Don’t Let “For Worse” Friends Bring Out Your Worst

A few years ago I wrote about “foul weather friends.” You know, the people who show up in your life the day you get laid off, your kid gets suspended, or your divorce is finalized but are nowhere to be found when you get promoted, your kid gets into college, or you announce your engagement.

Today, I’m tackling “for worse” friends.

What is a “for worse” friend?

Well, you know how traditional marriage vows state that you will hang in for better or for worse?

A “for worse” friend is the person who has you on speed dial when things in their life are crummy—when they are at their worst—but who magically loses your contact information when things in their life get better. That friend who—when they do go dark—you suddenly discover poolside, holding a drink with a paper umbrella, on your Instagram feed.

Why am I writing about “for worse” friends today?

Because many of us have been having tough times lately—we’ve all needed to lean on each other—which means all of us have less in our tanks.

Given that, it felt important to begin to identify the people who were forever available to drain my patience and empathy resources but who were never available to offer patience and empathy in return.

Do I think these are terrible people? Absolutely not. Do I still want them as friends? Of course I do.

All I’m talking about today is prioritizing—making sure I have enough left in my tank to bring my best to my friends who are there, “for worse and for better.”


For more on foul weather friends—and more!—take a look at “Intimacy Terrorists, Psychic Vampires, and Foul Weather Friends”