Friends — we all have them. They come and go like seasons, tides, and overrated sitcoms on CBS. Some, you wish would have stayed a bit longer in your life, while others, well there are those other “friends” that manage to stay around much longer than you should have ever allowed.
After graduation (but before the self-doubt I couldn’t make it in the real world without certain people in my life), I did some Aristotle-like thinking on the type of friends I have encountered in life. A short time (and several drinks) later, I came to the conclusion that friends are like the seven deadly sins:
Sloth – That friend who is lazy. No, I’m not necessarily talking about that friend who hasn’t gotten a job yet and still lives in their parent’s basement eating Cheetos and playing video games all day. I’m actually referring to that friend who won’t make an effort in the relationship — the one who doesn’t ask to hang out, doesn’t return phone calls or texts, and generally doesn’t acknowledge your friendship until you fly 1,200 miles half-way across the country to see them.
Pride – That friend who is conceited. Prideful people can occasionally be judged as arrogant narcissists who think too highly of themselves. Regardless, you keep prideful friends around because naturally, their egotistic mannerisms draw attention away from your less-than-desirable character traits (such as your constant negativity and unreliability).
Greed – That friend who is selfish. Everyone needs an occasional pep talk or confirmation of approval. There’s that friend who is willing to give neither, though. When it comes to their own personal intentions, they’ll work harder (and expect you to do the same) than a couple of elves at Christmas time. But when it comes time to repay the favor? Nothing. You may let them get away with this demeanor once or twice, but after that, you’re a fool.
Gluttony – That friend who is dependent. Gluttony can be summed up as an unreasonable desire to consume more than that which one requires. In other words, that friend who consumes more of you than that which is socially acceptable. No, I don’t mind coming to your little brother’s Bar Mitzvah, or occasionally watching an episode of Revenge. I do, however, get annoyed when you call me every time a guy is a jerk to you or that girl in your COMM 110 class smells. I promise you can survive those pesky graduate school applications without me every step of the way, so before sucking the last bit of sanity from me, please consider my wellbeing.
Envy – That friend who is jealous… all the time. Surrounding yourself with jealous people can prove to be a blessing and a curse. At first, it’s nice for once in your life, that somebody wants what you have (the brains, the looks, the charm – whoops, I’m being prideful again)… but seriously, I’ll go ahead and say what everyone else is thinking — there are worse things in life than a friend telling us they want something we have. On the other hand, jealousy leads to resentment, and ultimately a deep hatred that causes a friendship to end quicker than Rebecca Black’s music career.
Lust – That friend who craves too much of anything. Whether it’s alcohol or attention, this type of friend is an addict to bad decisions. Your mother always warned you about making friends with people who make bad decisions — by effect of transitive property, ultimately you will start making bad decisions. Maybe you didn’t pay attention in geometry as a kid, but your mother nailed it on the head with this one. “So what if Sally has an addiction to meth and overpriced shoes? That would never happen to me!” False.
Anger – That friend who is unpleasantly upset all the time (also known as a negative Nancy). In a typical anger cycle, people experience two phases: complaining and sulking. People don’t like complainers because it brings negativity to the situation. People also don’t like friends who sulk, as it draws unwanted attention. I’m not saying you shouldn’t complain or sulk, but do it on your own terms. Anger often brings on drama. Drama makes great TV, but does anyone actually want to live their life like the Real Housewives of [insert random metropolitan city here?] I didn’t think so.