Wednesday

Fake Support System, Fake Friendships

Being a mother is difficult and finding a support system you can trust can be just as challenging. How many mothers out there have been burned by mothers’ groups, churches, business associations, and civic organizations? Now when I say burned, I am referring to someone who posed as your friend to get you to join the group and then when problems began to occur, he or she started acting distant, couldn’t be contacted, suddenly didn’t have any time for you, and what he or she promised was never delivered.

You see, being a mother means a “gold mine” to some deceptive individuals and groups. It means there is the potential to make money off of you especially if you drive a nice car, have children in private school and your husband makes a lot of money. The so-called friend may have been that nice young woman with the two children you met on the street who introduced herself as, “a Christian and I would just love for you and your children to come to our church!” or the nice gentleman who patted your children on their heads and said, “We have a place at our location for the children to play, so please do come to the meeting.” You may be affiliated with groups who helped you with something, offered their ears when you needed to vent, or gave you money. So you felt like you owed them and they took advantage. You may have been meeting with them for days, weeks, months or even years, but these days you are disgruntled with this person and the organization he or she represents.

I think sometimes we, mothers, are easy targets because we are so wrapped up with our children. People assume we don’t pay their tactics too much attention. For once, we just want to believe that the opportunity will help us and our families. However, what usually happens is we are used to recruit who we know, fork over money and service for cheap products, and if we are “real good” we get pennies back for our efforts.

Meanwhile, your associates are tapping you on the shoulder about their opportunities and before long everyone is going around and around in the same circles spending up cash that ought to be saved for a rainy day. One popular cosmetic company has been the talk of many for years, but how many mothers have came out millionaires from selling their products? Do you know any?

It hurts, doesn’t it? I mean all we wanted was a nice, friendly group of folks we could trust, but something just had to go wrong--“He say, she say” gossip, too many hands out asking for money, lies, and jealous women after whatever they can get! Most problems start because of false promises. Then you quickly learn that the words people say are nothing more than lip service with a dollar sign behind them. We pay these greedy people and then with eyes glazed over, they look for someone else. I mention “eyes glazed over” because if you look real close a money hungry person doesn’t have any real compassion behind their eyes. They talk as if reading from a script. They move their hands almost mechanical. Their laugh is an act. They are so busy moving paper and pens around, you find yourself focusing more on what they are doing then what they are saying. These fake friends are shaking hands with this one or that one, there seems to be no soul behind their eyes. People like this have what I like to call “a one track mind” all they see is what can you do for them, “Will she give me that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?” When all is said and done, you are lucky to get a “thank you” from them.

As a mother, you should be careful associating yourself with these people who suddenly call you “friend.” We often warn our children about their friends, but we need a reminder ourselves. Not every woman who extends her hand out and says, “Nice to meet you, I would love to know more about you…” is our friend. Not every man who says, “I would love to help you and your family…” is a friend.

As I write, I recall a storeowner who calls me “friend.” I earned that title because I am a repeat customer to her not because we sit back and drink lattes together. We aren’t friends. We are business people, but a nice term she chooses to use when she can’t remember my name. She’s not a friend.

There is a woman I know who suddenly becomes “friends” with everyone when she wants family and friends to support her children’s fund-raising events. After they are over, you don’t hear from her until they start up again.

I met another woman who wasn’t interested in getting to know me, but more concerned about my religious affiliation so that she could get me to attend her church. The long-term plan would have been to get me to work in her church. I was her “friend” too. Mind you, she never referred to me by my name.

There are those so-called online friends who seek you out because they have some perverted agenda. It doesn’t matter that you are a mother. Some of these mothers are interested in more than just a girlfriend to talk on the phone. However, in all fairness, I have met some women who I would call on-line acquaintances who periodically talk about their lives. Still, I wouldn’t consider them my friends.

Lastly, there are those fake friends who just want to be a friend, because you have connections. “Doesn’t your husband work at…” or “Do you think you can help me with such and such since you know so and so…”- definitely not my friend.

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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