11 Red Flags that you're Friends with a Psycho

>> Thursday, November 5, 2009

Are there rules to friendships?

Some would say no. They would say true friendships come naturally and if everyone plays well with others, rules aren't necessary.

But, others...Others would say yes, friends need to treat each other a certain way. Their certain way. Now the specifics are a little tricky. It seems of those who have friendship rules, each has their own, unique set of symptoms, uh, I mean rules.

If you are concerned one of your friends may be pushing things a little too much with you or you find yourself on the receiving end of one tantrum after another, look below.

You may be friends with a psycho if:

1. You must return their calls the same day.
Their thinking: If they are a true friend, they will always prioritize my call.

2. You must return texts within an hour.
I have seen this one with possessive boyfriends, too.

3. You must reciprocate communication exactly.
This is classic "score keeping" and they are the only ones keeping tally marks.

4. You must remember all birthdays, holidays, etc. This one keeps card shops in business and can be a nightmare for those of use with bad memories.

5. You must assume all Friday nights are Friend nights.
It's the assumption that is the red flag here. Why not ask?

6. You must take turns buying lunch.
This may sound like common courtesy, but I'm talking about when pennies are counted and someone brings up you ordered one more drink than they did.

7. Your closet is their closet.
I know this sound so junior high, but this thinking can be expanded to include tools and kitchen appliances.

8. Your friend feels invited to all of your parties, automatically This can be really tricky if you want a party just for family. Some "rule following" friends consider themselves to be just like family and will feel VERY rejected if they are not welcomed at all events.

9. Your friend tells you everything. And by everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Just a warning that this includes confessions of the illegal and immoral kind.

10. You must drop everything and stay over if they get dumped.
OK, what once was automatic, has now changed as you are not single and have witnessed your friend get dumped by half of Boston. But they may still consider it your duty.

11. They are your only best friend.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. It means no one else can have a personal joke without them.

Now some of these may seem perfectly normal to you non-rule followers. However, notice that most of them fall into two categories: possessiveness, and score keeping. I don't know about most of you, but to me, that's a little too first grade to be normal adult behavior.

And the thing is, many people who have rules of friendship, follow like close to ALL of these rules. I think that is where the rest of us get into trouble.

One, we don't really think about all this with our friends. And two, going into a potential friendship with rules that are basically invisible to one person, is a set up for a let down. And a fight.

You might be wondering what would happen if someone with rules became friends with someone else with rules?

Think mutual restraining orders.

(photo credits: e v e n, and ClevelandSGS,)