Some will claim to be your friend for as long as they gain something out of the “friendship”.

IN life we meet many people, but we always have to remember that not everyone we meet is a friend.

Some only want to be acquainted with you because of your status and/or popularity, while others only come to you when they need something from you.

Only a handful can be regarded as your true friends; the ones who will be there whenever you’re in need of help.

I’ve come across tens of thousands of people in life — in school, university and at work, among other places. Some I’ve never had the chance to talk to, some simply acquaintances where a friendly “hello” is exchanged whenever paths are crossed, and some have ended up being a very important part of my life.

I’m aware that everyone is different, and everyone lives in their own distinctive way.

That being said, I must admit that there are certain things that I do not approve of and do not take kindly to. One of these are people who use friendship or sentiment to get your money.

Many a time this has happened to me, but I simply disregarded their attempts and went my own way.

However, a few weeks ago, I reached my breaking point and I told myself that enough was enough.

I was marking some examination papers when I was approached by a lady on Facebook. She sent me a message to ask how I was doing. I recognised her as someone I knew from university years ago, and she was in my friends list on my social media platform.

I replied and she told me who she was, in case I needed reminders, before enquiring about my marital status.

She then proceeded to demand (demand, not ask) for my number so she could contact me on WhatsApp, but I declined as I did not feel comfortable doing so.

Bear in mind that this lady had not spoken to me in a decade.

The next thing I knew, she asked me about a certain product which I immediately recognised as coming from a popular direct marketing company selling healthcare products.

She then prodded me about my knowledge regarding the company, to which I questioned its relevance.

Without any explanation, she sent me a truckload of photos and videos of the company’s products and apparently successful members, and claimed that they earned a five-figure salary monthly, and that I should join her in addition to buying the products.

That was when I lost my temper.

I told her off for being rude and insensitive as she had not spoken to me in a decade.

It really ticked me off knowing that there were people like her around, who do not really care for friendships because they are more interested in taking your money.

Later on, I found out from a few other mutual friends that they, too, had been approached by this lady in the same manner.

Here’s a word of advice to people involved in multi-level marketing or direct marketing schemes.

I am glad that you are happy doing what you are doing. I am glad that you are making money and fattening your bank accounts. I am glad that you are able to drive around in fancy cars. Perhaps, this is your calling, and things are looking up for you.

However, my dear people.

However, it is not appreciated when you suddenly call up old friends for the sake of making them listen to you and buy your products. It is not appreciated when you force people into parting with their hard-earned money by using friendship and sentiment. It is not appreciated when you scam people of their savings just so you can afford to buy an iPhone 7 for yourself.

Don’t go to people you call “friends” because you want to use them for your own selfish reasons. With “friends” like these, we don’t need enemies.

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