Friendships Are Not Free! Is Your Best Friend Worth The Investment?

April 8, 2015  |  

You ain’t gotta pay for friendship, but one thing is certain, it sure ain’t free.

Think long and hard about each and every friend in your life. Are they an asset or a liability? Consider your friendships like an investment. Who would keep patronizing a restaurant that gave them a mean stomachache? Sure that sizzling steak was delicious, but the only thing that $60 bought you was a world of hurt.

That’s three precious $20 bills that were literally flushed down the drain.

In the same way, who would continue to invest their precious time on a friend that wouldn’t spit on them if they were on fire? Unfortunately, in my experience, too many people I know, including myself, are guilty of depleting their resources on people who take advantage of their kindness and the return on investment (ROI) is ne’er to be seen.

Let’s say, for example, that your “best friend” is going through a rough break up with her boyfriend of four years. Like the devoted, loyal good friend you are, you allow her to vent and express her grievances, even though there are so many things you would rather do than listen to her wail and weep with a hot phone in your ear. To pull her out of the depths of depression, you volunteer to take her to see Fifty Shades of Grey, buy her some Ben & Jerry’s and a good ol’ Hershey’s chocolate bar.

But fast forward to your painful breakup with your boyfriend and she’s ne’er to be found.

So let’s see: You invested $26 on the movie tickets, $8 on two tubs of ice cream, $2 on chocolate, and two hours — plus a hot ear — into the friendship thus far. And she didn’t even want to spare one second of her time for you. Your ROI? Nothing, including the 120 minutes of your life that you can never get back.

Your best friend is a stomachache. It’s time to cut her loose from your investment portfolio.

This brings me to my next point, what is a good friend? A loyal best friend has liquidity; they are of value to you whenever you need their support because they appreciate how much you have invested in their friendship.

After spending $896 on birthday gifts and 400 hours babysitting her kids — for free — during an eight-year friendship, you want to know that if you ever needed a place to stay, she will be there to offer you a room.

But if she won’t even look your way when you’re having financial trouble why on Earth are you still by her side? She’s a liabilitynot an assetShe’s paying you no dividends for your investment, and you’d be an idiot if you continued to hold on to someone who is emotionally bankrupt.

So how do you know if you have an invaluable, quality friend?

It’s easy for someone to be there during your “ups” — they chow down on all your food at your birthday parties and chug down all your champagne, they tag a long with you on your road trips to Vegas, and anything else that serves to benefit them. But are they present during your “downs”?

If your friend does not care to help you move out of your boyfriend’s house, aid you during 3am emergencies, support you during frustrating job searches, or is too jealous to attend the launch of your new business, it’s time to sell your friend out of your investment portfolio and cut your losses.

A good friend is like a good, sizzling $60 steak. Sure you just spent your hard-earned cash on a slab of meat, but it always leaves you satisfied — and doesn’t make you want to purge what you paid for.

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