Ever wondered what kind of friends you have? Let’s educate you on the type of odd friendships you are most likely a part of.
1) The Non-Question-Asking Friend
You’ll be having a good day. You’ll be having a bad day. You’ll be happy at work. You’ll quit your job. You’ll fall in love. You’ll catch your new love cheating on you and murder them both in an act of incredible passion. And it doesn’t matter, because none of it will be discussed with The Non-Question-Asking Friend, who never, ever, ever asks you anything about your life. This friend can be explained in one of three ways:
1) He’s extremely self-absorbed and only wants to talk about himself
2) He avoids getting close to people and doesn’t want to talk about either you or himself or anything personal, just third-party topics
3) He thinks you’re insufferably self-absorbed and knows if he asks you about your life, you’ll talk his ear off about it
Giving you the benefit of the doubt here, we’re left with two possibilities. Possibility #1 isn’t fun at all and this person should not be allowed space on Tier 1. The green part of the mountain is sacred territory, and super self-absorbed people shouldn’t be permitted to set foot up there. Put him on Tier 2 and just be happy you’re not dating him.
2) The Friend in the Group You Can’t Be Alone With Under Any Circumstances
In almost every group of friends, there’s one pair who can’t ever be alone together. It’s not that they dislike each other—they might get along great—it’s just that they have no individual friendship with each other whatsoever. This leaves both of them petrified of the lumbering elephant that appears in the room anytime they’re alone together. They’re way too on top of shit to ever end up in the car alone together if a group is going somewhere in multiple cars, but there are smaller dangers afoot—like being the first two to arrive at a restaurant or being in a group of three when the third member goes to the bathroom.
The thing is, sometimes it’s not even that these people couldn’t have an individual friendship—it’s just that they don’t, and neither one has the guts to try to make that leap when things have gone on for so long as is.
3) The Non-Character-Breaking Friend You Have to be “On” With
This is a friend who’s terrified of having an earnest interaction, and as such, your friendship with him is always in some kind of skit—you always have to be on when you’re interacting.
Sometimes the skit is that you both burst out laughing at everything constantly. He can only exist with you in “This is so fucking hilarious it’s too much!” mode, so you have to be in some kind of joke-telling or sarcastic mode yourself at all times or he’ll become socially horrified.
Another version of this is the “always and only ironic” friend, who you really bum out if you ever break that social shell and say something earnest. This type of person hates earnest people because someone being earnest dares him to come out from under his ironic safety blanket and let the sun touch his face, and no fucking thanks.
The only comfortable mode for this person is bonding with you by building a little pedestal for you both to stand on while you criticize everyone else. You can either play along and everything will go smoothly, even though you’ll both despise yourselves and each other the whole time, or you can commit the ultimate sin and have the integrity to disagree with the friend or defend a non-present party the friend criticizes.
What these all have in common is the friend has tall walls up, at least toward you, and so she builds a little skit for you two to hang out in to make sure any authentic connection can be avoided. Sometimes that person only does this out of her own social anxiety and can become a great, authentic friend if you can just stomp through the ice. Other times, the person is just hopelessly scared and closed off and there’s no hope and you have to get out.
In any case, I can’t stand these interactions and am in a full panic the entire time they’re happening.
4) The Double-Obligated Friendship
Think of a friend you get together with from time to time, which usually happens after a long and lackluster email or text exchange during which you just can’t find a time that works for both of you—and you’re never really happy when these plans are being made and not really psyched when you wake up and it’s finally on your schedule for that day.
Maybe you’re aware that you don’t want to be friends with that person, or maybe you’re delusional about it—but what you’re most likely not aware of is that they probably don’t want to see you either.
There are lopsided situations where one person is far more interested in hanging out than the other (we’ll get to those later), but in the case we’re talking about here, both parties often think it’s a lopsided situation without realizing that the other person actually feels the same way—that’s why it takes so long to schedule a time. When someone’s excited about something, they figure out how to get it into their schedule—when they’re not, they figure out ways to push it farther into the future.
Sometimes you don’t think hard enough about it to even realize you don’t like being friends with the person, and other times you really like the idea or the aesthetic of being friends with that particular person—being friends with them is part of your Story. But even in cases where you’re perfectly lucid about your feelings—since neither of you knows the other feels the same way and neither has the guts to just cut things off or move it down a tier, this friendship usually just continues along for eternity.
5) The Half Marriage
Somewhere in your life, you’re probably part of a friendship that would be a marriage if only the other person weren’t very, very, extremely not interested in that happening.
You might be on either side of this—and either way it’s one of the least healthy parts of your life. Fun!
This friendship is one long, continuous rejection of you as a human being, and you’re just wallowing there in your yearning like a sobbing little seal. Plus, duh, if you gather your self-respect and move on with your life, it’ll raise their perception of your value and they might actually become interested in you.
If you’re on the oh yeah definitely not side of the situation, here’s what’s happening—there’s this suffering human in the world, and you know they’re suffering, and you fucking love it, because it gives your little ego a succulent sponge bath every time you hang out with them. You enjoy it so much you probably even lead them on intentionally, don’t you—you make sure to keep just enough ambiguity in the situation that their bleeding heart continues to lather your ego from head to toe at your whim.
Both of you—go do something else.
6) The Historical Friend
A Historical Friend is someone you became friends with in the first place because you met when you were little and stayed friends through the years, even though you’re a very weird match. Most old friends fall somewhat into this category, but a true Historical Friend is someone you absolutely would not be friends with if you met them today.
You’re not especially pleased with who they are, and they feel the same way about you. You’re not each other’s type one bit. Unfortunately, you’re also extremely close friends from when you were four, and you’re both just a part of each other’s situation forever, sorry.
7) The Non-Parallel Life Paths Friendship
Throughout childhood and much of young adulthood, most people your age are in the same life stage as you are. But when it comes to advancing into full adulthood, people do so at widely varying paces, which leads to certain friends suddenly having totally different existences from one another.
There are darker, more permanent Non-Parallel Life Path situations. Like when Person A starts to become a person who rejects material wealth, partially because she genuinely feels that pursuing an artistic path matters more and partially because she needs a defense mechanism against feeling envious of richer people, and Person B’s path makes her scoff at people who pursue creative paths, partially because she genuinely thinks expressing yourself is an inherently narcissistic venture and partially because she needs a defense mechanism against feeling regretful that she never pursued her creative dreams—these two will have problems.
They may still like each other, but they can’t be as close as they used to be—each of their lives is a bit of a middle finger at the other’s choices, and that’s just awkward for everyone. It’s not always that bad—but to survive an Off-Line Life Situation, friends need to be really different people who don’t at all want the same things out of life.
This friendship is a distant cousin of The Morally Off-Line Friendship.
Source: Source: Waitbywhy.com