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"Friendship" Form-Letter Drivel

by Nataliep

I just had to post this as an example of the kind of nauseating dreck that floats around the internet. Especially in light of the fact that we are rapidly approaching that most revolting of Hallmark-holidays, valentine's day.

The author of this could be male or female, but for the sake of brevity, I'll treat the author as male. Don't take it as a diatribe against all men - it's not. Just an analysis of one particular person's fucked-up view of the world.

In my opinion, whoever wrote this has a sad, twisted, and delusional view of friendship, as does any individual who agrees with it and forwards it to others as some kind of "favor" or "display" of friendship. I mean REALLY - the subtext here is that friends are to be used and discarded, and that if a friendship ends, there is no responsibility on the part of the author. (It's a classic example of the "blame somebody else" paradigm that is pervading our society.) Not only that, but it implies that true friends, "Lifetime" friends, are mind-reading sycophants, who are there to fulfill your needs and build your ego (aka, your "emotional foundation") - there is no mention of what the author has to GIVE to friends, only what he can get from them. It seems the only kind of "learning" the author is willing to accept is the kind that strokes his ego and validates his behavior. I shudder to think what kind of "emotional foundation" this author has built with this distorted set of values.

The untouched Original             The REAL Meaning

[The Untouched Original]

Are you a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime?

Pay attention to what you read. After you read this, you will know
the reason it was sent to you!

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for
each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON.
It is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty,
to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically,
emotionally, or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are!
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and
force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been
met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has
been answered. And now it is time to move on.

People come into your life for a SEASON
Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid
emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other
relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
Thank you for being a part of my life.

Stop here and just SMILE.

[The REAL Meaning]

Are you a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime?

Are you a Blamer, Shamer, or Hypocrite?
("Ah, Bob, he'll take doors number one, two AND three...")

Pay attention to what you read. After you read this, you will know the reason it was sent to you!

Pay attention indeed. (Do as you are told?)
Ahhh.... I urge you to Read Between The Lines.

Shallow people revel in this kind of ambiguity. It allows them to "imply" things without coming right out and saying anything concrete. What a great way for the sender to avoid taking responsibility for actually having SAID or committed to anything... Not only that, but what a great way to put the responsibility for the work of "friendship" onto the other person! The person receiving it has to guess/interpret what the sender REALLY meant, and the implication of the letter is that "friends" are there to service the author/sender.

About as fucking deep as a puddle on the sidewalk.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for
each person.

Shouldn't that be "do TO each person", in the author's ego-centric universe?
After all, there is no mention of doing anything FOR someone else in the rest of the article.

When someone is in your life for a REASON.
It is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

Ah... so they are there to be USED....

They have come to assist you through a difficulty,
to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically,

to help you get your rocks off, Mr. Sensitive?

emotionally, or spiritually.

provided they tell you that you are always right...

They may seem like a godsend, and they are!
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time,

Nope. He's never responsible... never the one who had any hand in the demise of a relationship...

this person will say or do something
to bring the relationship to an end.

Oh My! How CONVEEEENIENT! It's always someone else's fault! Especially when it's at an "inconvenient" time...

Sometimes they die.

How DARE they! (How "inconvenient", too, no doubt...)

Sometimes they walk away.

Sometimes they end up in the hospital as a result their experience with you...?

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

"Act up"?.... I guess the author never "acts up". Nope. The author is never wrong. How about more like, "sometimes they refuse to accept bad behavior and the author has to scramble to blow them off before they tell *him* to take a hike"...?

What we must realize is that our need has been met,
our desire fulfilled, their work is done.

He's used them for all that he can... sucked them dry...
Disposable people. How very sociopathic.

The prayer you sent up has been answered.
And now it is time to move on.

...and discard them like so much used kleenex - you know, the stuff he uses to clean up the keyboard after whacking off... which exactly what this trite letter is: whacking off...

People come into your life for a SEASON
Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.

(Ooohhhh. How DEEP!) Y'know, learning would take actual EFFORT (certainly more effort than forwarding on this crap). Learning and growing would require things like *accepting responsibility*, giving unconditionally, and nasty other stuff like that. In my experience people like the author are more interested in learning how to JUSTIFY their actions, and maintain an "image", than they are in learning anything that accomplishes real personal growth. And if they "give" watch out- there are ALWAYS strings attached somehow - remember, relationships are there to service HIS needs... I wonder if the "sharing" includes things like helping people break relationship agreements, or "helping" friends straight into the psych ward?

They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh.

Ah! Fair-weather friends! They validate your existence, regardless of your behavior! God forbid they should challenge you to look honestly at yourself or any messy stuff like that! And if YOUR turn has come, if this is YOUR season to give, what are you giving them? This little piece of drivel conveniently avoids any mention of doing actual work... Friendship should be easy-breezy, right? Clearly in his books, REAL Friends™ are there to praise you regardless of your actions or behavior. It's a good thing these friends make you laugh, because they are usually the type who are also laughing right back at you, behind your pathetic back.

They may teach you something you have never done.

Like HONESTY? Like genuine SINCERITY? Like REAL Sensitivity and Compassion? Hooboy! Now wouldn't THAT be a kicker!

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Hmmm... it's still all about "getting"... What does he give back? It seems it's all about which toady is willing to stroke you the longest and hardest, eh?

Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

....because that's usually the maximum that they will tolerate someone acting like an ego-centric child?

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid
emotional foundation.

Solid emotional foundation? That would presuppose that this kind of "blamer" personality was capable of growing beyond the bounds of his constricted mind. This type "acts" magnanmous, and "talks" very convincingly about personal growth, but in reality, these are the kind of people that project and reenact their childhood abuse on their partners, and then blame the partner for causing them to do it. These are the kind that think they don't need therapy because if they are unhappy it must be the fault of the other person in the relationship. They don't have any TRUE lifetime friendships, because in reality, the only "lessons" the author is willing to learn are the ones that validate his current behavior. REAL friends aren't sycophants. REAL friends call you on your shit. But I guess that would be "acting up" by this person's standards.

Solid? Yeah. Real solid. Like quicksand.

Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other
relationships and areas of your life.

Gee. Ya think? Doesn't this just REEK of Martyrdom? You know, the "quiet", long-suffering type, that sighs a lot...? (And do you notice how it says nothing about actually MAINTAINING this friendship? I guess it can be discarded too, when it has served it's useful purpose?) This is so completely hypocritical. Based on the contents of this pretentious letter, the only "lesson" the author seems to have learned is how to write platitudinous drivel, use people and then blame them for the demise of the relationship, and portray to others that it has all been some deeply meaningful "growth" experience.

Now if you replaced "friends" with "trials and tribulations", wouldn't this whole letter make more sense?

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

"Said"? By what moronic idiot? It's no surprise the author buys into that old, "if you REALLY care about me, you'll be able to read my mind AND predict the future"-thing! I guess in his world, REAL friends/lovers are psychic. That is one of the oldest and most destructive things that a person can do to a friendship/relationship - do the old co-dependent, "if they really love me, they'll KNOW how I feel and what I need." Perhaps the author should put out a personals ad: "Co-dependent blamer seeks mind-reading sycophant for continuous ego-stroking and validation. Must be able to make me laugh."

Thank you for being a part of my life

*RETCH* How utterly shallow to say this in the context of a form letter that will undoubtably be sent to multiple people.

Stop here and just SMILE.

Hah! "Stop here and just SMILE" ?? Wryly? At the hypocrisy? At the sheer LAMENESS of this attempted justification for ego-centricity?
(The gagging is making it hard...)

Sadly, this a lame piece of trash is going to be used by people who don't want to fess up to the responsibility of dealing with their own actions and behaviors and the effects they might have on others. How much easier it is to blame the other person! If someone leaves your life, it's never because of anything YOU did - it is a perfect "I'm not responsible for the negative things that happen" kind of article...

And truly, who would send this kind of banal form-letter to someone they REALLY considered a close friend? I guess that kind of person is counting on their friends being stupid as well as sycophants if they expect them to find this insipidly pretentious letter heart-warming.

Maybe some people just DON'T read for content, but I'm always suspicious of any form-letter sent to me. It's the kind of crap I delete. After riffing it seriously.

If someone sends this to you, it's a good bet that they are more interested in making themselves look sensitive and thoughtful, in maintaining an image, than they are in *real* friendship.

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