I’ve decided to place this stop/start on this blog, as the topic pertains to relationships. For other stop starts, please visit my personal blog.

I remember when I was in high school everyone used to say they didn’t have a lot of friends just “associates.” This never resonated with me. An associate is an employee or someone you have a business relationship with, not someone with whom you share meaningful bits of your personal life. This was, of course, the point of the distinction, to separate one’s friends from casual acquaintances. I had friends, plain and simple; no distinctions necessary, my whole life.

As I’ve gotten older (*shudder*), I realize that my approach has caused me to collect a bunch of junk friends. Through the advent of social networking, it has become even more difficult for me to drop even the most tenuous relationships. I have a hard time declining friend requests and “unfriending” or “unfollowing” someone I actually know in real life. It’s like being connected to junk people by an umbilical cord that allows all their junk to be force fed to me.

I think having meaningful friendships is very important to individual happiness. Having a hand selected group of like-minded or complementary individuals around for mutual support, advice giving, companu, and a listening ear is a big part of getting through the daily grind. Even in Ecclesiastes, which comes off as a sometimes cynical book of wisdom in the Bible, recognizes the need for friendship. A friend can help you when you fall, but woe to you if you fall alone; one can be overpowered, but two can withstand an attack. Friendship is important.

However, we can see the drawbacks of bad friendships as well. Crabs in a barrel keep each other from getting out. When the blind lead the blind, both fall in the ditch. Smiling faces sometimes don’t tell the truth. There are some “friendships” that it’s simply not healthy to sustain. The “friend” never has anything nice to say about anything or anyone; they can never help you but always need your help; they don’t value your time & send you on “dummy missions”; they are always attempting to “out-misery” you instead of listening and supporting you; they tell everything you confide in them; they keep drama started in your circle, and/or; they are never happy for you.

There are four categories of friends I no longer require in my life: jellyfishers, plan breakers, frenemies, and patients. TO BE CONTINUED…