Fake Friends

Think of the people you hang out every now and then, the people who celebrate your birthday with you, the people who came to your wedding. You go to parties with them. You do everything with them, but you feel like you do not have any friends. You do not feel cared for. Your friendships do not feel real.

Last night, one of my American friends schooled me on how friends should not make rude comments to each other. She has schooled me previously, too.

In hindsight, I feel as if Americans put too much emphasis on how to be nice, how to be a good friend, what to do/not to do in relationships, what is appropriate to say, what is not, what is racist and what is not. They have always educated me on how to be better and nicer. Ironically, this is the same country where everyone is anxious and depressed. This is the same country where very few have real friends. This the same country where no one feels like they fit in. This is the same country where mental illness is the rule, not the exception.

The punchline is it is possible to act nice and yet not be nice. It is possible to do the checklist of friendship yet not be friends. It is possible to satisfy the checklist of religion and yet not be religious. It is possible for a woman to do the checklist of marriage and yet not love her husband. My friend says she feeds the homeless wherever she can but that does not necessarily make her generous.

Relationships are not contracts. You cannot establish a set of stipulations and hope to obtain a meaningful relationship. Not only is it possible for someone to fulfill all the stipulations and yet not be your friend, but it is also possible for someone to be your friend and not fulfill all stipulations. The former is an example of fake friendship which is what most Americans have. The later is an example of love manifested in friendship. Your dog may not fulfill all the stipulations, but chances are it does love you, which is the backbone of your friendship.

Therefore, quit legislating how people should act. Allow your friends freedom in your friendship. In fact, encourage freedom. Allow your friends to act however they want to. Perhaps, spontaneity is also an expression of love because it isn't corrupt with thoughts and motives. Don't corrupt that spontaneity with rules. Friendship is not an algorithm. You know when the chatbot wants to be your friend.

©2020 by Philosophically Inclined