Types of Friends

We’ve learned the hard way that the two main types of people are loyal and non-loyal. It can be hard to know up front which type of person someone is, so I’m working to devise a series of tests to be posted here later.

Within the loyal camp, there are two main types: Obsessively Loyal (The Stalker), and Just Plain Loyal (The Faithful Friend). The Stalker is obsessed with you as a person, may mention you as a “close friend” when you are not, may find ways to insert him or herself into every aspect of your life, even though you’ve made very little overture to that person, if at all, other than to be pleasant or polite. The Stalker may place the importance of “being with you” over and above normal daily functions like showering, or paying bills on time.

The Faithful Friend is the kind of person that most people want as friends. They work equally hard to build or grow a relationship or friendship. They are the kind of person that might take a day off work (at risk of being chewed out by the boss) to tend to your needs. They sit attentively and enjoy discussions with you. They keep basic commitments most of the time and there is, overall, a general reciprocal nature to their friendship.

Of the Non-Loyal people, there are two types: The most obvious is The Traitor. This person only befriends you to gain access to someone else, your assets, or your knowledge. They then stab you in the back the first moment you no longer are useful to them. This type of person sees people as nothing more than resources to elevate their own lifestyle - steps on a ladder. We’ve all seen plenty of movies about that type of person. These, thankfully, are rare.

The most insidious type of Non-Loyal person though, is the other type, what I like to call The Shirker. The Shirker has no spine, no loyalty, and is easily dissuaded from keeping commitments by the most trivial of events. Often, the Shirker can be found always furtively looking for something better to do during even the most intimate moments. In a sort of ADHD way, they can not discipline themselves to keep commitments (which usually means they eventually learn not to make commitments or even simple plans). Common examples of the language of a Shirker is as follows:”I was suddenly very busy with…. “, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it… “, “Call me again when it gets closer”. A typical Shirker will rarely answer their own phone, often screen calls, and rarely initiate any type of personal communication (email, letters).

Of course, the most obvious sign of a Shirker is directly related to their own mismanagement of time and priorities - a simple failure to communicate anything of substance about the relationship itself. Within marriage or families, this often manifests by the Shirker usually being the first to leave a discussion or express disinterest - or interest in something unrelated. The Shirker will often move frequently from friend to friend (friend hopping) because of the fear of intimacy and developing a real relationship. Once all the peripherals of life have been covered, the Shirker will make it known (by their absence usually) that they don’t see the need to be further involved. They allow enough time to pass between contacts that the conversations always stay filled with trivial “catch up” time, so as to not focus the conversation on anything substantial or meaningful. Of course, marriages to Shirkers almost always end in divorce - especially if the man is the Shirker as no woman can long last with such shallowness in her man - except in rare cases where two Shirkers may marry each other making a Shirk Team.

The Shirker, in my opinion, is almost as dangerous as the Traitor. This is because, initially, a Shirker can be a very good friend, can be very energetic and motivated. Some loyal people may find that they invest considerable time and energy in developing a relationship with a Shirker, only to discover (sometimes years later), that the Shirker has no ability to maintain a relationship. A Shirker may, out of guilt, make token efforts at times, may keep up the image of being a good friend, but over the long haul, they are always outed.

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