There are friends who come and go, and there are friends that last a lifetime. No matter what type of friends you find, it is not easy to find the authentic ones. I’ve had to go through a few of the shitty ones before finding some great friends that truly understand my condition. It doesn’t mean that I erase them from my life, it just means that I usually don’t let the friendship grow. I like to know the signs of the type of friend that I am allowing in my life so that I know whether or not our friendship is going to work.
Below are the four types of friends I’ve encountered as a person living with scoliosis.
- The Jokester – For me, these friends are extremely hard to handle. Don’t get me wrong, I like to laugh at myself all the time (because I am hilarious), but when it comes to my scoliosis, the pain I deal with or anything related to my condition, it is simply not funny. These friends have usually not taken my condition seriously and are very hard to communicate with because they refuse to listen and do not seem to really comprehend the extent of my scoliosis no matter how hard I try. In the past, I have pushed these people away, I didn’t and still do not want to surround myself with people who can’t support me or understand my condition.
- The Pretender- Have you ever had a friend you enjoyed spending time with, but they refused to accept that there was anything wrong with you? I have a few that I have to say I enjoy every second of our friendship, but it’s always a little awkward when I have to mention more than once the fact that I have scoliosis. It’s like they perpetually forget that you actually have this condition, and yes, you are in pain. It’s their refusal to really accept me for who I am that has led to a pretty flat connection. All the good and none of the bad, which isn’t really realistic. Friendships, if they are real, always accept the good as much as the bad.
- The Protector – So, it is pretty annoying when some friends have a hard time being my friend, because they think everything is going to affect me. I have scoliosis. I have metal rods and screws along my spine, but I am not made of glass. I know it comes from a very concerned place, but it becomes challenging being friends with a person who hovers like a helicopter around me. I just want them to know that it is going to be okay. I will survive. All they have to do is not forget that I have scoliosis, and be there in case I need someone.
- The Kindred Spirit- These friends are the best kind of friends you can find. They are the friends that can read you like an open book. They know when you are in pain, and they do everything they can to help. They are kind to you, and never laugh at your expense. They don’t overly protect you and they never forget you have scoliosis. These are the friends that are with you when you need them, and know when to take a step back when there’s too much going on in your life. They are the rare gem in friendships and they are truly the keepers.
Have you met a different type of friend that I didn’t describe above? Let me know below.