Have you ever been blindsided by a friend? You know, been so absolutely, dismally and utterly shocked that you get dizzy and feel your stomach drop and you think “what the vrek just happened? Did someone just suction cup my heart out?”
And you start questioning the human race! You vent on social media “You think you know people”, “Karma is sweet”, “You can’t hide an ugly soul”. And then you curl up close to a mirror and cry – now and then looking into the mirror to have a good look-see at your mascara streaked cheeks and face, before making sure you wipe your tear-stained face on your white pillowcase and give a nice snot-filled sniff. Of course, you have!
On the other hand… Have you been blindsided by a friend? You know absolutely, utterly amazingly shocked until your giddy and your heart feels warm and you think “What the vrek did I do to deserve this? Did someone just hug my heart?”
And you think wow there are some decent humans out there – wow, wow, WOW! And you pour your giddy heart out on social media: “I am blessed with such good people in my life”, “Faith in humanity = restored” and “I have such hidden gems in my life”. And you find a spot in your house with good lighting and take a “selfie” or “poutie”… load it on Instagram (amongst other accounts) and throw in some #blessed, #slaying, #selflove, #Peepsgotmyback hashtags. Of course, you have!
Society is made up of selfish people, as well as some selfless people. You have had shocking friends (hopefully whom you have parted ways with) and some really good, solid, bosom chomzaza, friends (hopefully who you spoil and lavish with love).
Here are 7 Tell-Tale Signs whether your chommie is a FABULOUS FRIEND you should keep, love and spoil, or FRACKING FOE you should really, seriously consider parting ways with.
#1 Engaged vs Demanding
Communication is key to any relationship. In a society teeming with ways to communicate all over the world, instantly, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch and engaged – ALL-THE-BLERRIE-TIME. Is this good? Bad? Yes, and yes.
So, what’s a fabulous friend and what is a fracking foe?
Fabulous Friend: A fabulous friend is engaged with you; they keep in touch whether through voice notes, short “how are you’s” and sometimes long ass messages. They don’t get sulky, aggressive, moody or belittling if you don’t respond immediately (they know your heart and trust if you are angry you will say something). Instead, they believe you must be busy, thinking about the reply, or having fun and therefore know that when you are available or remember you will respond.
Fracking Foe: A fracking foe gets angry, offended, moody, passive-aggressive and downright confrontational if you don’t immediately respond to their messages or phone calls. There is no reason unless you are dead that you shouldn’t be replying to them immediately. Heaven forbid if they catch you changing your WhatsApp profile pic and not responding to their message or updating your status but not giving them your undivided and immediate attention.
#2 Familiarity vs Comfortability
Any good friendship has some healthy, often unspoken but firmly in place boundaries… and naturally, a level of comfortability to be yourself around each other.
Fabulous Friend: A fabulous friend is a friend you can relax around and be unapologetically yourself and they can relax around you. This means you can share fears, dreams, questions and the like without being ridiculed, mocked, patronised or disqualified. You can be honest with each other but never ever rude or familiar. Looking at your friend and saying: “you picked up weight”, “friend, I hate your hair or nail colour” or “why do you have such a massive pimple on your forehead”, “your clothes look old and cheap” – are all out of the question. Often it is not what is said but how it is said that matters; and a fabulous friend does everything in love and gentleness and always in privacy if they want to point something out to you.
Fracking Foe: A fracking foe is more familiar with you than your toothbrush is or the tissue you just used to blow your nose. They hide familiarity and rudeness under the banner of “honesty” and “being straight with you”. Fracking foes never do anything in love (even if they claim they do) – it’s all about them, their opinion and the power they exert over you and often issues will be raised in front of a third party to embarrass you.
#3 Babbler vs Talker-Listener
Nothing beats a lekker chit-chat between chomzazas. But it becomes very clear whether the chat is a two-way thing or a dreary monologue filled with “I’s” and “me’s”.
Fabulous Friend: A fabulous friend “reads the air”. So, if they can tell you had a day that you just need someone to listen not necessarily give advice or respond, they will do just that. Or if you need someone to talk to cheer you up – a fab friend will be sensitive enough to pick it up. But mostly fab friends will take turns talking-and-listening.
Fracking Foe: A fracking foe babbles, moans, and does a full-on soliloquy whenever they see you. You will often feel drained after spending some time with them and they will only ask you something briefly before taking control and talking about their favourite topic – themselves!
#4 Chronically Late vs Just On Time
It seems the most precious commodity in society isn’t gold, money, or Ed Sheeran tickets – nope it is time.
Fabulous Friend: A fabulous friend respects you and therefore your time. He/she is always on time; or never more than five minutes late (and even then, will text you an apology). Sure, once in a while something beyond their control may happen e.g. hurricane may strike but 99% of the time they respect and love you and arrive on time.
Fracking Foe: A fracking foe is chronically (as in ALWAYS) late and thinks it’s hilarious to be “fashionably late”. If they ask you to pick them up at 10:00; they will nap until 09:55, take a leisurely shower, throw out their whole cupboard on the bed, take a selfie and then slowly start dressing, putting makeup on and then after you have been calling for an hour or two, answers and says “Oops… I didn’t notice the time”. This happens every time you make plans.
#5 Space to Express vs Follow-My-Rules-or-Else
Fabulous Friend: A fabulous friend allows you to express yourself, your thoughts, and beliefs and even if they don’t agree with you, they won’t shut you down or get annoyed.
Fracking Foe: A fracking foe expects you to always agree with them; if you differ your friendship may be on the line. A fracking foe will even belittle, flatly deny, argue or make you feel stupid if you don’t agree with them and take offence, telling other friends “how stupid you are”.
#6 Gossip Girl/Guy vs Loyal Lioness/Lion
If you listen to what your friend is saying about other friends, you’ll know what he/she is saying about you.
Fabulous Friend: A fabulous friend you can trust with all your vulnerabilities, secrets and flaws. He/she will never share this with other friends or complain about the things you do wrong to other friends. They will also not tolerate other people speaking ill of you in their presence. They are a loyal lioness/lion.
Fracking Foe: A fracking foe is easy to spot because they share their other friends’ secrets, vulnerabilities, fears, failures and shortcomings with you. And, if they are doing it to their other friends you can bet money on it – they are doing it to you. They will also join in if other people are criticising you and not defend you.
#7 Keeper of Word vs Words are Words
Language, communication and words are certainly helpful – if they have meaning.
Fabulous Friend: A fabulous friend will rather be straight and honest and disappoint you a little than promise you the world but never deliver. But when they commit, give their word and say they will be there, they are there. Their no, is no. Their yes, is yes. Their words are their words and you can depend on what they say.
Fracking Foe: A fracking foe is careless with their words or doesn’t really give thought to it. They will say what you want to hear but when it is crunch-time… no foe in sight. You don’t know whether you can take them at their word and words are just words to them – not tied to honour, loyalty or truth.
Now, having a friend with one foe streak in them may not be the worst thing ever. But if your friend ticks every foe friend checkbox perhaps it is time to say goodbye. On the flip side, if you have a fabulous friend perhaps you should do something to show your appreciation – even if it is a note and a Hug-in-a-Mug sachet.
But the most important question of all is – who are you to your friends? A fabulous friend or a fracking foe?
A little About Sparkle Ellie:
This blog is written by a South African for South Africans and done on a part-time basis purely for the love it and the love of South Africans. What is the big sparkle dream? To champion South Africa, South Africans, lekker food and awesome pets. Thank you for supporting a fellow South African by reading this blog! Feel free to share, like and comment. 🙂
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Feature Photo Credit: Delia Herberg Photography