Fair Weather Friends

February 21, 2014

It seems like blocking phone numbers and de-friending people on Facebook is all the rage. It was probably just a coincidence that I was going through the same situation as Mitch at the same moment. But this was not my first experience of being shut out.

Last year, I had to say good-bye to a friend who had a drinking problem (and probably a mood problem). And sure enough, when I confronted him with his problems, he unfolded a story of childhood abuse- an alcoholic father who tormented his family. Sound familiar?

I was the only one in his life empathic enough to signal the alarm. He was shocked but also seemed relieved that I had picked up on it. He even thanked me for my “intervention”. That is, until I suggested that he quit drinking and get help. That’s when the shit hit the fan.

I told him I would support him if he sought help, but I would not watch him self-destruct. This is what it means to be a good friend. He disagreed and was insulted that I would no longer be his drinking buddy. That day, he de-friended me on Facebook. I guess I saw it coming. In the back of my head, I knew what his response would be.

Damaged people who are in a state of denial are fair weather friends. They only want you around if you enable their dysfunctional behavior… if you accept their abusive tendencies. Unfortunately, I have a strict No Asshole policy.

Damaged people can be your best friend and your most loving lovers. But that is only when you play along with their illusions. If you point out that the Emperor is naked, you will see the other side, the darker side.

And almost immediately, they will show you out the door. And slam it for dramatic effect. It is easier for them to stay in denial. It is also less painful. Self-awareness brings back memories of the past. A past they would prefer to keep well-hidden.

The day you force them to acknowledge their past and snap out of denial (or god forbid, seek treatment), is the day they will stop being your friend.

7 Responses to “Fair Weather Friends”

  1. niceguy said

    Yip,,again savory fish ur expertise enlightens us with honest and perfectly exact information,,what a fantastic summary that was,its 100% perfect,its easier for them to get rid of us,the ones they supposedly love,,than address the issue of alcohol thats taking over their brains,hating us all of a sudden. We offer support and they bomb us out,,like u say,,no longer friends,,so heartbreaking!!

  2. naples104 said

    moral of the story is we all need to feel worthy of better people. If they need to be fixed send them to a shrink and tell them to call you a year from now. If they have a bad upbringing and are complaining about it they are very broken and will break you too. Run in the other direction. When I started dating again I conducted an interview, what was your child hood like, brothers, sisters, job history, dating history, if they balked, I walked. I put on the table that I went through therapy to discover who I could be because the old me was not working and if that scared them I walked. Its all about you and your happiness and if you think you can find it by fixing someone then you need fixing. Sorry to be so blunt, but that is the only thing that worked for me after 58 years of choosing the wrong people. It has been two years and I am in a loving relationship with a successful woman that needs no help or fixing and it is such a nice feeling. She does remind me every now and again, that she does not need me to fix anything other than things around the house, and then I snap back to the person that she loves. All the best my mates, get mentally healthy and enjoy your life.


    • savorydish said

      Well said. We absolutely need to feel worthy of better people. We need to raise our standards. There is a difference between being compassionate and being a punching bag.

      In a perfect world, a person like this would be grateful for your help. In the real world, they shut you out and find bs reasons that justify the shut out.

      But if they can’t see that then maybe it’s all for the better. If they can’t see why shutting you out is wrong then maybe you are better off without them.

  3. niceguy said

    Hi naples104,I like the comments re interview methods. Its very strange but it was reversed with me and my gf. I felt i was on trial and getting interrogated at times. She was very subtle in her questioning tho,, sporadic questions out the blue ?We agreed when we met there would be no hassle,no lies,no hidden truths,,all on the table if you like!! I dont know wether she just played along with what i wanted as i was normally me saying what i liked and wanted in life as she was asking questions and i was opening up,,,i think i should have asked her answers first at times. As ive learned from blogs on here and all the advice and comments from savoryfish !! they tend to say what u want to hear by what you tell them,,,it does seem a little like that now i reflect back!!i feel ive been played like a fiddle.The ultimate ending is rejection and split as they know what u want in life so they turn it around like 2 magnetic poles pushing against each other,,they use your visions of happiness and the relationship content u wanted ,,,you become so close so quick,mainly because they wanted that!!months later they then throw it all back at u saying the opposite of what u thought u had with her/him, ,,even tho she was saying she wanted this so much as well at the time,, they make u feel a failure,,not as well behaved or conduct yourself accordingly in their eyes,,,,but the most annoying thing for me was that my gf kept saying “this was before i knew she had a drink problem or bpd if thats whats she has,i can only summize”? that i wasnt up to the job,,she said she had reservations? always cryptic talking,,she never explained what she meant.”it was nothing sexual by the way” it was if i was not worthy or strong enough to cope with her up and coming behaviour thats gonna hit me between the eyes soon,,i never saw it coming,,we were great together,,or so it seemed.I believe she was genuine in her love and kind words to me,,she is a lovely woman,sweet and innocent !! or thats how i saw her in her traits and mannerisms with me. Then i did notice a change coming on,the way she was acting,,dare say we all have but we tend to take no notice at the time!! But as ive learned on these sites,,they cant handle closeness and maybe cant love at all? thats more a less what she implied in her little words she spoke when she opened up a little. Saying she didnt want to hurt me or herself,,she said that often,,couldnt understand why she kept saying it cause when i asked her she wouldnt say,,,needless to say i told her i wouldnt hurt her and i have not done so either to this day on. I may have left her in a way” a fear they have of being left” but i was pushed away,told not to contact her,she was quite nasty and hurtful out the blue for no reason! and she ignored my texts so i gave up,,move on,,heartless maybe,,but they dont seem to care,so why waste our time any longer,,i offered to help her,tried to explain,wrote to her begged her to reply in writing,,i find it very therapeutic to write it down and express yourself,,maybe im odd,,but hey,,im me and always will be.She never responded until 3 weeks later and just thanked me for a support card i sent her 3 weeks previous,,drunk one night no doubt she maybe felt a little remorse!!!so she text me,,i said sorry for the way things turned and and left it at that,,heard nothing from her since,, We will just hurt more and more if we think about what went wrong!!only they know the answer to that,,and they just cant find the courage to tell us!! so love doesnt conquer all i see,,hhmmm?. And as the story above “fair weather friends” so rightly explains ! i think “yes” they are hiding a massive secret about their lives,,dont know what but theres something which causes all of this illness,,and it doesnt matter how much we love them its just too much for them to bare and share and they live with this sadness to the end of their days,,very sad but true!! They wreck lives on the way but probably not intentional,,remember this is a mental health problem so dont be too cruel,,rise above the hurt and keep reading these blogs and sites and putting all our experiences back in so others can learn and cope with the same as us,,,help each other,thats what its all about,,take care all,thankyou xxx

    • naples104 said

      now that you have had the experience with a sick mind, make sure you are strong enough to avoid all of them in future. If it happens too fast and seems perfect, it is not, it is an illusion. You can be infatuated with someone very quickly but love takes time. It builds, its a continuum not a line of coke that gives you euphoria. If a person drinks too much, does drugs, complains about their past and they are always victims… move on. They do not have a healthy mind. If you are drawn to them, you need fixing, no one that has a strong self worth, high self esteem is drawn to victims. You look for people on your level that can bring out the best in you and love you for it. If you are having pity parties with the one you are with, I am sorry to say disaster is looming. That is my opinion, I could be wrong


      • savorydish said

        Tom, I’m interested in hearing more of your own personal experiences.

        The irony is when I meet these victim types, I am never looking for love. Or someone to fix.

        But they draw you in. And they move fast. My immediate reaction is to push them away, because instinctually I know it’s moving too fast. That’s when they start telling you the sob stories to draw you in.

        Believe me when I say I don’t look for people to save. But when you are knee deep in water you are looking for a way to fix the problem. At first, they seem appreciative. And you think that this is going to be an easy fix.

        But then the resentment kicks in. They start developing an inferiority complex. Shutting you out gives them back a feeling of control. That is why most of my relationships only last a year at most.

        It would be easy if they all wore a sign. But most of the ones I have known were very good at hiding their dysfunction. No heavy drinking. No drug use. Even my fair weather friend was not a heavy drinker. But when he did drink he became Mr. Hyde. That’s when the red flag went up.

        It is no coincidence that everything breaks down right at the point I realize how damaged this person is. It is that aha moment that sends them running to hide. The fear of being revealed compels them to run. The gig is up.

        Frantic efforts to avoid rejection/abandonment also compels them to run away. Reject you before you reject them. I have seen this over and over again.

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