I’m very lucky to have a circle of girl friends that I trust implicitly. We’re various ages and from all walks of life. Some of my girl friends know each other, and some don’t. Several are Facebook friends via yours truly. I love my girl friends, and they’ve given my life a richness that only gal pals can… but I’ve also had bad friendships, toxic relationships I had to sever. My life has been a patchwork quilt of that meme: “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” And as one reason said to me once, “As I learn, I share.” And, so, I’m sharing what I’ve learned. (I defer to female pronouns because I’m a woman. However, this list is totally relevant to men and their friendships with other men. It’s relevant to intergender/sex friendships too. But since I’m basing this list on my anecdotal experiences, it’s written in the context of female-female friendship.)
- The Emotional Terrorist (manipulator/pathological liar): These types of “friends” are a special care of user; they’re psychological vampires, the emotional terrorists of your life. They create drama and situations that tear down your person while simultaneously seeming to have your back. This type of faux friend sports a politician’s personality. Outwardly, they know how to make everyone feel special. No one ever sees their true nature and their connivances until havoc is already wreaked in your life and/or the lives of your loved ones. The weirdest example of an emotional terrorist I’ve experienced involved a friend’s manipulating sister. This sister was so creepy, and so adept at her lies and manipulations, the effects of her manipulations lasted years, and impacted the lives of several people around her target. Her target was her own sister, my friend.
- The Freeloader: The freeloader is also known as the leach. This friend always seems to be along for the ride but never able to pay her way. She’s one out of the group that makes everybody wait while she takes her time. She’s usually out of money, so she’ll ask to split your meal knowing you’ll end up buying hers. It’s just not tangible resources freeloader takes, it’s energy. It’s all about what she feels and wants when she feels and wants it. She’s never considerate or aware of your time, expecting you to be available at a moment’s notice. Of course this isn’t reciprocated. Whether she’s raiding your frig or conveniently forgetting her wallet, she feels entitled. And she’ll treat your belongings like she’s your sister. But she’s not your sister; she’s a leach. We’ve all had that girlfriend who shopped our closet. But the most bizarre example of a freeloader involved a friend who was a mother and married… she had no excuse. This casual friend would sometimes bring her grade-school daughter along when we met for lunch. More than once, she bought herself food and drink without buying anything for her daughter. Yours truly made sure the little girl ate. She obnoxiously refused to by her daughter a piece of lemon cake after eating a slice in front of her. Yes, of course I bought that child a piece of cake.
- The Chameleon: This is the friend who pretends she’s one type of person only to turn into another person in front of a different audience. Think Borderline Personality Disorder. The most common example is a change of behavior when the opposite sex enters the room. A chameleon will start pandering to men for attention, instantly transforming into what she perceives to be cool. If it’s a new set of friends, or the approval of a group, the chameleon can become completely unrecognizable as the person you thought she was… she’s suddenly reinvented herself right in front of you. Chameleons are very susceptible to fads, and they care a lot about what other people think. Everything is superficial and changing instead of a steady progression of personal evolution. These guys make horrible friends, as they’ll dump on you or drop you in an instant for approval of the group. Pretending to be what they’re not, and their shifting nature, is something of a warped survival instinct. They don’t know how to be genuine because they have no concept of an authentic self.
- The PC Patrol: The patrol is the word police who’s currently whoring out her tongue for all the “correct” and trending reasons. Usually of the neoliberal variety, her cause is crying wolf over perceived politically incorrect speech instead of actually doing something about injustices in the world. She’s the stupid bitch who feigns offense when you refer to your ex as a “pussy.” She’s the idiot jumping on the current trend of referring to feminine women as “cis.” She’s the word police of the newest no-no, “retard.” In fact, she’s so retarded about PC semantics that you can’t even recount a personal story of being called “a retard” by childhood teachers, due to your dyscalculia, without Patrol chiming in and making it all about her. And that’s really what Patrol is all about – controlling and dominating all conversations. This results in the spotlight always being on Patrol. And she gets to make you look stupid and bad at the same time.
- The Sarcastic Cunt: This is the belching tomboy or tough chick making jokes at the expense of others. She’s usually bragging about how she’s “one of the guys” while taking cheap shots at you. She’s akin to the “female patriarch,” but more subtle. Sarcastic Cunt tends to cast her lot with conservatives and neocons. She’s always bragging about how she “thinks like a man,” making inappropriate “jokes” at your expense. Sarcastic Cunt always plays off her aggression and digs as, “it’s just a joke!” This fiend uses humor and friendship as a mask and excuse to bully and deride her friends. She’s the very epitome of the adage, “With friend’s like that, you don’t need enemies.”
- The Female Patriarch: It’s unfortunate that many professions and offices are held by women who don’t support other women. On a personal basis, this bad archetype ranges the gamut from abusive mother-in-law to child abuser. Think of that teacher(s) who openly favored the boys and ridiculed the girls. The female patriarch is worse than a chauvinistic man because she turns on her own, fancying herself as one of the special exceptions to the average woman. She’s the type that helped build the glass ceiling, selling the rest of us out for an honorary membership to the good ol’ boys club. Examples in all too real life and history: The Magdalene Sisters, Phyllis Schlafly, Elizabeth Bathory, Georgia Tann, Ann Coulter, Mother Angelica, Mother Teresa, Sarah Palin, female military personnel and female cops encouraging abuse of girls and women, female attorneys legislating against women, and many of the female pundits on Fox News. This is one friendship that usually isn’t entered into by you. It’s very one-sided and usually out of necessity. Whether the female chauvinist pig is a teacher, boss, sister-in-law, lawyer, or family member, you have to contend with her. Hold your ground like Dark Alice against The Red Queen. Play it like a Vulcan on steroids. The nasty mother-in-law is one example. You may be guilted into playing it docile and nice to “keep the peace.” But this isn’t keeping the piece; it’s driving you insane by validating and allowing a tyrant a say in your home, marriage, children, every aspect of your very personal life. The best way to deal with one of the patriarchy’s whores is not to deal with them. Be stoic, be firm, and be blunt. Re-enforce all boundaries each and every time some patriarchal whore makes an attempt to impose her penis envy in your sphere. Deadpan eye contact and reminding the patriarchal whore that she doesn’t get a say, has been the best response that’s worked for me. Shut down the female patriarch with the simple, direct declarations: “None of your business; conversation ended.” “You don’t get a say; conversation ended.” “I said, ‘no,’ and no is a complete sentence.” “This is not open for debate.” “Zero fucks given.” “Don’t be rude.” “I’m the mother – I outrank you.” The most apparent female patriarch will usually be a mother-in-law. Fun fact: In-laws are one of the top three reasons for divorce.
- The Jealous Back-stabber: She can seem to be your biggest fan, but she wants everything you’ve got. And it she can throw a wrench in the works of our life to take it, she will. Ruining your life via sabotage aligns the jealous back-stabber with emotional terrorist/manipulator as well. Sometimes they’re one and the same. However, jealousy is about coveting what you have and secretly hating you for it. They’d rather unscrupulously befriend you to tear you down than put their energy into achieving their own success. This “friend” talks you up to your face and shreds you behind your back. The easiest way to spot a jealous backstabber: Do you have a friend who’s always trash-talking her other friends, or breaking their confidence by telling you their business? Do you have a friend who tries to turn everything into a competition? Do you have a particular friend who makes snide comments and is highly critical of your other friends, even the ones she doesn’t know? Bingo. That’s your back-stabber.
- The Narcissist: This one is simple to pick out because she’s always talking about herself. She’s the TMI friend – that one friend who can talk the ears off of a billy goat… and it’ll be all about her. It’s not that she lacks a filter – though often she does – she’s so egocentric that when you point out to her that she’s always telling the world at large her personal business, she’ll excuse herself, “If you’re talking about yourself, you’re not talking about anyone else.” It’s not an either/or deal. Talk about hobbies, interests, movies, etc. Narcissist is always recounting her health woes and family drama when you just want to chill. You become her default therapist. But when you need a listening ear, she’s suddenly reminded of something similar in her life and your issues are all about her too! The most annoying habit of the narcissist is talking not just over you, but for you.
- The Doomsdayer: This is the tinfoil hat wearing gal of your bunch. She collects conspiracy theories and the guns to go along with them. Drawn to all things military and militia, she’s akin to the sarcastic cunt in her penchant to pick on other women. She casts her lot exclusively in with the men. If I wasn’t a Southerner, I’m not sure I would have encountered this uniquely chauvinist and ridiculously paranoid type of friend. My friendship with the doomsdayer I knew didn’t last long. Long story short, she spiked my drink. I was very sick for a week. Note: I attended college in the late 90s/early 2000s and I never had a drink spiked. In fact, she – a woman – is the only person who’s ever done that to me. If it had been a dude, society would be outraged by his actions. Apparently, paranoid people live by the philosophy, “Get them before they get you.”
- The Know-It-All: We’re all familiar with this proverbial type of shit. Everything is arguable, even the color of the sky. You never pronounce words right, even when you do. She’s always got unsolicited advice on your health, children, lifestyle choice, relationship, etc. However, her life is anything from stable, as she jumps from one new-age fad to the next pop culture soundbite. Interestingly, this type usually has little to no formal education. She brags about being “self-taught.” The worst know-it-all I encountered was actually home-schooled by a mother of nine who believed the world to be approximately 6,000 years old.
- The Catholic(Christian) Whore: I’ve actually known both, unfortunately. I have a neighbor acquaintance in grad school that – bless her heart – would leave “Jesus loves you” notes with cookies and other baked goods outside my door. She even invited me to dinner, and parties that turned out to be Christian parties. She really was a decent cook though. I liked her until she showed her ugly side – that typical, angry judging crap that Christians do. As sweet as she tried to be, she whored out her brand of Christianity as if “the rapture” had done come and gone. However, this Christian cookie monster was innocuous compared to the Catholic Whores I have known. Now Catholic Whores will – for real – take a shit all over your life and wipe their ass with any piece they didn’t splatter. Catholic dogma is paramount to human rights. Women aren’t even second class citizens to Catholic whores – we’re vessels to incubate vassals for their cult. If you’ve accidentally befriended one of these, RUN. Shut and lock that door immediately. There’s no worse busy-body than a creepy Catholic attempting to monitor your sex life, your vagina. They see a potential abortion every time you get your period. These whores are a special kind of crazy. I was surrounded by them in Catholic schools. The worse was a creepy, anorexic cunt who taught – I’m not kidding – sex education in high school. Her class plan consisted of a video about abortion, handing out creepy fetus feet pins, and slut shaming the entire class. (Note: This will further be addressed in my post about the abuse scandal that rocked this particular Catholic high school.) Unfortunately, many of us who were raised in the Catholic Cult have had to cut out childhood friends who grew up to be Catholic whores.* And both female and male childhood friends who grew up to be Catholic whores.
*I do not refer to sex workers as whores. The women who deserve this derogatory title are women who hurt other women by whoring out misogynistic dogma and beliefs.