Let's talk about a full-of-shit friend. What is that exactly?
I know most people use this line to expose liars. They say you're full of it, meaning you're full of hot air and lies.
I love this expression. You don't have to say anything else to get your point across. It's wonderfully succinct.
But in this case, a full-of-shit friend is more than just a liar or someone talking about something they don't know. You could say they're a fake friend.
Everything they do makes you wonder why you're friends with them.
If you were to add up their actions, you could convince yourself they don't care about you.
What they do looks like what a normal person would do. Yet, when you analyse it, you realise how uncaring the actions are. They aren't being a good friend. They're barely acting like a friend.
I have someone in my life who fits this description. They are a good-on-paper person. Yet, every time we have any interaction, I walk away feeling like I'm putting in all the effort.
Or that I'm the only one who cares.
We become pretty good at spotting bad friends in our lives. But have you ever thought that you are the one who is the bad friend?
Have you considered you are the one everyone thinks is full of shit?
Time for a little self-reflection.
You say: "I'll call you right back…."
…But guess what, you don't.
You always promise to get back in touch with someone or return their phone call. Or you might always have an unread email you promise yourself to get to tomorrow.
But you never do. You think the other person forgives you, by the way. They might do. They probably won't forget though.
Now, you can have your excuses for not getting back to people or returning communication. I know many reasons, valid ones that you could use to excuse your behaviour. These include:
- High-priority job, deadlines at work, long working hours
- Family commitments such as children, caring arrangements, needy relatives
- Busy schedule of events
- Travel and being away from the usual routine
- Distractions of everyday life
- Poor organisation or high-demand administration in your life
The list is endless by the way. I could keep going.
Yet, here's the reality.
If you care about your relationships, you make an effort with them. No matter what you have going on, you find a way to keep in touch and not leave it all to the other person.
And by believing in your excuses for why you're so time-poor makes you full of shit. You think those excuses will fly when you know you wouldn't accept them the other way around.
You have a full calendar if…
… You ask someone else.
People have tried many times to make plans with you, spend time with you, even drop by for a quick chat. Things that are normal and welcome in a relationship that you can't give to them.
There's always something else on your calendar and you're too busy for other people.
There are excuses for this too, by the way. Reasons you want to call it. These include:
- You genuinely have a lot of events that you can't cancel
- You have a full work schedule or have a job that demands high amounts of personal time
- You have lots of other friends who take up your time
- You have lots of family and have to spend considerable time with them
It might not be all your friendships by the way. In the case of the last few years, it could be with the people you don't see daily or who don't live around you.
Out of sight, out of mind makes it harder to leave room in your calendar for people you don't see that often.
But we get it. You're a busy person. Yet, why do you have these friendships you physically can't maintain?
Why do you keep people thinking they mean something to you when you can't find the time to keep the friendship alive?
Though it's not about quantity time together, I agree. But you can't have quality time with friendships with zero quantity, either.
People can see when you're prioritising other people in your life, by the way.
That's often what makes you more full of shit; you still have a social life. They see you on Instagram tagged in pictures, going out.
It means you don't have time for the person trying with you. You aren't willing to adjust any of your social life to include them. Or combine your social life so they can be more together with your other social demands.
You never know the answer
When someone asks you for any details, or specifics about your friendships, you can't answer them.
Sure, you might be able to tell that person what your friend does for a job. But you can't answer how long they've been working at their current position, where they work, or even what city they work in. You don't know the nitty gritty a close friend in your position should know.
Again, you have excuses for not knowing these details. You can blame so much about your friendship for not having the answers, specifically. This could be:
- Not having a friendship where you talk about specific parts of your life
- Not having much time during your catch-ups and therefore no time to go into those areas of each other's life
- Not knowing to ask them about that part of their life (you don't know what you don't know)
- Not remembering what they said last time so you don't want to look like an idiot who forgot
- Not feeling comfortable asking about certain parts of their life
These excuses are valid, in many ways. These are ones I understand intimately from my own life.
I get you don't want to look like you forgot about what they were doing. It's embarrassing to ask a question to then have that person snap at you for being too personal.
Sometimes you feel like other people expect your friendships to be something they're not. Or for your friendships to be as close as everyone else's.
Having said that, the friend you know nothing about might not agree with you. They might be trying to have a closer friendship with you and you don't know or remember anything they say.
Or ask them anything about their life.
And they don't know the reasons why you don't remember or don't ask. They can only take you off face value.
Again, I return to the idea of what you should know. Most full-of-shit friends couldn't remember the basics even if they tried.
You're full of shit when…
No one can trust what you say and do. That's what this all boils down to. You're an unreliable and flaky friend. You're fair-weathered, meaning you're only there when it suits you.
There's no caring for other people or what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. It's all about you.
You probably aren't aware it's all about you. Living your life with your high demands, or whatever the excuse is, means it's hard enough being you, right?
Can you imagine, then, how hard it is to be friends with you?
Admitting to this is going to be hard by the way. The self-reflection I mentioned earlier is paramount here. It's challenging to step into the shoes of others and see your actions from another side. But if you can, you might see what's like being let down by you.
It might hurt enough to help you see.
Dropping the excuses and "valid" reasons is a big part of this. Everyone has valid reasons for not being the person they promised to be. We could make them all day.
But in the shoes of the other person, would these reasons help you? Probably not.
Discovering you're the friend who is full of shit isn't the end. You've worked it out. Now it's time to do better, that's all.
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