Wine and Meat vs. Rum and Roti

A Chinese aphorism states: “The wise individual’s friendship is as light as water. The small minded person’s relationship is as sticky and sweet as honey.”

A couple years ago I decided to end a friendship. I found the relationship to be very draining – the person to be sometimes reproachful. I remember another friend voicing the simple phrase to me during my deliberations “Friendship is not supposed to be hard work.”

Chin-Ning Chu author of Thick Face, Black Heart and Do Less, Achieve More says:

“A true friend is not one who is in your face constantly demanding your attention. They know your life is not about chitchatting with them; it is about bettering yourself and using your time wisely. In order to be a true friend to you, a person first has to be a true friend to himself. Friends are self assured and self-supportive; thus they can support you while not feeling threatened by your success.”

She goes on to say that the Chinese call the other non-supportive friends “wine and meat friends.” To bring this a little closer to home – I’ll offer “rum and roti” friends – a phrase used to describe politics in Trinidad and Tobago. These friends love to party with you but burn up with jealousy whenever they hear anything joyous regarding your career or personal triumphs. These friends will expose the very same secrets you shared with them confidently simply to undermine you and show your weaknesses publicly.

Take a look around you and assess those you call friends. You may find that those friends are not really friends at all. They would much rather see a stranger soar than to see you succeed. Once you are operating at their level, they are fine. Step out and step towards the things you wish to accomplish and you will meet with their scorn. Remember they don’t like who they are; they are not happy with themselves and so they are UNABLE to feel happy for you.

There is nothing that you can do to change how they feel or think about you. So do as I did and walk quietly and graciously away. No hard feelings, and no more depleting friendships.

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One thought on “Wine and Meat vs. Rum and Roti

  1. Good write!!! There are indeed many toxic people floating around in our lives. We must constantly be vigilant in rooting them out. Gently, but firmly remove them.

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