How valuable are the kind of friendships you are clinging onto?

It is important you examine your friendships and evaluate whether they are profitable or not and if they are not, it may be time to thin the herd.      

What you need to know:

So, you go about making friends, physically and virtually. And you succeed, if you are aggressive enough, until you get an emergency and you want those same friends to count on. You look into your phone book and make several calls

We all want to connect and be friends with others. It is human nature to want to relate (except if you are introverted).  So people join groups or alumni or fraternities to have this socialisation. We tell ourselves, “The more people I know, the better I am for it.”   

So, you go about making friends, physically and virtually. And you succeed, if you are aggressive enough, until you get an emergency and you want those same friends to count on. You look into your phone book and make several calls.

For different reasons, the majority are unable to help you. Reality hits you like a tonne of bricks. You have few or no friends, despite the impressive numbers of your followers on social media. You begin to weigh the options. Should I or should I not ditch these “friends”? Maybe it is time to thin the herd you call friends.  

Here are seven types of friends you should consider ditching. Let us relate their characteristics with the characteristics of animals to get a better understanding:       

Tick friends

You know ticks, right? These are external parasites that live off the blood of animals and humans. Now, tick friends are those fellows who are only interested in sucking on you. As long as you are alive and you have some blood they need to feed on, they are around. Go broke or lose your shine and they are out of the door as fast as their feet can carry them.

 “I had a good job before Covid-19 hit. I used to take my friends out and pay bills. I was the go-to person whenever a friend needed some cash. Then Covid happened and I lost my job. Those “friends” too, disappeared into oblivion. After a long dry spell, God gave me another job recently. I am now very cautious on the people I call friends and my spending habits have changed,” says Lois.            

Cheetah friends

 Animals compete for food, water, territory, and mates among their kind (Intraspecific competition) or with other animals outside of their kind (interspecific competition). Among animals that face stiff competition for survival are cheetahs. Cheetah friends are the type of people that even when there is enough to go around, they will find a reason for you not to have some. They will claim to be friends with you, but inwardly they rave and race against you. They hate your progress because it threatens them. They are always critical of you, always putting you down.

They will always remind you that whatever you are doing, will never amount to anything. They will downplay any achievements you have and will find a hard time complimenting you.

Eva says of such a friend: “In class group conversations, she would shoot down my thoughts. I would feel bad around her. I started to resent her. It was later after school that I discovered that she viewed me as a competition,” she says.  

Mosquito friends

 You are trying to get a good night’s sleep and over your head and in your ear you are invaded by the 1,000 times-per-second-flapping wings of this annoying, buzzing sound of little insects called mosquitos. Now compare mosquitoes to some of your friends. These are the annoying types of friends. They never agree with anyone, are argumentative, and a drain on your mental state, if you let them. They are too difficult to correct. If you wanted to get along with him, you let him do all the talking. You care about your mental health so you have to let this mosquito friend go.  

Lemur friends

According to, Lemurs are primates with large eyes, foxlike faces, monkey-like bodies, and long hind limbs. They have reddish, grey, black, or brown woolly fur. They are common in Madagascar and the Comoros Islands. They are known to use their vocalisations to communicate, but also gossip to improve social bonding. That is according to research published in the Journal of Animal Behaviour. “Lemur friends” are the kind that broadcasts everything about you to the world. You cannot trust them to keep a secret. They are always itching to tell someone something about you, often the negative part. You want to show these the door at the earliest opportunity.

Baboon friends

Baboons are well-known bullies. The higher one in rank bullies the one lower. And you have friends who behave like Baboons. They like to bully you and for some reason, you keep around them.

Sometimes, you may not even know you are being bullied for they make it come off so subtly like friendly banter or when you know, you fear to confront them.

So the bullying persists. If you have this kind of friend, why not take him or her aside and talk to them privately about this unbecoming behaviour and how it affects you?

Cat friends

Some of your friends may be comparable to cats. They don’t take anything from you like tick friends would but they also don’t care about you. You are the one who calls and endeavours to communicate.

It is a one-sided relationship. When you are down, they will never lift a finger to help you. When you need them they will never show up. And not because they can’t but they just are selfish and inward-centred. What do you do with them?