I have a group of new friends that I term – Emotionally Selfish. They are a bunch of good people and i truly admire a few in particular, but they are plagued by an odd brew of emotional manipulation that may be unknown to even them.

Have you ever met people who call you one moment all bubbly and cheerful, you gist for hours and they’re like – “i missed you so much” etc – then they don’t speak with you again for the next month. It is those people I’m referring to.

I don’t think they mean any harm, perhaps they are just relationally limited, stunted or ignorant. But a few are actually quite knowing and selfish. They only call you when THEY feel like talking and at their convenience. At other times, they are too busy, not in the mood or unavailable. They are unpredictable, forgetful, spaced out, treat your friendship like a yoyo and are moody. In truth, they are unworthy of good friendships but for the fact that they have really wonderful hearts and in rare moments of lucidity will do anything for a friend.

Sometimes, i think their ability to withold emotional response and favour is a subtle manipulative technique. As in, if they control how fast the pace of the friendship should go, then they are effectively in control. They are the type of people you can’t call at 2am when you really need them. In fact, by then, they’ll be fast asleep with their phones off! They haven’t grasped the simple truth that friendship is about availability, consistency and giving.

The caveat of course, is those who don’t want to be friends. In that case, they should simply say so and stop the cat and mouse, indirect, dont-want-to-hurt-my-feelings nonsense.

My attitude towards such people is simple. If i find i’m the one who’s always calling and they never call, or writing and they never reply – on time – or sharing and they never say more than two words, then i summarily delete all their contacts and remove them from the hallowed halls of my memory.