Finding myself this year has been quite a journey and an eye opening experience.
The last 7 months have been, thankfully, uneventful.
I have simply followed my heart. These are things in my heart: my faith, my family, my health. And in my heart, is also my life exactly as it is: my love of reading and writing and history and politics. My interest in health and healthcare. My joy in teaching. My desire for fairness, honesty, and loyalty.
It seems that if I was on a journey to find myself and a “new” life that I am pleasantly surprised to find that I was not lost–that my old life is my new life–as life continues to evolve all on its own.
What I have found surprising, at times, over the last few months is how others around me that do not hold my values have not fallen away from my life. In fact, while I have become healthier, happier, at peace and have enjoyed myself–others have expressed disdain, criticism and shock at my calm.
That is the most interesting thing about this journey–I have been able to easily find the fake friends around me.
Here is how to identify the 4 kinds of fake friends and the lessons to learn from them:
The Gossiper. This is the friend that you cannot trust with a secret. They will promptly find some willing ears to hear your secret, but will also embellish any story to meet her needs–and to increase her credibility over yours.
The lesson: This person values other people’s mistakes–Live your life without secrets–do what is right and you never have to worry about a gossiper’s story.
The One-Upper. No matter what you tell this person, they have also experienced the same situation but in a better, worse, more frequent or more pronounced way. They can never let you have anything they have not also experienced.
The lesson: This person needs attention–to remove them from your life, simply ignore them.
The Bully. Often a strong personality, the bully, treats you with kindness while being condescending and treating you as if you are not capable of making decisions on your own. They also have no regard for the things that are important to you.
The lesson: This person is insecure of their own worth. You will never win over a friend that only sees her own vulnerabilities in your successes. Smile and continue on your way.
The Pretender. This person in your circle pretends to be your ally but has no real loyalty to you. They will look you in the face with a smile as they pretend to be your friend or to deny your friendship if they feel it would advance their favor with others.
The lesson: This person does not understand loyalty–be kind but do not trust them with anything that is important to you.
Life is a wonderful journey. Surround yourself with people that appreciate you for who you are, who respects you and loves you even with your failings. But that will never use you to cover their own.
Enjoy your journey! Leave a comment below or send me an email with your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org