So, it’s Tuesday. I’ve decided I’m gonna have people come on here and express their opinion(s) on several subjects I figure they’d be suited to talk about for reasons known solely to me. 🙂
Kicking us off is Dayo, who was kind enough to crank this out on such short notice. Please keep in mind that the opinions expressed below are his and you are free to disagree if you so desire. Preferably in the comments section below.
Alright. Over to Dayo.
There are two words that are sacrosanct to me, but have been abused to no end. They are Love and Friendship. Thankfully, I’m here today to talk about friendship (the other one would have felt more awkward). A friendship is a platonic relationship between people who want nothing but happiness for each other, without the motive of selfish gain. In my own experiences, such friends are few and far between. The strength of these relationships will have to endure the tests of time, distance and life situations, as well as the natures of the friends.
People are inherently selfish, and naturally will think about themselves first, but to completely adhere to that perspective will guarantee that they are alone. No man is an island, and therefore, they would crave company. Naturally, people tend to be friends with others they share common characteristics with, either in looks, social status, mentality, or the experience of a similar situation. People rarely like to leave their comfort zone, but it makes me wonder if it doesn’t get boring, being with people who are almost exactly like you?
I think the most important issue about friendships is the reason as to why one would want to be friends with someone else. Most honest answers would have “something I intend to gain from him/her”, and hardly ever “something he/she would gain from me” (selfish interest in play here) these days. Sounds more like commensalism or parasitism. Ideally, it should be a symbiotic partnership, where they try to help each other, because they genuinely like each other.
Again, I digress.
The type of people you choose to be friends with is also very important. There’s that popular saying, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you who you are”. The kind of people you keep around you is actually a big insight into your nature, not necessarily because you may have a similar outlook/behaviour, but also, how you’d like to treat people under your control. Most ambitious people like to have friends who are greater than them in some way, so they can feed off/learn from them, but end up discarding them once they’ve served their purpose. It’s a machiavellian mentality, and it works, but there’s always a cost. What then happens when they’ve reached the top? They end up becoming the big fish everyone wants to feed off. I would never call that friendships, simply means to different ends.
Following the idea of dependency, it would be only right to mention that some people thrive in such interactions. Everyone has some pride, and feeling of self-worth, or lack of it. If they feel inferior around you (whether you’re the cause or not), resentment comes in. I believe that this is where the “back biting” and petty games start. Thing is, it may not be your fault, but you may end up spending a lot of time and effort to make them feel good about themselves. Such people overtly end up being dependent, and will not hesitate to demand a repeat treatment. You most likely will have to “dull your shine” to make them happy, not realising that you’re only making yourself as miserable and inferior as they are. It would mean that you’re alright with being taken for granted. That’s the path to masochism.
Conversely, it’s also possible that you could enjoy the feeling of being needed, being depended on. You will never help them stand on their own feet; rather, you may end up being the biggest source of their humiliation. It goes without saying that there is no trust, or even genuine fondness for each other, only paranoia, suspicion and fear. People in such relationships usually say things like “I know they talk about me, but they’re just jealous” or “They’re only friends with me for what they can get from me, but it’s alright; In that way, I own them.” You could make other friends, true friends, but you like the feeling of control you have over these people, even when they resent and betray you. You’re afraid that they would leave you. Egomania, megalomania, take your pick; plain old loneliness is fine with me.
I think it’s best to be on as equal footing in a relationship. It honestly reduces the agendas. Hell, it may even bring about some positive competition. But the keys are the understanding and acceptance of another person, the way he/she is. If you don’t understand a person, then nothing about that person- the way he thinks, why he is the way he is, his goals makes sense to you. Even if you do understand a person, it’s still moot if you don’t accept the person, as you will never find common ground. Please do not misunderstand me though; I’m not saying that both of you should remain stagnant. Progress at all times is the way forward. Encourage each other to better yourselves. Support each other. Be honest with each other.
I should speak for myself as well
I believe in trust, and loyalty, but I don’t expect people to be blind to truth. If you are my friend, you are my confidant. I can trust you with my secrets, and expect you to keep them to yourself. However, I would be stupid to be mad at you for divulging to someone else if you feel that it would be in my best interests, and telling another person will be a boon to me. I am far from perfect, and will make mistakes. I will fail to achieve some of the things I desire. If you are my friend, then I want to be able to share this with you and get an understanding, not judgment. If you are my friend, you are my shield, protecting me from enemies, unknown and known. Most importantly, protect me from my greatest enemy- myself. Do not be afraid to correct me; superfluous pity is basically insulting.
In conclusion, I pay less attention to class, life situations or other criteria; they tend to blind you to little details. I also don’t believe in simply writing people off on appearance; everyone has something to offer if you look hard enough. What remains paramount to me are understanding and acceptance. The one who understands me is my friend and equal; he/she will have my love and loyalty forever. I believe it is why the people I call friends are few and far between. The rest are simply acquaintances, and things are great the way they are.
So, what do you think about friendship? Share your thoughts and such below, and I will catch you on the flipside.