The phenomenon of the fair-weather friend is quite well-known: what is less familiar to us is the foul-weather friend. This person is not so easy to recognise: they come to you in a time of crisis and they stick by you through all the lows; they’re always there to pass a tissue or offer a dry shoulder for you to dampen; they share every moment of your misery with you.
‘What a terrific friend!’ you think. ‘They’ve been with me through all of this – I can’t believe they’ve stuck around.’ You look forward with great enthusiasm to sharing the good times with them as well as the bad.
Then your luck changes. Things are on the up; you find a new love, or a new job, or you win the lottery; or you quite simply get yourself together. ‘Wow!’ you think. ‘This is great! I must go and tell ____.’
At first you are puzzled. Your friend, having been on the end of a phone for the last five years, is suddenly unavailable. You leave messages; you email and get no reply. When you go round the curtains are closed; maybe they’ve gone away.
And that’s more or less the last you see of your great, supportive friend. Because, great and supportive as they were, they were a foul-weather friend.
They say that suffering misfortune is a good way to find out who your friends are: well, experiencing great good fortune can be just the same…
You have been warned!