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How to Handle Hateful “Friends”

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

May 16, 2018

Question

As'selamu Aleykum Werahmetulahi Weberekathu,

First, I'd like to thank you for offering me this opportunity.

Let me put my issue briefly. I have a few friends that wish for my failure and make fun of my failures whenever they happen. I have sensed it from the beginning of the relationship but I am noticing these threats becoming apparent in different occasions.

I want to avoid those "friends" with such nature, but it seems that I am unable to because of different factors. I also believe it is better to fade out rather than become childish and disappear. Additionally, there are other financial attachments that are binding us (debts they owe me and the like) which is making it difficult to distance myself.

I am a bit confused on how to handle such situations and I'm hoping to get your advice in tackling my issue In Sha Allah. Jazakhumulakhayren,

Counselor

Answer


How to Handle Hateful "Friends"

In this counseling answer:

• You should seek out other people who are real to you and want your best.

• Take a good break from your false friends; spend as less time as possible with them.


Assalam-O-Aleikom brother,

I am glad you approached us and shared your problem with us. I will try my best to advise you the best I can, InshAllah.

Real Friends never want you bad

I am really sorry to hear what you have been facing with your so-called friends. Real friends encourage you, support you, are happy for your happiness and sad for your failure. These friends of yours are not your real friends. It is unhealthy to be around such people.

False friends can put deep scars on our heart and damage our confidence. Friendship is great when it has mutual respect and care, but you start to feel uncomfortable with the other person, then it is time to take a distance.

Real and false friends

You already know they are not your real friends, but let me just mention a few signs of a good and a false friend. Sometimes, we do not want to let go of our friends because we are attached to them, even if they are not real friends.

Good friends; They are with you in good and bad times. They like to see you succeed and be happy. They quickly forgive and forget. They respect your opinions even if they don’t have the same opinions. They listen to you and show interest in you, they make some effort to connect with yourself. They love you for who you are, you can trust them and they are loyal, they don’t judge you and you enjoy being with them.

False Friends; They are not there when you need them the most. They gossip about other friends to you (so they most likely gossip about you to other friends as well). They are not happy for your success. They put you down for your opinions and beliefs. They judge you harshly. They rarely initiate meetups. They frequently break promises. They call you only when they have nothing better to do. They say things to embarrass or shame you in front of others etc.

It is important to protect yourself from false friends as they can drain your energy and cause too much unhappiness. You should seek out other people who are real to you and want your best and take a good break from your false friends. Maybe they are just immature, and maybe they will grow and become true friends over time.

Even if they owe you some money, you should distance yourself from them for some time, for your own wellbeing. Nothing is more important than that. I would suggest that you spend as less time with them as possible and try surrounding yourself with good and positive people, such as your family/siblings or anyone you know are sincere with you.

Value of good companionship in Islam

The Prophet Muhammad spoke a great deal about the value of good companions and how important it was to surround yourselves with good people. We might find people with different lifestyles and opinions interesting and also challenging. However, to have a true and long-lasting friendship, we need to have the same core value system, otherwise, it has no solid foundation.

It is very easy to take on the qualities and behavior of others without being aware of it. This is why it is important to surround yourselves with good people. Once we have found good people and good friends, we should maintain the friendship. Allah has warned us in the Qur’an:

“And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer (oppressor, polytheist etc.) will bite on his hand, he will say: ‘Oh!  Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger.  Ah!  Woe to me!  Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend!  He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (the Quran) after it had come to me.’” (Quran 25:27)

Gradually stop contact with them

I know it might sound easier than it is, but you have to think about what is best for you. False friends can be really damaging for you, especially when they are not happy for your success. Nobody needs people like that in their life. You should consider yourself lucky that you have realized and understood their real color.

Sometimes, it’s very hard to find out who is your real and who is your false friend. Do not waste your time and energy on people who just want you bad. They are not worth it. Do not be harsh or rude to your false friends because if you do so you will just sink to their level, and you know you are better than that.

Gradually, cut contact with them and stop making plans with them to hang out. Do not invest in them as they are no good to you. If you are concerned about the money they owe you, then start asking for small amount back every week/month. This way, you can be in touch to get your money back, but not hang out with them too much. Tell them that you need the money and that even the small amount every week will help you. If they agree to give you every week, then it’s very good. If they don’t for some reason, then I am afraid they never will give you back.

May Allah help you and ease your tension, ameen.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hadia Ali

Hadia Ali is a 27 years old Pakistani Muslim woman, born and bred in Norway. She has obtained her bachelor's degree in Sociology from Norway. Currently, she lives in the UK with her husband and two children. Email: [email protected]

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