Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Failing friendships might not be your fault

Throughout my life, I have seen different friends come and go. Each situation is different and each friendship is different. Considering recent times, I am seeing more of my friendships failing, and I often find myself pondering the reason behind that. People are selfish.

I lay in bed and lose sleep on countless nights thinking about why these relationships deteriorated. One reason why friendships fail is because people like to entertain their pleasure principle. In other words, they like to do whatever brings them pleasure with little regard for the consequences. Four types of people who can cause friendships to fail because of their pleasure principle are “Manipulators,” “Ghost and Boasts,” “Phubbers” and “Love Flakes.”

There are people who speak with disregard to others’ feelings, purposely saying things simply to cut the other person deepest. It gives them a power rush and a sense of superiority to one-up the other person and make them feel inferior. These are the “Manipulators.” They try to micromanage those around them to obtain a sense of dominance. To have their friendship, you must act a certain way, say all the right things and, most importantly, you must answer to their every beck and call.

The second you stop giving power to this friend their weakness takes over, much like taking Iron Man out of his suit. This friendship fails when you come to the realization that you have your own thoughts, and you do not live to serve. The “Manipulator” realizes they can no longer control you, so in turn they try and manipulate other peoples’ opinions of you.

As author and philosopher Vernon Howard said, “A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” If you have friends who allow the “Manipulator” to sway their opinion, then you should reevaluate those friendships as well.

You deserve friends who will remain by your side no matter what rumor about you surfaces, because they recognize your character and who you are as a person. Please, do not let the negativity of a “Manipulator” get under your skin.

The most precious thing we possess in life is time. We cannot buy more of it and we cannot ask for a refund or exchange. We simply must take all that we are given, but sometimes there are friends who will waste your time by constantly ignoring you.

The “Ghost and Boast” friends will utilize most of your time, with little regard to the value of the friendship. They start by “ghosting,” which includes never responding to your text messages, rarely partaking in group hangouts or simply ditching plans last minute. When they finally spend time with you, they end up only talking at you rather than with you. They boast nonstop about their life, the fantastic things they do and the fabulous people they talk to, all while you wonder to yourself if you will ever get the chance to speak.

We live in a generation where people constantly search for the next best thing. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and many other platforms make it extremely easy to stay in touch with multiple people at once, but that is exactly the problem. These friends are the “Phubbers,” or “phone-snubbers.”

James A. Roberts, a writer for The Huffington Post, explained in a September 2016 article, “To Phubb or Not to Phubb” what it means to be “phubbed.” “To be phubbed is to be snubbed by someone using their cell phone while in your company. The ‘phubb’ could be an interruption of your conversation with someone when he or she uses their cell phone or is distracted by it . . . instead of paying attention to you.”

Everyone glances at their phone from time to time, but in extreme cases such as “Phubbers,” nothing productive happens when you spend time together. Deep meaningful conversations cannot happen and activities occur in stop-and-go sequences because you must wait for them to finish their online connection. These friendships fail when you come to the realization you deserve someone who will pay attention to you, someone who will appreciate your company and all you have to offer.

We should always strive to do extraordinary things and to want the next best thing for our lives, but we should not let that interfere with our friendships. We should not be with one person while keeping our noses in our smartphones, looking for someone else to hang out with or something else to do. We should seek the gratification in quality time spent with those in our presence versus the instant gratification from some random person who messages you on social media.

A common way friendships end is through the “Love Flake.” This friend up and leaves at the first sign of a significant other. Things start well, you meet the new boyfriend or girlfriend and you get to know them on double dates or third-wheeling adventures. But then one day everything comes to a screeching halt.

They begin spending every spare moment with their significant other and ditching plans because their special someone is available instead. The only conversations you have involve their boyfriend and the only time you can possibly get scheduled in their life happens when you third wheel.

Long gone are the days of quality time spent with just the two of you. Days, weeks and months go by and you still might not have heard directly from your friend. The only reason you know they are still alive is by seeing videos they share on Facebook. The end of this friendship does not come in the form of an epiphany or a sudden realization that you need to ditch them. The end of this friendship hurts worse. It takes the form of a slow falling out and one day, months later, you realize you are not a part of each other’s world.

The only thing we can do in these situations is accept our given fate. We fight to hold on, but sometimes it hurts more to grasp at the frayed edges of a friendship rather than letting go. If these people truly want you in their life they would make just as much effort on you as they do on their significant other.

There must be a point when you forget about how many years you put into your friendship, how much time you spent with each other, all the conversations had, all the memories made and merely reflect on how this person makes you feel.

Actions speak louder than words. If this person consistently treats you like garbage for several months, then you know where you stand in this person’s life.
Wish this friend all the happiness in the world, they will need it eventually.

People grow up and change, and it is beautiful to watch people evolve into their destined self. Remember to love your friends. Without them you do not have much in this life. They vacation with you, they go on late-night food dates with you and they listen to the same rant repeatedly until it finally leaves your system.

If you are a “Manipulator,” “Ghost and Boast,” “Phubber” or “Love Flake,” take responsibility for your actions and apologize to your loved ones. On the other end of the spectrum, if having a friend like this currently causes you emotional pain, remember it is them and not you. Do not lay awake at night wondering why you are not good enough. Anyone who does not see that you are worthy enough has honestly failed your friendship.

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