You’re definitely going to lose some friends.

I got bored over the weekend, maybe a bit too bored perhaps. After looking through my Instagram, I looked a few years back. Back then, I was still coming into form as a late bloomer who was starting to develop. I didn’t set boundaries hard enough and I let myself be taken advantage of or disrespected at times. In some ways, I was a Nice Guy and while it won me friends, it also left me unfulfilled in some ways. You can say that I was the Lovable Idiot in some ways and it was okay.

The guy always coached by his other guy friends, treated more as a son than a friend in some ways, even if such guys were younger than me. No doubt I had some fun nights out with the crew and some nights I made a fool out of myself. People tend to like you when you are that lovable idiot offering laughs in the group and one that they can treat as their silly pet perhaps.

Then at some point, life hit me and it hit me hard. I came to a realization that I was no longer going to be a joke or the walking punchline for some groups. Maybe that snide comment or that insult that popped up every now and then like a pit viper, sometimes by the same guy, was not okay. Perhaps it came time to change roles in not just a social group but also life.

I started to see it with the first real wingman I ever had.

Back in Atlanta I made friends with a guy called Jim who was my first ever wingman, worked in the same field as me but we were in different roles. We met through a church group of all places which is odd in itself given how self-righteous religious people in general tend to be. Even though we met at church, Jim smoked and loved getting wasted on weekends as well as fucking hot girls, things I wanted in a friend. We go out one night after a few drinks and end up having ourselves a time.

Through Jim, I met a couple more cool guys and we went out a lot. At times, we’d go out in big groups and have ourselves a great time. We were also unhappy with our job situation and hated it, I hated my boss and he hated his pay. The alcohol and partying was a great way for us to get our minds off of our miserable life situation in Atlanta.

One day, I quit my job and after a couple months, things finally start to happen for me. I end up getting job offers in the same field as Jim and did not tell him my salary. After being pushed for it after a few drinks, Jim convinces me since we were such good friends. One job has a higher salary and the other a better boss, when I tell Jim the salary of the former his eyes get wide.

Jim starts to convince me to the take the latter job but after some drinks, he slips out saying “dude if you took that you’d make way more than me!”. I thought nothing of the comment but it did make me raise a brow. We go on and I tell Jim I will think about it, I foolishly take the higher paying job which ended up being a bad decision as the boss sucked.

One thing starts to change for me though, I notice that Jim is different. Positive and cool conversations have turned into attacks on me or rudely cutting me off. We go out and Jim is a lot more disrespectful towards me, something I am not used to seeing. One night, after a few drinks with the crew, Jim left me at the bar even though we were all supposed to go home in the same Uber. I get a text asking me what is wrong with me as well but things continue to go downhill with me and Jim. Texts are not responded to at all and I notice the same friendliness is not there anymore.

Ever since that night, me and Jim never hung out. We might have had a few short texts but that was it. I was completely oblivious to it all at the time, how could I have been such a way. A part of me went empty now that I had no wingman to really look forward to going out with, I had to go at it alone. Jim had an immediate personality shift on me, it came out of nowhere.

Nothing will lose you more friends than an improvement on things like career, finances, status (better looking date, success with women, popularity, etc.) and physical appearance. 

I started to notice that as I moved ahead in my career, get better titles in front of my name, look better, and do more exciting things with my life; a lot of people who I thought were close to me turned on me. The texts became a bit less happy in tone, nights out being drunk which were full of hugs and good times were now reeking of bitterness and passive-aggressive behavior, and somehow embarrassing things I did were being brought up more and more while they were usually brushed under the rug in the past.

What I discovered is that some people will like you or even treat you well if they see you as below them. If you both work in the same field and their title is more prestigious or above yours, you will be seen as their good friend or someone they want to chat with. Once you start climbing to their level or above however, that friendship changes fast.

Look for how much less responsive friends are on text compared to how they used to be before your status in life increased. Keep an eye out for how some friends talk to you now compared to how they talked to you before your status changed. Pay attention to how advice, positive feedback, and motivational vibes turn passive aggressive and more negative. Pay especially close attention to how your friends act when you are all drunk and how it has changed, that’s how they actually feel about you.

Once people who are close to you start to see you getting better looking, more successful, date more beautiful women, become more popular, wealthier, or work a fancier job (at a fancier employer); they will slowly start to turn on you. You will never realize who your real friends are until after you have had success and I have some bad news; the number is a lot lower than you think.

People love power and so much of it is the frame of it all. If you come into a group as a winner and stay that way, you will keep your friends. If you come in as a loser who turns into a winner, you will start to get people who are angry at you for no reason or see you as an enemy. People love complacency and for things to stay the way they are, they hate the sudden rises and zero to hero stories.

The ones you meet who are loyal though, those are friends worth keeping for a life.

I still managed to keep some friends from my day of being a loser to who I am right now. What I noticed was that some people are just naturally there to have fun in life, make some money along the way, and want to avoid conflict. The hyper-competitive nature and wanting to one up someone does not exist, they just want to enjoy the time they have  in this world. Such people are going to be with you through the thick of things and are genuinely good people, help them out if you ever can.

Typically, you will find some trends in these friends:

  • Not in the same industry or career as you
  • Usually very fulfilled in many ways (wealthy, very good looking, and successful)
  • Met you through a networking event and driven to get ahead
  • Usually very much in their own world (always a business to work on or super driven in their careers)

So how do you vet for these types of friends?

You can try a few methods:

  • See how they react when others are having success (how does your guy friend react when cool guys are picking up girls at a bar?)
  • See how much they complain versus being happy
  • Look at their background and where they ended up (rich kids who end up with mediocre lives tend to gossip a lot and be full of envy)
  • See how many botched relationships and opportunities exist in their past (one too many “horrible work places”? one too many crazy exes? one too many psycho friends?)
  • See how they react when you show glimpses of success (Do you get “lucky” far too often? Do you need to “not get too excited”?)

Yet the biggest silver lining in it all? An upgrade in status also means new friends.

Maybe it is time to quit hanging out with the same guys you played Call Of Duty with and find a new hobby. Perhaps the universe is telling you that it is time to move on from your Pickup Artist friends to guys who are more socially in-tune with the environment, some call them naturals. The world is telling you to stop being one of the “friends” at a brunch filled with couples and instead go where you are out of that zone. Just like in dating, in friendships we also live in a world of abundance.

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