If They Gossip About Others, They'll Gossip About You Too

Generally, I love people. I love the uniqueness of what each individual can bring to the table, whether they teach you something, give you companionship, share a cup of coffee with you or just say nothing at all while you vent. Some friends can be great sounding boards. But it should be even more than that---a bond, a 'knowing' that, "Hey, I got your back--" and a trusting of some kind. For me that's important. That's what I look for in a friend. Humor is a plus. But sometimes, humor isn't needed 24/7. Too much humor can belittle someone else's feelings sometimes...depends on what it is of course. 

Religious Talk

Through experience, I've learned a few things. This may sound blunt, but this is how I think and sometimes, I'm wrong. As a Christian, I don't bring up God to my friends or try to get them to hop on the bandwagon to get baptized and start dancing in some born again church somewhere. If they ask me about my relationship with God, I am more than happy to answer. I'm not ashamed of God---as you can see from my blog. Most of my close friends and family know about my blog, so they have all the info they need if they want to know where I stand. Religion and politics should kinda be on the back burner. If you want someone to know about your God or spiritual practices, then just be a good example of it. 

Sexual (Unnecessary) Stories

Anything of a sexual nature makes me uncomfortable. For instance, detailed events of what you did last night is none of my business. In light 'general speaking of'---that's fine. But detailed smut---please no. I don't want to visualize my friends in any sexual extravaganza, or if they were hanging off the chandeliers in leather suits. Save it, with all due respect. 

The Childless Giving Parental Advice

There's also an unspoken rule about people giving advice about parenting. If you don't have kids, your advice should be taken with a grain of salt. Sorry, but that's the way it works. I could never tell some mother or father how to raise their child. Never. I can listen, have a compassionate ear, maybe tell my thoughts if asked, but I am not the person to rely on for parental advice. People who jump at the chance to tell you how to parent, when they have no children are not the right ones to talk to. 

If They Gossip About Others, They'll Gossip About You

I only trust very few. And it's sad, because I want to trust everyone. One of the biggest red flags to look when seeing if you can trust a friend is, if they are gossiping about everybody else. Because if they gossip to you, they'll gossip about you. I shut it right down. I can see chatting about an event that happened---but this is different. I'm talking about discussing someone in a derogatory way. If you insult a mutual friend, and trying to poison me with your skewed outlook of them, I will shut it down right away. I will never tell you anything personal again. If the person lies even once, then everything out of their mouth is questionable and not to be trusted. You can still be friends with these people, (if you want) but never tell your personal issues to them. I've had my shizizzle blasted to so many people, the game of telephone had me "knocked up and married in Vegas somewhere." 

The 'Entertaining' Pathological Liars

People love to tell a good story, especially insecure people. They want to be entertaining, funny and witty. But when it comes at the expense of insulting the people who you care about, it becomes more of an evil attempt to look good, when in fact like they look like complete fools. Some are pathological liars just for the mere chance to appear entertaining. They need a good story like a tabloid journalist. They gotta be the first ones to tell you too. And 70% of their stories are fabricated. It's actually a psychological personality disorder. Just know who you're dealing with before divulging personal info, because it'll get elaborated and printed out to the masses. They usually exaggerate things, they keep on changing their stories, and they live in a false sense of ‘reality.’ If confronted, they act defensive and never admit that they are liars. Lastly, they hold no value for truth. Usually, it is observed that people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder resort to lying compulsively. So to give them credit, it may not be intentional. It may be a disorder that they can't help. 

In the bigger scheme of things, it's always great to be welcoming. I always say, give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they show you otherwise.  But if they've already shown you their true colors more than once, don't try to paint another picture of them. You can either just accept them (with the knowledge of never divulging personal info) and keep it kind of surfaced, or you can simply get the hell outta Dodge! 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog at DebsCucina.com for some of her famous recipes!