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There are memes that drive me crazy, and this is one of them:

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Now, on the surface, I understand the sentiment. Real friends appreciate you for who you are, and they aren’t there because you have money or success, they’re there because they honestly like you. I agree with that part!

But here’s my issue… a real friend shouldn’t be a b—-. I see all sorts of variations on this theme, and the underlying message seems to be that if I behave badly, a real friend will simply accept that as an integral part of my personality and ignore it. Or, to put it another way, you have to accept my bad behavior because you’re my friend.

In the extreme, this sounds like an abusive dynamic. In moderation, it just sounds immature. If there is one thing we learn as we grow up, it’s that we’re responsible for our own behavior. Being a mature adult doesn’t mean that we no longer have to behave properly, it means that we can now be trusted to continue to do so without supervision!

I think part of the confusion comes from people assuming that “this is me, this is the package” means that we stop improving ourselves. Accepting myself and loving who I am doesn’t give me a pass on bad behavior. In fact, I’ve worked hard to become the woman I am today, and that has meant change–the positive kind. Growing, maturing, learning, developing.

What’s in your bank account, what you weigh, the car you drive, your family–no judgement at all! But if you’ve got something crazy in your past that you haven’t learned from, I gotta say–that’s going to factor in! Because I have a life and family that I love enough to defend from craziness. And if you’re just kinda mean (aka a B—-), we’re officially acquaintances. Because friends don’t treat each other badly, and they don’t tolerate it when their friend treats other people badly, either. We aren’t a pack of mean girls, we’re grown women who should have some higher expectations of each other.

We’re all adults now. Let’s act like it.

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