People are sharing the red flags that made them realize someone was a bad friend
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A communications professor I had in college once shared an analogy about friendship that has stuck with me for over 20 years: friends are like tools in a toolbox, there are different people for different jobs.

There are some friends that are great to party with but may not be there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on. There are those you text with about pop culture or politics but may not see very often in person.

There are drinking buddies, workout friends, and those that you may only talk to about one shared interest. There's also that coworker you hung out with every day at lunch then never saw them again after changing jobs.

Then there are also those lifelong friends that are like part of your family.


These friends are all part of the toolbox we carry with us throughout life.

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Sadly, we don't take all of our friends along for the entire journey. There are some we realize aren't really friends at all but it takes a while to come to the realization. Before the big defriending there are always hints along the way that things just aren't right.

Reddit user dragonxgal, asked people on the askReddit subforum "What are red flags in a friendship most people brush away?" Their candid answers provide a great way to identify the people we think are friends, but really aren't.

"When you hang out with them it feels like you're defusing a bomb when theres nothing going on right then." — The DialupGamer

"Friends that only care to talk about their own success and aren't genuinely happy for you and yours unless it amounts to less than their own." — 313JoJo

"Friends who are good to you when one on one but constantly put you down In group settings. This is a big sign of insecurity/jealousy. Other signs: inappropriate attention seeking behaviors, trying to twist the situation on you when confronted about things, not respecting your boundaries, is super friendly with new people but in a disingenuous "I wanna be liked the most" way, constant gaslighting, getting mad at you for not going by the exact same moral playbook as them, when in group settings they get really uncomfortable and try to change the subject or put you down extra if attention is on you, acting they like can take constructive feedback but actually taking it out on you in small ways throughout the rest of the day." — -MattTheRat-

"Continually feeling like you want to say something but should hold your tongue." — WilletteKinoshita

"Friends who gossip excessively. If they're talking about other people, chances are they're talking about you." — Jalaphi23

"Always asking for favours but never there when you need them to return one." — ayeblondie

"Inability or unwillingness to apologize when he or she does something wrong. It's symptomatic of an ego issue that will eventually infect every aspect of your friendship." — ohShrub

"Having their damn phone in their face the whole time. If they do that, they don't want a friend, they want company. It's not the same." _splug

"Friends that are a one way street. I was always the one to message, call, or make plans with them. I was always the one to check up on them to see if they were okay. I always offered a helping hand and be there for them.

"I decided to stop to see if they would reach out to me, but we never spoke to me again. Oh, well." — llunagirl

"When you realize that you are more yourself when they're not around." — kdizzleswizzle

"If you have had a friend for a long time, but you only seem to be able to talk about memories in the past.

"Each time you get together or exchange messages, it's 'Remember in high school....' or 'Remember that time when....' - Could be a sign that you both have grown apart and do not have much in common today that you can connect on." — Intersectaquire

"When they cancel plans, they always do it last-minute." — TheRodgerizer

"If you think about them when you read this post." — FloatingwithObrien

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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