I AM...

I am whatever YOU think I am until YOU get to KNOW me. This is true for everyone else too, of course.. so don't make assumptions about anyone or pass judgment; ask questions. You might just make a new friend.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011


People like to surround themselves with fun friends—the guys and gals who can keep our spirits high in good times and support us when we're down. Unfortunately, some of us are so desperate to feel popular, or to simply feel like we have friends, that we invite toxic people into our lives.

This can be especially true for gays. After all, we come from a world where we're told we're less-than-normal, and in our fear of rejection we sometimes befriend people who don't have our best interests at heart. This may not be deliberate, but these influences can hold us back from larger, more positive goals. So while these folks can help us to stand out in a crowd and that makes us feel good on the surface, the truth is that they're not helping us grow and really stand out in the right ways.

With that in mind we turned to life coach Michael Monitz and compiled a list of friend archetypes. We then offered reasons why they may be keeping you from creating positive changes in your life, and what to do so you can be yourself in a positive way.

Cool Club Kids

You're always popular with these guys, but it's mainly around the party scene. With so much of queer culture centered around clubbing that makes sense. But is it healthy?

That depends on what happens outside of the club. Real friends stand by you during tough times, so ask yourself if these guys will be there when a loved one dies, if you need a place to crash, or if your car breaks down at the side of the road.

If so, great! But if you suspect they'll only be there to party, then they're not the kind of people you need for a support network.

Annoying Eeyore

He may be a sadly sweet and adorable character in Winnie the Pooh stories, but do you really want someone in your life who always looks at life like it's a glass half empty?

First, make sure that this guy is really one of your good friends. If so, and if you suspect that he's really suffering from depression, then help him get professional counseling. It's not your job to heal him.

However, this guy may only be a "friend" in quotes—we all seem to have one or two of them in our lives—who is always down for the sake of getting attention. In that case Monitz warns that this guy could end up bringing you down, too. "There is a point when a friend has to stop being a victim to life and start being a survivor," he says. "You can't help him make this change. He has to be willing to do it on his own. Be careful not to get too sucked into it. Misery does love company."

Users Are Losers

You have a kind heart but your friends should be helping and supporting you just as much as you help them. If they're constantly using you then it's going to build up resentment. Take a realistic look at your friendships and see if certain people only call you when they need something. If so, it may be time to reevaluate their role in your life.

Single Stud

When it comes to hitting the clubs, traveling, or doing any social activity, it's great to have a partner in crime. Just make sure your relationship transcends neediness. You're investing time and energy into this friendship, and you don't want to be dumped whenever your friend meets a hottie.

Now it's time to look in the mirror. If you're the guy who forgets his friends when he starts dating someone new, stop it! As Monitz says, "There is nothing wrong with having friends when you have a boyfriend."

Some men also have a hard time dealing with their cruising buddy going off the market. A real friend supports you on your journey—or helps you see things clearly when you start dating a loser. If you're faced with a buddy who's not supporting you, talk to him. Any genuine friend will want to resolve the issue.

Finally, Monitz sums things up like this: "To help you decide if your friend is toxic, simply ask yourself, 'When I hang out with my friend, does life (overall life, not just the moments you are together) get better or does it get worse?'" If life gets better then you're on the right track. If not, then it's time to make some changes.



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