Don’t Treat Your Friends Like Fans

Published December 11, 2022 by Maryanne

Photo by Nicholas Green on Unsplash

When you’re a creative person it’s no coincidence that you attract other creatives in your life. Maybe people you went to high school with, or maybe people you met during your creative career. Whether you’re a singer, actor, writer, or artist, creative people understand each other. We are there for each other. And it’s awesome when we can support each other.

Those who have a certain talent will definitely get the breaks if they stay focused. Sure, there will be ups and downs along the way, but you will accomplish some or many of your goals. You may lose friends because you’re no longer in the same place. They will not understand your drive or passion–and that’s understandable. But what about those whose career paths are similar to yours, yet it goes to their heads?! You begin to realize you’re being treated more like a “fan” than a “friend.” For example, you’ll go to his/her events but you won’t see him/her at yours. You’ll be “liking” their blogs, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram pages, but they ignore yours.

One time I received an email from someone who was trying a new career promoting bands. She asked me if I could “like” her pages to help support. I said, “Sure.” Then I asked if she, in turn, could help support mine too. She said, “I’m too busy.” I immediately unfriended her and stopped supporting her pages because to me, this type of person is a “taker.”

When someone starts being a “taker” it’s a major red flag that the person’s career is either going to their heads, or they are using you. Don’t ever let someone take advantage of you as they try to advance their career. It’s not right.

The thing is, we are all created equal. Any bout with success shouldn’t make someone feel superior. Motivational speaker, Jay Shetty, once said in a YouTube video that people support celebrities, why won’t they support their friends who are trying to get ahead? It really is a shame, but at least I am one friend who is very supportive (unless I feel I’m being used, then I cut ties).

I have to pat myself on the back because I know I am great in this area. I’m nobody special, but I am a good person to know; I’m every friend’s biggest cheerleader!

And, yes, fans do have their place in your world and you can’t get too close to them. You have to set boundaries. But a friend — or associate — is much more than a fan and he/she should never be slighted or not appreciated.

Here is clarification (or hard truths) regarding what a friend/associate is versus what a fan is.

  1. They’ve been to your home, that is a friend, not a fan — obviously you invited them!
  2. You had a meal with the person. Breaking bread with someone means he/she is a friend or associate, not a fan. (Unless you’re a rock star and they won a prize and dinner was part of it).
  3. Someone wrote an article about you or had you on their podcast. That is an associate, not a fan.
  4. You put someone on the guest list for one of your events. That is an associate or friend. Fans are not on the guest list unless they’ve won tickets to the event.
  5. You dated someone. I don’t care if you’re Mick Jagger, if you choose to date someone, that elevates them to a higher status. They are no longer merely a fan.
  6. You’re sending someone a holiday or birthday card in the mail on a regular basis. That is a friend, not a fan.
  7. If someone buys your records/books/art and goes to your events and that’s the only time you see them, that is a fan, not a friend.
  8. If someone knows more about you than you know about them, that is a fan. (Or a stalker!)
  9. If someone “friend requests” you on Facebook and you don’t know who they are, they are either a fan or some egomaniac who is in some industry and wants to jack up their business.
  10. If someone calls themselves a “fan” they are most likely a fan, but if they’ve been to your home, that is the best friend you can have because he/she is humble enough to admit you are cool and he/she admires your work.

Like any other relationship, creative relationships have the same rules (or they should). If you feel someone is looking down on you, or not giving you the time of day but expecting you to do things for them, or the only time you hear from them is if they need something, it’s no longer a friendship. It’s not even something that should be on “associate” level. Stop supporting them immediately. They may not even notice you are gone from their lives, but it’s okay. We’re here to support each other, not work for free for someone who doesn’t appreciate it.

If you liked this blog, feel free to buy me a kombucha:

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here:

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel:

Visit my business page, Pear Tree Enterprises, at:

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