Your friends are not Uber drivers, shuttle buses, moving vans, or bank loan officers

Tracey Folly

Children never ask each other for cash loans or rides to the airport.

Children don’t ask for favors.

Children need tender loving care, of course. They need food, clothing, and shelter. They need to be driven to school and doctor’s appointments and soccer games, but these inconveniences fall to their parents or caregivers, not to their friends.

When you have friends as a child, your duties are confined to sitting on the opposite end of the see-saw, swaying side by side on the swings, swapping snacks at recess, or sharing a slice of pizza at lunch. Children never ask each other for help to move across town or for a ride to the airport.

Adults have a lot to learn from children.

People often complain that it’s hard to make friends as an adult than it is to make friends as a child. I’d venture to say it’s harder to maintain friends as an adult. Why? Because adult friends are far needier than children.

Adults have many responsibilities: relationships, careers, children, aging parents, appointments, jury duty, medical issues, bills, errands, broken cellphone screens, flat tires, mice in the basement, a roof that leaks, doors that squeak, and a dog that can’t shake a bad case of the fleas, to name more than a few. We don’t have time to drive each other to the airport. That’s what Uber is for.

This might sound harsh, but it isn’t harsh. It’s reality.

We could all have better friendships, adult friendships, if we stopped relying on each other for free rides, free movers, free meals, free babysitters, and free money.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my friends, but I won’t ask them for squat. That’s not their job. Likewise, I am not a loan company; I am not a U-Haul; I am not an ATM.

I did not come upon this conviction by accident. Many people have turned to me for cash loans that were never repaid. I have bills, too. No one else pays them but me.

Once, I loaned a friend several thousand dollars for court fees and fines. In lieu of repayment, he told me, “I’ve decided not to pay you back because I need the money more than you do.” He was my best friend. Was.

I used to give him rides all the time, rides to the hospital, rides to the courthouse, rides to work, and he decided to repay me by deciding not to repay me; and yes, I even helped him move.

When I needed a ride to jury duty, no one was available. When I needed a ride home from the hospital after a three-day stay, I immediately turned to Uber. I had learned my lesson well.

Your friends are not your servants; don’t allow them to make you theirs.

Treat your adult friendships the way you treated your elementary school friendships, and everyone involved will be a lot happier. Share a good meal, spend time together on your playground of choice, swap stories, and enjoy each other’s company. That’s what friends are for.

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