The Fine Art of Defriending A Fake Friend

Sometimes it’s not who you know.  It’s who you don’t want to be bothered with anymore.

I had to defriend someone today.  I wish I regretted it.  I don’t.  What I wish is I’d done it sooner.  I’d rather have 1000 real enemies instead of one fake friend.  At least my enemies are sincere.  Fake friends waste your time and suck your joy.

One of the things I’ve learned is negative people only bring negativity to your world. The young man I cut loose (and doesn’t need to called out by name) was someone I actually as a reporter years ago. I tried to be civil and decent with him, but I got tired of his bitching and ugly ego. Life’s too short to deal with assholes.

People change.  Sometimes you realize you don’t like what they’ve changed into.   I know this guy.  I hired him.  Laughed with him.  Pounded beers with him.  Attended his wedding.   We had good times together.

But even a friend has sides of their personality you never see and don’t know anything about.  If you did you might never had become friends in the first place.

Eventually, you come to a realization, “Did one of us change, because I don’t KNOW this person and don’t much want to.”   What this guy turned out to be was a Rush Limbaugh listening, Glenn Beck believing, Fox News fanatic who hates Obama, Democrats, progressives and anyone who feels differently.

I accepted everything but the last part.  I’m okay with someone being a conservative.  Zealots who are aggressive and nasty about it make for bad company.   You can roll with the punches for a while, but the constantly adversarial relationship gets wearisome.  After a while all you want is these people out of your face so you can have a little peace when you’re networking socially.

That’s when it’s time to move ’em out and cut ’em loose.

I’ve had to do that several times, but the older I get the less I worry about it. I figure those folks are going about the business of their lives and I can only follow suit.

It’s like Malcolm X said, “I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I don’t believe in brotherhood with anybody who doesn’t want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but I’m not going to waste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesn’t know how to return the treatment.”

This was someone I consider an actual friend.   Yet time has a way of forcing your fundamental differences to the forefront.

The last straw was when he called me “stupid” once too often.  There’s a limit to how much abuse I’ll take from anybody. I don’t care if you THINK I’m stupid, but if you SAY, I’m stupid, that’s when you become dead to me.  Sometimes you just got to cut a motherfucker off at the ankles.

This was someone I consider an actual friend.   Yet time has a way of forcing your fundamental differences to the forefront.

Firing a Facebook friend is ridiculously easy.  Once you make the decision to x someone out of your circle of life it’s almost a surgical procedure.  You go to their profile page, click “unfriend” and you’re done.  No arguments.  No screaming and cursing.  One minute you have a window into another person’s world and the next it’s slammed shut and boarded up.   It’s a clean escape and the only way to get back in is if you allow them back in.

Which isn’t going to happen.  The law of diminishing returns kicks in and relationships that become screaming matches with ugly words delivered in upper case are pure poison.   The number of friends I have in the virtual world outnumbers by far the ones I have in the real world and I rank and sort them accordingly.   Some folks I get a laugh from, others I exchange information back and forth with and a few whom I go toe-to-toe with.  Or is that keyboard to keyboard?

Underlying both up-close and far away has to be a mutual respect.   My former friend regarded debate as agreeing with him and being accepting of the other side’s opinion as a threat to his own. I’ve never understood these cyber gladiators who place so much emphasis on “winning” a debate online.  Discussions can get heated and there are some people you want to throw a few rhetorical round-house to, but win a debate?   Why that is so important to people I have no idea and if I ever do it’ll be time to turn off the computer and actually read a book.

I don’t dwell overly long on what’s in my rear view mirror.  Enough folks come and go in your life that if you spent all your time obsessing about the ones you had to forcibly evict from it you would have no time for anything else.

In due course, I expect my ex-friend to stop cursing my name.  In cyberspace nobody can hear you scream and that’s a good thing.

Besides, I got two new friend requests today.  When one door closes…

Backstabbers are shiftless, shady, jealous kind of people.