Don’t Pretend to be Friends if You Can’t Make the Effort

Don’t Pretend to be Friends if You Can’t Make the Effort

I had lunch today with Jesse Friedman and we got into a conversation about the differences between friends and acquaintances. The discussion highlighted a few particular people in our lives who may have been under the misconception that they’re friends with us.  The reality is that they’re just acquaintances.

And sometimes even that’s a stretch bordering on being a bit too nice for their sake.

Working in technology may warp my perspective here, but I won’t use that to excuse for those I’d consider to be among my former friends.  I firmly believe with all the tools out there like email, instant messages, Twitter, FriendFeed and – god forbid – phone calls… You could at least show an effort.  Like, once a calendar year.

Hat tip to Chris Winfield who just started asking about friends on Twitter and how often you communicate. It created a strange mental transition for me back to this conversation, and thus inspired this post.

Here’s a pretty solid rule of thumb: If I haven’t heard from you in months (or years) don’t pretend we’re friends.  Don’t pretend I owe you anything. Don’t pretend I should actually give a shit about what you say… Because you’ve pretty much branded yourself as an equus asinus.  See above.

7 thoughts on “Don’t Pretend to be Friends if You Can’t Make the Effort

  1. I dunno, I have friends I don’t see in years and when we meet again we just pick up where we left off. I find it’s not the frequency but the mutual bullshit we are prepared to put up with.

  2. @lyndon I understand what you mean on the comment, but, this is people who never return any call, email, IM, voicemail, etc. Then pretend to be all up in your shit when it’s convenient for them.

  3. I’m going to agree with Lyndon that there are friends that I consider friends at all points in my life. But they usually are few and far between and have had a large impact on my life over a long period of time.

    But what I think Eric is getting at are those friends that float through our life, momentarily. There are some of those “friends” that seem to reappear only when its convenient for them. It’s cool as business acquaintances, that’s what they are, but trying to be “friends” only when it’s convenient for you is just … see the picture above.

  4. Ditto Lyndon. There’s a difference between real friends and people who pretend (or want) to be your friend only for their own benefit.

    Like Lyndon said, I can go for years without seeing or talking to a real friend and pick up right where we left off when we meet again. It’s the pretend friend who better be hitting me up more frequently if they want any chance of taking advantage of me before I catch on… :P

  5. I think Eric might be trying to protect all parties involved (thank you). To paint a better picture imagine someone who takes the role of a “best friend” by being your best man, godfather to your son/daughter,etc. Then they don’t have the decenscy to make a call, txt or what ever after months go by. I’ve seen it before and it has happened to me, they are the jackass but I feel like a douch. Don’t pretend to be friends until you need something that’s the point.

    I too have a friend that lives far away but we make a point to talk as often as possible and when we do we take interest in each others lives.

  6. Hey – I resemble that remark.
    Or that photo.
    I’m not sure which.
    Speaking of which – If we get some good weather later this month, can you afford a day off to go fishing ? I can get the boat any day I want, Mon-Fri…


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