Nobody is capable of living without friends and, even less, of accepting that they do not have them. It is part of our instinct, of our need for social networks. Even the most unhappy and unhappy man boasts of having friends.
The intimate friends, the true ones, those who reflect the best of us, those who enrich our time and keep our confidences, those who share our silence and participate in our intimacy, are a blessing. However, by contrast, many other “friends”, instead of satisfaction and growth, are a source of problems, they are huge energetic thieves, emotional vampires who squeeze us to the point of exhausting us, who kill us dreams and produce nightmares.
If studies at the University of Wisconsin show that good friendship prevents arthritis, Alzheimer’s and cancer, and Heart magazine emphasizes that friendship reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, bad friendship also has its consequences. It can cause emotional crises, depression, loss of identity and vital sense, conflicts and psycho-affective traumas.
Friends are the chosen brothers, and much of our family bond is projected onto them. Sometimes we download a large amount of psycho-emotional expectations that correspond to emptiness or affective needs of childhood. This is, for example, to seek to be accepted without compunction, or to be listened to uninterruptedly, or to feel the master of what is of the other, and so on. The best example of this misunderstood friendship is the movie The cable guy, in which Jim Carrey plays a lone cable agent who does everything possible to turn a customer (Mathew Broderick) into his best friend. But it does nothing other than tyrannize the relationship. He assumes unusual demanding positions and harasses his friend in such a way, with tantrums and blackmail, that the friendship ends up turned into hell.
Friendship is little questioned. When someone has the title of friend, they seem to assume the right to abuse (“that’s what friends are for”). In the name of friendship, money is lent and it is not returned, uncomfortable favors are asked, real risks are run; moreover, we put ourselves on the side of the friend and not of the truth or of justice, confusing loyalty with submission and trust with negative complicity. There is a great tolerance to the friend, an enormous permissiveness that we hardly grant to the children or the couple.
The bad friend manipulates us with the secrets we give him, and exerts control and force over us with a strange right of belonging that extends to our decisions. The most common is the matasueños, an envious guy who feels deeply threatened when we are about to fulfill our dreams. He usually uses phrases like “it’s for your own good, look I know you and I know what’s best for you”. It’s about sucking energy and filling us with guilt and fear so we can not fly. He makes sure we always give up.
Another habitual case is that which becomes an emotional partner. This friend seeks at all costs to occupy the psychological place of our partner. It is always ready to go out with a superplan that blocks all possibility of control over our space and our time, all in order that no other person enters our life. He is a friend who sells security, a tranquility that nobody gets hurt. He is a jealous fool with people who really come close to wanting to stay, or with the current couple. He has made us his world, creating in us a mixture of guilt and insertion, because what this manipulator hides is that he is deeply alone.
Tell me who you are with…
One treats others as one treats oneself, and one gets himself treated as he thinks he deserves it. In this way, we also project our shadow onto our friends, our unresolved processes. This means that if we are a bit shameless, not only will we have a blatant friend, but we will always excuse that friend who submits us to thousands of abuses. The friend traqueto represents our inner mobster and the drunkard also represents that part of us that is addicted, because our environment is a reflection of our interior and what happens to us and how it happens is also a living mirror of what our values and values are. codes of ethics that emerge from the intimate and expressed in the everyday. In other words, one has the friends that reflect what one is living. Example, if I’m working my lie, and I confront myself, I search for my truth and accept it, I can immediately express and confront my lying friend and propose that he relate to me from the truth; but if I choose to continue lying to myself, I will condemn my friend to occupy that place always with me.
We treat friends as we treat ourselves. As long as I do not put limits on my internal abuser, I can not express that limit to my abusive friend; As long as I do not stop manipulating, I can not stop the friend who wraps me with his manipulation. As long as I do not confront each one of my masks and each of the voices of my ego, I can not help but submit to the dynamic reflection of friends, who remind me of my lack and not my being. Each of my good or bad friends is an opportunity to confront, to stop being confluent, to demand of me and also to help him to develop values that allow us to reach an ethic of friendship through which we grow both, instead of to keep running away.
According to the philosopher Elredo, an authentic friendship must have these notes: dilectio, affectio, securitas and iucunditas. He explains it this way: “There are four elements that seem to me especially characteristic of friendship: the love, the affection, the confidence and the elegance. The dilection is expressed with favors dictated by benevolence; the affection, with that delight that is born in the most intimate of ourselves; trust, with the manifestation, without fear or suspicion, of all secrets and thoughts; elegance, with the delicate and kind sharing of all the events of life-the happy and the sad-of all our purposes-the harmful and the useful-and of all that we can teach or learn. ”
In his book All Those Dangerous Liaisons, the psychologist Francisco Gavilán makes an inventory of the types of friends that can bring about unproductive relationships. He says that “jealousy moves dangerous friends” and has developed a classification of toxic friends, bringing together eight types of friendships that can hurt you.
The busy one: suffers from professional hyperactivity. He never has time to see or hear you, because everything is more important than you. It does not respond to calls or emails, except rarely.
The gossip: he does not know how to keep a secret and he lacks time to divulge it. He makes excuses like “I did not think Maria did not know”.
The informal: almost never meets any agreement, arrives late, gets distracted from appointments and commitments.
The intriguing one: he transmits many negative judgments about you in a subtle way, saying that he has heard it said to others. And he does it “because I’m your friend”. He wants to worry and gain all control over you.
The complicator: objections to everything you propose, seriously interfering with the course of your normal life. Each situation analyzes it from all possible angles to sickly extremes.
The leech: its main characteristic is that it feels an exaggerated feeling of overprotection towards you to have you exclusively as a friend. He gets angry if you make plans without counting on him.
The competitor: rivals you in everything. He is not happy about your successes, he despises them. He has an excessive jealousy towards you.
The counselor: makes judgments about any circumstance that concerns your life without you asking for it. If you reject it, you usually say “I’m saying it for your own good” phrases. His advice is critical masked.