there are several types.
- One such is Ms. Supporter. She is so caring and helpful and kind and loves to help when adverse circumstances arise. By being supportive, she enjoys a sense of power and control. To be fair, she doesn’t resent your success, but if you aren’t having problems, she’s not all that interested in you.
- Then there is Ms. Jealous. She’s loves hearing all about your problems because she’s secretly taking delight in them; your having your problems makes her feel better about herself. She doesn’t share a lot of personal information, preferring to keep the spotlight on you. Ms. J really has no self-awareness but you’ll know her by her hallmark disappearance when you start succeeding.
- Finally, I can tell you about Ms. Woe — as in ‘misery loves company’. She is so darned unhappy, and will gladly make room for your unhappiness in her world. She glories in your bad days, low moods, and all the myriad troubles. Unlike the others, Ms. Woe shares a lot of information, almost gleefully.
Here’s what I’ll own up to: I can seem like a foul-weather friend to an outside observer. If I think someone is my friend I am willing to go to great lengths to enact that help. But I’ve been wrong about who, actually is my friend.
I love it when my friends succeed; I don’t like being taken advantage of. Ms. Woe succeeded in doing exactly that and I guess I’m smarting at that.