So, you want to learn how to lose friends and alienate people, right?
Here is the one thing you need to do to accomplish just that:
I’m just joking of course, but I can already picture the angry comments rolling in.
This woman must hate kids.
Why did she have kids if she bashes them all of the time?
Like I tell my three gorgeous blessings on the daily, please take a freakin’ chill pill, have a snack or your beverage of choice, but just calm the fudge down.
I love my kids. I love my kids more than anything. BUT, raising kids is hard work and humor helps me come out on the other side of all of that challenging work with happy, respectful children, and me still sane (ish) and joyful.
You know what else makes parenthood tolerable? FRIENDS.
When I was in middle-school or high-school, I can’t recall, my father gave me Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. It was an inspiring read for me in my youth; I felt like it armed me with this secret knowledge only a few people had and that it would undoubtedly lead me to be successful and prosperous.
It didn’t work. Nope, not in the way I had assumed.
But, guess what? I sure as hell will contend that the life I have now is one in which I am more content than I ever would’ve been had I defined a successful life as merely having a money-making career and a big social circle.
I can’t think of a more significant achievement and definition of success than raising positive and intelligent children who will make a difference in this world.
Is it possible to have all three — a career that makes you wealthy, exceptional kids, and fabulous friends? I’m sure it is. But do I need all of that? Nope. I am perfectly fine defining my success by the general happiness and personal achievements of those in my nuclear family.
Still, it’s not a new notion that having kids can take a toll on your ability to make friends and having many chums seems to be a defining feature of the hugely successful.
When very few people enjoy baby cries, snotty noses, close talkers, and little people whose energy rivals that of the Energizer bunny, how do you make (or keep) friends when you are a parent? How can you be successful in the social department?
Well, if you choose, like I have, to not define your success by how much you make or by how many friends you have, then that fact doesn’t matter.
And because this is where I am an expert, I am going to instruct you on how you can lose friends and alienate people in eight simple steps:
Here we go:
Step 1: Tout your family as the “perfect” family, and then just be your imperfect selves. Nothing turns people off more than a parent who claims their children are so well-behaved and then in roll the grimy little devils full of cries, whines, tantrums, and screams.
Step 2: Let your children control you and the gathering. Give up all control to your children. Your friend or wanna-be-friend will be flabbergasted. Let your child cling to your leg and scream at you. Let them pull on you and hit you. Interrupt your friend, so that your child can speak. This will surely win them over.
Step 3: Instead of finding humor in the craziness, just start crying. Your friend, who you will come to find out is not a “true” friend, will run away or subtly sneak off when you begin to bawl and share depressing feelings uncontrollably like word vomit.
Step 4: Boast and exaggerate about your children’s achievements. Nothing will alienate people like your apparent lack of grasp on reality. For example, you sharing how impressive it is that Sally was potty-trained by the age of two, meanwhile Sally pulls down her undies and pees on your friend’s leg. Or how about you touting little Johnny as a budding artist with real potential and when he shares his artwork his spaceship looks slightly like a different type of rocket. Yes! You just alienated another one.
Step 5: Force your children onto your friends. Know your friends’ boundaries and allow your children to break those boundaries. Encourage your children to climb on them, yell in their face, be disrespectful, and destroy their home/belongings. Nothing says I want to alienate you then letting my kids break your sh*t.
Step 6: Don’t give your soon-to-be friend a “break” — from you or your children. Breaks are for the birds and the weak, so tell them that. Don’t let them have their time to talk or give them any space.
Step 7: Don’t be understanding. Instead, be aghast that your friends don’t understand or want to hear all of your parenting troubles or triumphs, and verbally berate them for this.
Step 8: Inform them that if they want to be in your circle, it will be like this F.O.R.E.V.E.R. Make sure they know that time passing will not change how pleasurable they and you are to be around. Let them know this is not a mere “stage” for your children, but that this is their long-term personality and that you plan on being a part of this circus show for the rest of your life (and length of their friendship, which seems to be decreasing rapidly; I wonder why?).
Author’s Note: These tips are the exact opposite of what you should do if you are dealing with friends who don’t like your kids and you actually want to keep them.
Or, if you are trying to make friends — please don’t do any of this if you are hoping to be welcomed into a new social circle.
Come on people; we don’t really want to alienate people just because we are parents, right?
Find your tribe, love your tribe, and do none of what I said above, and you can and will still win friends, be happy and successful.
About the influencing people part — I think the only people you should be trying to influence is your offspring, and you should encourage them to be respectful, kind, funny, and pleasurable to be around because before you know it, they will be grown and flown and you’ll be back to alienating people all on your own.
Now go out and make some friends because real success is having people in your life to spend it with; be it those you birthed, the one you married, or the ones you merely won over.