Wednesday, September 21, 2011
How To Handle Bad Friends
I don't think I know a single person who hasn't suffered the experience of a *bad friend*.
It starts with bewilderment then might even devolve into anger. "What in the world did I do?"
They blow you off; never initiate doing anything; or worse. I mean how hard is it to send an email???
Yet you were friends for years...
But were you? Were you really?
The first taste, of course, was in the teen/college years when friends coupled up with opposite-sex partners. I knew plenty of guys who flat-out *fell off the planet* on account of girlfriends. (Many of these chicks were marginal - to put it mildly too!)
Then it happens later on with first wives and first husbands; a busy job; and/or babies. All of a sudden it's been years since you've seen a former jabroni. My daughter is five and some of my wife's old pals haven't even met her. Heck I had to *sever all ties* with the best man at my own wedding only a month or so before the event.
Whatever. Anger, if it manifests, subsides. People growing apart is a fact of life. And the more times it happens to you....the less the sting - provided you're socially healthy and keep making new buddies. If you're going to diversify something as unimportant as your *financial assets*, you probably should be doing the same with your social assets. (BTW, an 80% stock/20% bond portfolio over the past few decades would have correlated with the S&P 500 to the tune of 99%. In other words, "WHAT DIVERSIFICATION!?")
I was thinking about this *bad friend* phenomena from another angle the other day - through my homeschooling lens. I concluded that many (most?) of these foundering friendships were the residue of long ago forced association. They were geographical neighbors and in-town classmates. So these relationships were never built on solid ground to begin with, failing the stress tests of time and distance.
Last I checked the world's population is approaching 6.8 billion. So it's downright Moronic to focus on or fret about specific earthlings here and there.
And going forward it's probably a sub-optimal idea to invest too much of your precious time with local yokels, classmates, and co-workers.