Difficult People!”

Ephrem Endale

 Sooner or later you get tired of being led up the garden path. Yes you’ve been very close to the person for a long time and telling him in his face

“No. That’s lie.”


“What you just told me is a complete lie. “I’ve been told the real stories from other sources.

“Are you saying I’m a liar?”

“That never came from me. I was only saying you’ve been feeding me lies. There is a difference between saying you’re a liar and saying you’ve been telling me lies.”

“I knew it. I knew it was only a matter of time before you turned against me.”

“Look. I’m not trying to offend you here. I…”

“Forget it! I only wonder who were the ones who turned you against me.”

Of course the guy is convinced you’re one of the wolves out to get him. In fact your name is pulled out of the ‘friends’ box and thrown into the ‘enemies’ box. Well, I mean what you can do about it! For quite a while you’ve tried to keep your cool. You have done all within your means not to disturb the friendship pool. Believe me such patience is tougher to practice than it has to talk or write about. The very person you thought was truly ‘a friend indeed,’ shading his old, innocent skin for a new and not so innocent skin is not something to talk lightly. The guy has turned into a complete stranger! It is astounding how a fast and how completely some of flip, isn’t it”

All of a sudden he turns into the all-knowing guy who could talk about anything and everything with authority! Don’t we have more than our share of such people! Now the story for one reason or another the ‘friend’ who once was the innocent ‘real friend’ is as of late feeding you stories that are pure fabrications for reasons only he knows. In fact you even shared some of those stories with others thinking you were the kid on the block with ‘fresh’ stories. Your profile even gets some boost.

“I wonder where he gets all those top secrets stories from. He must have some high level connections!” But once you find out the ‘friend’ has all through making a fool of you and probably laughing about it, you decide, “That’s it. I’ve to tell him in the face enough is enough!” And when you do so, it wouldn’t be a story that would turn out with “they lived happily ever after,” ending.

Having reached at the decision of calling a spade a spade the hard way, you’re ready for whatever fights coming your way. “I’m saying that most of the things you’ve been telling me are blatant lies and I’m really tired of the whole thing. You think I’ve been falling for your deceptions! No I haven’t. All this time I’ve tried to just let things be the way they are not to offend you. Since you’re someone who never changes and in the same mindset for eternity.”

Now that is a very ‘passionate’ way of breaking up some relationships which isn’t bringing any comfort in your life.

There are those difficult friends everywhere you turn who make life difficult for you. We seem to have quite a lot of them these days as if they’re trained by some institution we never heard of and were being sent into our midst. Now, there is an ocean and a mountain of difference between ‘someone you know’ and someone you call a friend. With someone you now would be talking about all those harmless topics like sport, music or just pure gossip. However with a friend the story is different. I mean with a real friend it is not only about football results and the insanely rising price of beer or even local katikala that you talk about. You talk about topics that are meant only for those close enough, those with whom you talk things without the fear of what you say leaking out be it personal or otherwise. With friends you share your dearest secrets because you want to have the opinions of those close to you. I’m not sure if it is a better idea; but some would tell you it’d be better to share such things with friends rather than with close relatives. Why! Because, if you are backstabbed by your own relatives the pain would be excruciating. “She is my blood and flesh and she does this to me!”

But with friends though the frustration and sense of betrayal is there the pain wouldn’t be as severe. “After all she’s a friend and nothing more. No wonder she went behind my back.”

Now a difficult friend might come in many colors and shades. There the friend who every three days asks you for money. Such guys never run out of excuses to ask for money.

“You know paternal aunt is very sick and should be taken to hospital. I’ve no friend closer than you. Can you spare three hundred birr!” Now, three hundred birr is nowhere close to any sort of medical treatment these days. You know the sick aunt story is a ruse to soften your heart and send your hands darting for the wallet.

Then there is the difficult boss. Now if you think the difficult boss is some monster lookalike, someone whose very appearance sends the shivers up and down your spine, someone on whom you see all the clichéd signs of Conan the Barbarian or someone like that then you’d be in for some surprise. By the way, while we are at it there is this thing which I find hard to put in context.

He/she could be the most presentable person with that smile which stretches beyond the biological borders of the human face, with the bear hugs where in their embrace you feel every last ounce of your breath was being squeezed out and displaying all those nicer sides of social interactions. Anyone whose view doesn’t go beyond the surface would be pardoned think, “What a wonderful person! I wish I had him/her for a boss!” So, you might ask how such a person can be difficult. Well I’ll tell you how. It all comes to the responsibilities laid on the person.

In the spacious and immaculately furnished office such a boss is a completely different person. The moment you enter the office the boss makes you feel you were in unwanted place. It is as if he had a stick or something like a basketball bat at his said the boss would have hurled it at you without any second thought. “Get out of my office!” You’d think you are confronting some double of the person and not the one with the wide smiles, adoring hugs and the like. Now would it have been better if the person does his job to the satisfaction of clients and put the smiles and the hugs in their paces! Well, if you really ask me I think the first and foremost thing should be for the person to honestly, professionally and humbly does the job.

Yes difficult people are over the place. Well, what can you do but learn living with them!

The Ethiopian Herald  19 March 2023

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