I think many of my friends fool themselves into thinking their friends are good friends.
Take, for example, a person who never answers emails or returns phone calls. Let's call him John Doe. When I express the opinion that John does not think much of me because he does not give me the courtesy of responsiveness, these friends will say, "Oh, no, pay no attention to that. He's really a nice guy, he just isn't good about responding to anyone's emails." I beg to differ. John IS like that. He doesn't bother to answer emails; what's nice about that?
Or take the lady who is habitually late for meeting with her friends, sometimes as much as 45 minutes. When I remark that she is not very polite and apparently has a low regard for her friends, I get, "Oh, no, Jane isn't like that, she's an extremely polite person; she just has trouble getting places on time." I beg to differ. Jane IS like that. She has no problem making friends cool their heels and wait for her. What's polite about that?
People like that get away with being discourteous because they have friends who insist they "aren't like that." Why are these friends fooling themselves? What people do is what they're like.