The kinds of people that will use you, then throw you under the bus when they want to make someone they revere more comfortable. I call them serpents, because the way they slither around, pretending to be your friend when they’re looking for a tender place to bite. They don’t like you, but they love the social clout you provide by stealing parts of your personality to make it work for them. They make fantastic public announcements from time to time how the respect and love you, but this is a farce because they go right back to disrespecting you as if you offended their humanity. Although they may seem like they place you on the top of their friend’s list, these people are highly manipulative because serpents have no real personality of their own, they have to fashion one sucking the spirit and uniqueness out of you dry. Even when one realizes that they’re a pawn in a dangerous game, they tend to stay and try to do the friendship work because their self-esteem is very low or nonexistent. It’s up to the person to find themselves and know they deserve people who love them just as they are.

The hierarchy of friendship is essential to them; they don’t treat everyone with respect as they proclaim. Serpents have a floating rank of people. You can always tell who is on the top or bottom depending on the disparaging thing said or kept muted by the Serpent. You’re in their spotlight as long as someone better does not come along. If someone does, prepared to be thrown under the bus and treated like your friendship is a problematic charity case. Secretly to the snake, the charity is not all wasted on you as a good time they feel they’re forced to show you. The consultation prize is seeing what people like about you, then crafting that aspect to their liking for the next outing to upstage you. You’re right enough for them to copy you, but you’re not good enough for them to be who you are. If you make a slip and ignore the underhanded statements the Serpent makes when they feel you’re taking away their spotlight, the manipulative motions they take to drain your spirit is the way they show you who is boss.

They’re “manipulative” is an understatement. How else will Serpents be able to wriggle out of responsibility for how they treat people when they feel insecure about themselves? It’s the intensity that makes Serpents dangerous creatures. They will make it a point to embarrass you in public with the information you may have given them in private. They use when you have been vulnerable to them, as a public laughing point to embarrass and demean you. Serpents use this because deep down in their head, they’re thinking while adding intrigue and a spectrum of “witty” (what they mistake as witty) humor to them, this makes people like them more. Serpents spend time behind your back going on full campaigns against you to make them seem like they’re a better person than you. If you call them out on their behavior, they twist their social indiscretions as you bringing down the mood and taking thing too seriously. Gaslighting is the only light they see in life.  Other times, Serpents wonder why you’re in an angry mood. They’re daft when it’s convenient for them. What they’re hiding is the painstaking obvious truth that they’re dull, uninteresting people who never chose to cultivate a personality they can be proud to call their own.

Serpents are who they are because they need to copy you while gaslighting you to feel like they have a social footing in this society. These people don’t know how to craft a face of their own, so they steal from others to become a ruler of an imaginary monarchy. Serpents are in pageants that no one else knows they’re competing in.  The popularity contests are never-ending. As long as someone else is getting attention for being who they are, that is a threat to the serpent. They slither and glide their way into their targets live, act like their being a caring person that wants the best for the victim, and then kill their idol as they become them. The goal is to make you feel ashamed of who you are, so when you’re out for an evening of snake charming, you’re not going to act out in a way that will make the serpent comment on what and how you’re doing and being. Serpents tend to have long-lasting friendships with their biggest rivals. Most of the time, some catch wind that they’re being competing against, others do not. However, it’s the matter in which we take in this snake that speak to our relationship and level of self-esteem we have for ourselves. Not saying it’s our level of self-confidence that is the reason people act out abusive manners. What I am saying is sometimes, our low self-esteem allows others to hurt us because we in a twisted way are used to it.

You stick around because you have low self-esteem and the way friendships work for you are based on competition. You recognize the silent rift from your frenemy’s side, but you pretend to be ignorant to the fact that wicked games are played by two. You can’t be the only one who doesn’t understand why your friend is your most significant competitor. You’re still taking heat and abuse for a time after you have made peace that this person doesn’t like you but uses you when it’s convenient for them. You justify “good times” when you two are not in a weird space. You rather forget the drama than inquire about the rollercoaster of emotions. In fact, when you’re having a “good time” with your frenemy, a part of you feels vindicated. As if you proved to the snake that you can look beyond the public outburst of embarrassment and show that you’re a fun person to be around. However, you’re laughing and smiling until the next time you’re the target of their unnecessary comparisons.  The cycle continues, and you slip into more questions about who you because you rely too heavily on someone that does not care about you to define who you are. There is no relationship with the self; your constant hunt for validation that you’re a great person is running you to pieces. You’re too busy trying to prove yourself rather than making yourself whole, with practice and patience.

Taking in full personal accountability as well as understanding what some of the underlining issues are with you attracting and relishing in this kind of friendships can be achieved with a therapy method you trust.  Even if you falter and stumble at times with keeping up with therapy consistently, it’s better than never trying at all.  Precomptemplation is better than no contemplation. Sometimes, going through a traditional treatment program is a huge step that is frightening. Which is fine, there are tons of other methods that work like reading books, meditation, and journaling. Not one way of healing is going to work for everyone. Some take roads that others will never dare, and that is perfectly okay. The primary goal of healing is to heal. Realize that you deserve to surround yourself with people that want to celebrate you, not tolerate you.

Serpents bite when your charm threatens them. A floating raking system is what they give to figure out who they’re taking from to impress others. You’re their friend as long as you remain a willing pawn in their sham of social graces, they’re in the consant hunt for a character that will win clout, not real connections. Serpents manipulate you into thinking you’re not socially refined; they use the personal information you given them in times of performative friendship against you as “jokes”. Serpents do uncoth things like spilling your private information, because they don’t have a healthy sense of self; neither do you when you justify these kinds of actions taken against you. No friendships are healthy when one is silently competing against the other. It’s up to you to create space and distance with Serpents as long as it’s safe and right for you. Finding a therapeutic method to gain insight is a personal step that is should be taken in earnest. There is no such thing as a perfect interpersonal relationship, but no one should ever have to dim their light for others to shine.