Friendship with Ulterior Motives

by Michael Donahoe

We all want to have friends. Have you ever heard the phrase to make a friend you have to be a friend? Obviously, everyone wants to be liked and have friends that are likeable and easy to be around.

I think it is important to also be yourself. Not everyone will like you and want to be friends. I have seen people work so hard to change into someone they normally are not, just to be friends with someone they think would be fun to be around.

My thought is, if you have to change who you are why do you need that kind of friend? This applies to any and all labels we place on one another whether it is black/white, gay/straight, religious/atheist and so on. The label should not make a difference when it comes to friendship.

There is another thing that bothers me about friendship. Have you ever met someone for the first time and they just seem so friendly and interested in you? I have been through this several times. I would run into someone in the store or out for a walk and they are smiling and so interested in getting to know a little about me. They would even ask to meet for coffee and talk a while. I would get kind of anxious to get to know them and see if a new friendship was starting.

Unfortunately, I soon realized that each time this has happened it turned out to be someone with an ulterior motive. They really were not interested in me at all. It was someone in a business selling products and they were trying to recruit me as a partner.

I tell you this was so disappointing each time it happened. I was thinking, wow, what a nice person. I would like to get to know them and become friends. Then, wham, the rug was pulled out from under me by finding out they only wanted to make a sale or add me to their sales network.

It often seems most of the friends we have are there as long as we have the same interests or are involved in the same activities. If we go to the same places, work together or are involved in similar sporting events we talk and associate. Once we leave that particular activity, we usually do not see each other again.

True friends are hard to find. Even among people who are not selling something and do not have ulterior motives, it is hard to find a true friend.

True friends love us and accept us as just as we are. They are not waiting until we change and become more like them. They are actually interested in us. They want to see us succeed. They feel comfortable telling us things that are not popular or what we need to hear when they know we are getting into something that is not good for us because they truly care for us.

A true friend will be there for you even when miles apart or when we have different interests and activities. A true friend is one of the hardest things to find in this world.

So, for those shallow people who are only looking for someone to use and get things from, I would rather you not even waste your time. Rather, we should be on the lookout for those rare individuals who will truly be a friend through the good times and the bad. Those who will truly care and want the best for us. And in turn, we should be the same to them.



Done with religion does not mean done with God, but done with religious traditions. We post articles weekly about living for God outside the walls of religion.

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Done with Religion

Done with religion does not mean done with God, but done with religious traditions. We post articles weekly about living for God outside the walls of religion.