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Stormy weather. (Friends).

Do you have a friend who leaves you out in the cold when stuff isn't so sunny.

Lisa has this friend Courtney. Things are all good with Lisa and Courtney's friendship. Sometimes. "Just the other day, Courtney and I had plans to go to a movie," says Lisa. "I was going to treat, but I lost a $10 bill in the cafeteria so I suggested we rent a video and do microwave popcorn at my house instead. She totally bailed out on me.

"And that's not all. Courtney will call me up, and we'll have a great time studying at her house. She has trouble in math, so I help her out a lot. But then I'll see her at school the next day, and it's like she doesn't remember that we just hung out. She can be fun and all, but I don't understand her as a friend."

Sounds like Lisa has a fair weather friend. A fair weather what? An FWF is someone you can only count on when things are going her way. You two could be giggling over pizza and soda on Friday, and by Saturday she's icing you out and you don't know why. So who is this chick, and what makes her tick?

JUST AN ACQUAINTANCE? Everyone you spend time with isn't necessarily a true-blue, so don't slap an FWA label on a casual bud. Casual friends are people you know pretty well, have a good time with, but aren't really tight with for some reason, like you live in different towns or only have a couple things in common--your "math class friend" or "friend from youth group," for example. While you like these people, it's usually in a limited setting. And that's cool! They just aren't full-on friends.

ON THE FLIP SIDE An FWF, on the other hand, is someone with whom you've shared lots of good times. You call each other, are often in the same places (sleepovers, parties, soccer practice), or have a lot of the same friends and interests. So what's the problem? Everything seems to be on her terms, and she generally gets more out of the friendship than she puts in. Think you might have a fair weather friend? See if any of this feels familiar....

* You often get together only when it's convenient for her, like when her boyfriend is busy. She'll even break plans with you if a "better" offer comes along.

* She's all too nice to you when she's getting something out of the deal--your study skills, your cute new boots or your tickets to the American Idol tour.

* When you disagree with her or won't go along with something she wants to do, she's completely inflexible and unwilling to compromise.

* She's around when things are peachy, but when you're upset or frustrated because you have to deal with some muck in your life, like a family crisis, she pulls a disappearing act.

* She expects you to be ready to hang out when she snaps her fingers. But when you're unavailable--say you're grounded or have to babysit your bro--she tries to put you on a guilt trip.

If your bud exhibits at least three of the above traits on a regular basis, that makes her a classic fair weather friend.

CHANGING THE FORECAST You likely see this friend often, at school or gymnastics, so avoiding her probably isn't an option. But you also don't have to stand by idly while she decides if she feels like gracing you with her presence. Let's go back to Lisa and Courtney. After Lisa figured out Courtney was indeed an FWF, she let Courtney know it. "The next time she dissed me," says Lisa. "I asked her flat out why she was snubbing me when we had plans. It made her realize how much her flakiness hurt me."

RAIN OR SHINE? Let's say you don't want to be so confrontational--you just want to enjoy your friend's company. That's fine as long as you keep this friendship in perspective. Don't depend on her to always be there for you because she's likely to disappoint. And don't alter your plans for her since it's doubtful she'd do the same for you. Keep the friendship on your terms...not hers. Fair enough?
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Author:Hyman, Paula E.
Publication:Girls' Life
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Previous Article:When she's the star... (Friends).
Next Article:Minimum gross-out. (Body Q&A).

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