Dogs, Cats, Goats and Friends

Let’s dig into the subject on friendship. Who really is a friend? What qualifies one to move from the label of “acquaintance” or “classmate” or “room-mate” into the “friendship” category — and I don’t mean Facebook friends.

A friend is a story really. A story of shared values, interests, experiences or hobbies. A friend is someone who’s shared a part of your life story or an experience with you and that has deepened your emotional connection.

But even at the category of friendship there are 3 types of friends as once described by the Reverend T.D Jakes. There are Confidantes, Constituents and Comrades.

I’ll like to liken these categories to pets — just so its easier to understand and appreciate — no offense to the Jacks, Bingos, Terrys and the Fluffys out there.

A Confidante is a friend who believes in you. He subscribes to your values, beliefs and actually believes your own version of the story of who you are! The Confidante is for you. He is there for you through good times and bad times; through thick and thin; through 8 digit bank balances right down to the measly 3 digit account balance.

The Confidant is loyal — like a good dog. He sees no wrong is you, and will stick by your side come what may. I heard the story of a dog whose owner died. Each and every evening by 6p.m till the dog would walk approximately 7 miles and sleep by the owner’s grave side till dawn and then return back home. If that’s not an example of loyalty, I don’t know what is. Now a note of caution, your confidante may not rave about you or sing of your praises; but they’ll defend you with their honour and blood if required. ‎

dog

Let’s shift our attention now to the Constituent friend. The Constituent is more or less like a fair-weather friend. They love you when the going is good. They’ll even rave about you and sing your praises. But the Constituent isn’t for you — he’s only for what you stand for — he’s there for the vision thing.

The downside of this type of fair-weather friends is that when the going gets tough, they’re usually quite scarce to find, like water in a desert. Sometimes they don’t even wait around till the tough times, they just find someone else with the same vision who’s doing a lot better than you are and then they switch camps.

Reminds me of a cat we once had while growing up in Warri. My brothers and I fawned over this cat, we struggled on who was going to have siesta with the cat on his bed, we fell over ourselves to feed the cat scraps of meat and fish-bone. We wanted to be the champion of the cat. To be fair, it seemed my younger brother Ekene won the cat’s heart for a long while. ‎

Stray Cat

Then one day the cat just got up, jumped on the barbed-wire fence and disappeared into thin air with a black stray cat, never to be seen again. Fast-forward another three and a half years, this cat reappears like Jesus did to his disciples after the resurrection — like nothing happened. She casually does a catwalk on the fence, does a reconnaissance of the environment in the afternoon and later that evening reappears with 3 kittens in tow and one much bigger cat. She appears quite scrawny and has a newly found bad attitude for spitting. She was no longer to be trusted. She had broken our young, tender hearts 3 years ago. My mum wouldn’t even let her into the house and we left her and her kittens scraps of fish outside the kitchen door.

Such is the fate of fair-weather friends — they’ll break your heart and later come back to your door hoping they can find a way back into your heart.

Finally we get to the Comrades, they’re the most misunderstood of the entire bunch. Your comrades are not for you. They’re not for your vision either. No, they’re something else all together. They’re only there for what you stand against- like politicians- a classical example will be the merger between General Buhari’s CPC and Bola Tinubu’s ACN party to form the APC VS. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s PDP party. You both may share common enemies and so they’ll band together with you temporarily to defeat a common enemy. After which its every man on his own. This sort of relationship is like what a herd of goats may have when confronted by a common enemy- a lone wolf.

Good so there you have it — all definitions of friendships. Now remind me again on why are we talking on the subject of different types of friendships? Okay! Now I remember:) It’s because I don’t want you or anyone reading this post to get disappointed when one of your “friends” should reveal their true colours. Betrayal is a right exclusively reserved for fake friends or “frenemies” a word play on friends+enemies. So its best to categorize your friends and by doing so learn to manage your expectations of them.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.

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