In J.D. Salinger's classic novel, 'Catcher in the Rye,' the protagonist, Holden Caulfield's famous criticism of so many of the people he observes is that they're completely 'phony'—that is, superficial and hypocritical.
Unfortunately, real life can be full of such phonies, as well. We've all struggled with the discovery of a false friend, or been annoyed by our peers who project an inauthentic image. Aside from avoiding false friends when we find them, the best thing we can do is take heart in the knowledge that we're not alone. Generations before us have faced the same disappointments, and some of them managed to insightfully sum up this unfortunate situation. These quotes go out to the phonies, and those of us who see them for what they truly are:
- 'False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine, but leaving us the instant we cross into the shade.' -- Christian Nestell Bovee
- 'To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.' -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- 'False friends are worse than bitter enemies.' – Scottish Proverb
- 'Always forgive your enemies—nothing annoys them so much.' – Oscar Wilde