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Your Friends Suck

Are you tired? Emotionally exhausted? Walking around on egg shells and feeling resentful? Dread every time your phone pings?

Maybe your friends suck.

There’s lots of talk, especially as you progress into adulthood, about how hard it is to make friends, but what about how hard it is to make good friends?

Being picky and desperate is a hard thing to balance. Adulthood, parenthood, and womanhood are all so lonely, and now you want me to turn the people who actually want to tolerate me and my bullshit away? Seems insane.

I heard a business quote once (allow me to butcher this), that said you can’t build a successful business from a place of desperation, because your judgement is no good. You’re so needy and destitute, you’ll accept any that feels like success or a win, when the reality is that it’s neither.

Same thing goes for companionship. We’re coming out of a couple years of isolation, we’ve been inside raising plants like children and naming our sourdough starters, now that we’re finally around human people again, we’re a little weird and eager.

We got no chill, you guys.

For a long time, I tried to make everyone my friend. Very “pet every dog I meet on the street” energy. Growling, raised hackles, people around them mouthing the words “do not pet this dog,” did not turn me off. I was like, “come ‘ere ya old misunderstood hound dog, lemme give you some snuggles.”

I tried to get Andy to let me keep a baby opossum I found under our deck once. This thing was so scared and hissing at me, showing me all it’s pointy little opossum teef. Andy had to physically step in and be like no, this opossum is not your person, you go to bed at 8pm, you need to find human people who are less nocturnal and don’t eat ticks.

My friend radar was out of whack.

But let me tell you, it takes exactly one opossum bite and/or one bout of friend drama to really make you sit down and reprioritize your wish list. Sure, romantic drama sucks, but friend fights just hit different. The arguments sting worse, the abuse is harder to spot because it’s diluted by girls nights out and covered in sisterhood glitter, and holy hell do the breakups sting. So much worse.

I’ll be sad over a boy for a month, but I’ll still break down in tears over a lost friendship from college.

It’s taken a decade or two, but I think I’ve finally figured out what I need friendships to look like for me. This list is obviously personal, and if it seems specific and overly critical, it probably is and that may very well may mean that at the end of the day, I’m sitting at a table with just two other people, and that’s okay because…

I am happier with fewer friends. I know that’s something people without very many friends say, but it’s true, okay? I don’t have the bandwidth to keep a large group of people feeling heard, seen and valued. But I can be really awesome at texting 3-6 people back in a semi-timely fashion. 

I can’t be friends with people I am afraid of. If I’m afraid to cancel our plans, tell you no, or about what you might say about me when I’m not in the room, it’s a pass for me, dog. Fear is not a friendship attribute, and I never want to have built-up anxiety over interactions with someone in my circle. 

Friendships are not transactional, and this is really hard for me to remember. If you are only nice, chatty, and commenting on my stuff when you want something from me, or I’m actively paying you to perform a service, I’m not a friend, I’m a customer you feel friendly with, and that’s 100% fine. On my end, I need to remind myself of those boundaries early on, so I don’t accidentally put friendship expectations on you, and then get secretly angry when you don’t live up to them. 

It’s okay to need reciprocal friendships. I will pour into you, if you pour into me. The amounts don’t always have to be equal, or even close, at times. And sure, there’s a million things at play here, like spoons, and mental health, and hours in the day. But I will never feel bad about needing attention or love from the people in my life, however I have had to learn to be ready to accept they may not have it to give, and that our friendship will probably change. Going forward, I only put energy into the people who can give me some energy back. 

If you guilt or passive-aggressive-meme me on social media, I’ll show myself out. If I have to text you after hours of fretting to be like, “yoooo is your post about me?” or “DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG?!” I moonwalk out of the friendship. I can’t take the stress. I assume everyone is mad at me under the best conditions, now there’s public memes involved? My anxiety doesn’t have it in her, and I am too insecure for this kind of friendship. 

I am a slow burn. I like to call me an acquired taste. I am a taurus with a low social battery, trust issues, and an angry looking relaxed face. So like, I have a lot working against me here. But’s it’s really taught me to appreciate the people who take the time to push past that, and meet me where I am. And where I am, by the way, is usually the quietest corner of the room eating mozzarella sticks and killing time until I can sneak out and go to be before 9pm, because your girl is sleepy.

Hey, not all friends are forever. I know I want them to be, and the necklaces say they are, but they aren’t. I have a friend that I have known since the very first day of kindergarten, and she’s a lifer. But I’ve had several other great friend love stories who’ve come in and out of my life based on whatever stage I’m experiencing. I’ve had work friends, playgroup friends, friends I met on theKnot, mom blogger friends, sports mom friends, school mom friends, niche internet group friends… the list goes on. We were put in each other’s lives due to circumstance and it’s everything my heart needs in that moment, but then the stage lights go dark, and the curtain closes, and the sets change. The endings aren’t dramatic or sad, the connection just fades a little, and the every day conversations change to Instagram hearts and Facebook memories. 

I will say “I love you” when I leave or hang up the phone. This is less a requirement and more like a warning. I do this, but I you don’t have to say it back. 

So hey, what if you’re the bad friend? Um, been there. 

I have been the bad friend a lot. I’m probably the villain in 20 people’s stories (I’m calling it my Reputation era). 

I’ve been selfish, insecure and toxic as all get out, gossipy, and taken more than I’ve given. It’s embarrassing to look back at those moments, and I’ll tell ya, every time I’ve been a shit friend, it’s either been called out or resulted in the end of a friendship. Nothing hurts worst. So what you do is, you say that you’re sorry, and the friendship either survives, or it doesn’t, and you’ll mourn that for the rest of your life, probably. This got depressing, right? 

A good friend will change the trajectory of your life. They are your secret keepers, your problem solvers, your cheerleaders, and your well-checks. 

The goal is obviously to one day be eating cheesecake with them in a kitchen in Florida, long after your husbands have passed, telling each other secrets, sleeping with a slew of available widows, and living each day together to the fullest. 

Be picky about who you let in, and then cherish them for as long as you can, friend. 


Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

Lost one from college a couple of years ago and while it stung and hurt and the timing couldn't have been worse, life has since been more drama free.

Brittany Gibbons

Monday 5th of February 2024

It's such a hard break up, but it makes so much space to breath and experience POSITIVITY!


Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

It really is about the quality and not the quantity. True friends love all of you, even the ugly, whiny, annoying parts. As a fellow sleepy Taurus with a resting bitch face, I really feel this! Thank you!!! <3


Monday 22nd of January 2024

In my imagination we're besties...but like the kind that just check in on each other sometimes and share deals on chicken nuggies and mozzarella sticks.

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