Five “Friends” You Should Dump

It’s not you it is them.  Stop making excuses for the following sorts of “friends” and get to dumping them:

1)  The closet bigot:  Dumping someone is never easy but, by all means, start with the closet bigot.  There are too many of them still around.  They poison their conversations with barely closeted intolerance and animosity.  Outright hate is no longer fashionable but beware of the passive aggressive racial or cultural jabs and call people on them.

2)  The chronic critic:  Getting over getting dumped by “friends” that are chronic critics might be easier than dumping them.  So object to their constant negativity.  If they stop their negativity, then great.  If not, then let them dump you for someone else that will listen to their crap.  It’s OK.

3)  The hopeless gossip:  Relationships end.  It’s a fact of life.  Let your relationship with the hopeless gossip end.  Pull that plug.  Read “How to get over a breakup” posts if you need to but realize that the hopeless gossip will talk about you the second you turn your back.  You’ll get over this type quick. 

4)  The old school snob:  This is CultureMutt so you were right to expect a cultural spin on this friend dumping post.  The “old school snob” for the purposes of this post, is the kind that hides their intolerance of other cultures and people behind a veneer of “concern for society” and “patriotism”.  There is nothing responsible or patriotic about racism or intolerance.  Dump him.

5)  The snooty capitalist:  The opposite of savvy, global do-gooding is snooty hoarding.  If you are around people that never express an interest or any concern for those less fortunate, you know you have a problem.  Don’t let them infect you with their talk of “lazy poor people” or “every man for himself”.  There is ALWAYS place for compassion and smart policy. 

Does all this sound a little harsh?  Maybe it is.  Certainly there is room for commonsense and compassion – even for offenders in all the above categories.  Patience and concerned conversation have a place and if someone is open to some quality introspection, give them the benefit of the doubt.  But rest assured that if you surround yourself with determined degenerates, you too will become one.

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

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Bjorn Karlman

19 thoughts on “Five “Friends” You Should Dump

  1. The gossip and the critic I can definitely understand. I am not sure the other three exist, or if they do exist (by a looser definition) are probably applicable to almost everyone.

    For instance, “closet bigot”, in my opinion is usually a term a liberal uses against someone because they are too lazy to think or don’t care about the truth. Is a person a bigot for wanting to protect their culture? To many liberals, the answer is “yes” if you are white, but definitely “no” if you are of another race. Generally, I think the best thing to do with people who are bigots is to stay friends with them and hope to be a positive influence. I had two Mexican friends that really used to be nothing short of idiotically pro-Mexican and anti-American even though they grew up in the US and never lived in Mexico. Now, with a little bit of my help and some growing up, they are just regular human beings. Had I cut them off, they may or may not have recovered.

    You definition of snob is interesting and I am thinking it has something to do with your European definition. In America, at least to me, snobs are usually considered people who think they are better than someone because of economic status, not out of a sense of patriotism or concern for society and stuff like that. Ironically, most the people I know who are snobby about “concern for society” are environmentalists.

    The snooty capitalist thing also shows your European culture, I think. In America, very few people would ever label themselves capitalists even though almost everyone believes in it to at least some extent. And really, I very much doubt there is any correlation in the US between a person who calls themselves a capitalist and not volunteering or giving to charity. Again, though, I think everyone could probably volunteer more and do more for others. I think you are better off staying their friend and being a good influence.

    • Don’t hate on the Europeans David!!:)

      Your points are well taken. I am not advocating for irresponsible friend dropping. If they are open to some constructive conversation like your Mexican friends, I would stay with them. I am glad you pointed out the environmentalist snob. He/she needs a post dedicated to him alone. Care to guest post? They drive me crazy. As for the capitalist thing… I wrote this last week in Canada and that kind of got some of my welfare juices flowing. I definitely think that Capitalism is genius in that it harnesses greed to achieve a healthy economy, jobs, etc. What I don’t like is when those on the top of the heap judge those at the bottom as being “lazy”.

      And for the record, I’ll be your friend even if you are a hopeless conservative:)

      • If I find something that I feel strongly about (or if you have an idea) I will write something for you some time. Sure. Also, although I self-identify as a conservative, I really am closer to a libertarian than a modern conservative. Either way, I am definitely hopeless.

  2. David, I find it interesting that you would point out Björn’s European culture, while at the same time denying that there is such a thing as a “closet bigot”. If you feel the need to point out someone’s race, skin color, cultural upbringing, religion, sexual orientation, or gender when trying to make a point, there’s a good chance that you, yourself, may in fact be a “closet bigot”. Those who strive to deny bigotry are oftentimes themselves bigots.

    And if you think there’s no such thing as racism or bigotry in our enlightened 21st century, then think about this: If you’re telling a joke and the group of people you’re telling the joke to are the exact same color as you, you just let that joke fly, no matter what it is, right? But if one person in that group happens to be a photo-negative of the rest of you, you suddenly have to run that joke through some filters, don’t you? So yes, racism does exist – regardless of your own personal skin color.

    And yes, bigotry continues exists, in spades. Do not confuse bigotry with racism, though – bigotry is much more equal-opportunity in its willingness to be hateful than racism is.

    Every American generation for the past 100 years has had its favorite targets that were nationally “okay” to be “down on” when it came to bigotry. In decades past, it was the Chinese, the Italians, the Irish. Then came the Germans, the Japanese, the Koreans. Then there were the women; it has always been okay to be “down” on women. Then the blacks, and more recently, the gays. And the liberals. And the environmentalists. (May God have mercy on you if you’re a black, gay liberal environmentalist.)

    And yes, snobs exist, just as Björn describes them. Their snobbery is not limited to those who are less economically fortunate – but in many cases, it is amplified because one’s race, gender, or upbringing has in fact been complicit in their economic disparity.

    • I wasn’t calling him European in a negative way. All I was saying that language can be different in different parts of the world. Even Brits and Americans say things that can be misunderstood by one another. The way he used snob would confuse most people, because that is not the way it is normally used here. Culture can account for some misunderstandings, which is what this blog is all about.

      About the jokes, I am not indimidated by anyone. I will say what I want to say no matter who is there. I don’t consider the race of the people around before I speak. And since my friends of other races (everyone I know other than my siblings is a different race than me) know I am not racist, it all works out in the end. I am as mutty as anyone other than my kids. I am Eastern European, Wesetern European, and Filipino with a Spanish last name (people always think I am Hispanic). My wife is a black, female immigrant. I have grandparents on both sides that were immigrants to this country. Neither my wife or myself have never experienced racism. We both went to schools that had a large majority of white students. We both grew up in red states, she in Texas and me in Arizona. When white people say they know racism exists (and that white people are the racists) it always really bothers me. Every time I ask, none of them can ever name a racist that they actually know. White guilt is alive and well. I know far more white people who feel guilty about racism than actual racists. I don’t know any actual racists. Which is why, I really believe people make it up or create racist people/situations in their own heads.

  3. Bjorn – 1) thanks for this post 2) thanks for nothing now that I’ve lost all of my friends and 3) we’re new best friends!

    I almost threw you into category #2 above but once I was down to no friends, you stayed on the list:)

  4. Hey Bjorn! I haven’t commented in ages, but I thought this post was interesting. How do you think we befriend these people in the first place? At what point do you, personally, stop trying to dialogue with them and throw in the towel? I’m living at an International House in DC and there is a low threshold for the people you list above, regardless of which country they come from (and I certainly wouldn’t limit it to just Americans or Europeans), but from time to time I inexplicably find myself friends with someone like the above and wonder if it was a situational friendship that I’d never initiate otherwise, or if there isn’t something else about them that helps me overlook a biased mindset.

    • That’s a great question Alyssa! I think I personally am drawn to expressive people so there may be an initial draw to personalities that later disappoint by sharing really bigoted mindsets. This has definitely happened more than once. There is probably something about their willingness to tackle issues that is initially interesting before it turns offensive.

      How about you? What do you think the initial pull is for you?

  5. ah, i love you & you’re writing, Bjorn. this is no exception. i second your line of the month stated above. or is it week? whatever … what you wrote? all true. the longer i life the more i find all the crap you listed above and the less time it takes for me to sniff it out. i’ve discovered biggoted biker snobs as well … i’m at the bottom of their heap because my bike isn’t cool or light or whatever enough. pht. don’t need friends like that. but i DO need friends that MAY be slightly on the other side who ARE willing to talk about it as you suggest … we can ALL learn in those conversations.

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