I have a draft post from a number of months ago – November, as a matter of fact – that I started and never finished or published. It was the second in a series of “you mom was right” posts I feel I could fill an entire 365-day blog with. I was hemming and hawing about finishing it, because it’s become very relevant all over again in the last month or two, and then I came across Ann Friedman‘s Disapproval Matrix last week and knew that it was time.
In case you have not seen the Disapproval Matrix, here it is:
(Again, check out Ann Friedman. I didn’t create this, though I wish I had.)
A couple weeks ago, one of my friends asked me who my oldest friend was, which ended up sparking a huge conversation about many things. Because while I do have some old friends, I don’t have many childhood or high school friends.
The truth is I don’t have much luck with friends a lot of the time. I could make a list of friends – starting from about grade one – who have been very close to me and have then gone on to suddenly turn their backs on me without any fight or falling out. Some of them just walked away, which yeah, hurts, but at least you can just move on, but many of them stayed close enough by (for at least a period of time) that they became the “Frenemies” in my world, A.K.A. the “Fair-Weather Friends.” The people who are friendly to you when you can do something for them – whether that be providing them with something material, or being their company, or even just being the person they can talk down to to feel better about themselves – then vanish as soon as they’ve used you up.
We all have those people in our lives, so I’m not going to dwell, or go into further detail, because (A) I don’t like to focus on negativity, and (B) I don’t gossip.
The point is this: one day, after struggling with all the negativity, you reach your limit and learn something very important.
Your mom/aunt/grandma/whoever has been saying it to you your whole life.
When you were little and you thought so-and-so was your friend, but then she suddenly called you “ugly” or “fat” and stuck her tongue out at you?
“Just forget about her,” said your loved one, “She’s just jealous.”
Your real friends love you. They are the people who cheer you on as you fight, hold you up and encourage you to keep going when you fail, and become your biggest fans when you succeed.
Emphasis on that last part.
Because the people who act like they’re your friends until you succeed or get recognition for something and then turn their backs and gossip are, in fact, jealous of you.
And the people who act like assholes or just completely ignore you until you succeed or get recognition for something are jealous of you, too. They’re just trying a different approach.
SIDENOTE: And the people who see you succeeding and try to do exactly what you’re doing, according to your loved ones, should be flattering you with their imitation, but let’s not kid ourselves, they’re just annoying, right?
I have lots of incredible friends, whom I love with all my heart, but if I’ve learned anything over the last year or two, it’s this:
Haters gonna hate.
Stick with your real friends.
And hard work pays off, no matter what you’re working on.