Updated: Mar 7, 2022
You can't make friends if you are being nice. Being nice is a form of self-regulation. Self-regulation restrains you. If you don't open up, you won't feel accepted the way you are. You won't even feel free in a company. You may even feel relieved when the company leaves, for you no longer have to play a role. This is the infection that people in the US have. In the process of being kind, you compromise truth. You end up unkind.
Makes me think of a day in the spring of 2016 when I was eating lunch with a couple of friends at Templeton. It was always I who would ask my lonely friends to join me and my friends. Drew asked me how I made friends so easily in a foreign nation. I told him that people are basically the same. They all want the same things: friendship, food, love, and truth. The dept of this question was not as obvious to me as it is now. I was clueless that making friends was a big deal for Americans.
If I could go back in time, I would tell Drew that it was unfiltered truth. I always keep it 100. When you tell the truth, others get to see the real you, which is important for them to be able to appreciate the raw you, not the character you present to them. Plus, truth and honesty build trust. Trust fosters relationships. Playing nice and kind comes in the way of truth and honesty. Thus, political correctness and all other forms of cultural tyranny retard people socially. They are impediments to meaningful relationships.
Humans are naturally inclined to make friends. Children make friends without any instructions at all. It is only when you define friendship that you fail at it. Our social-media inspired generation thinks that friendship is a contract, like a checklist. But friendship is not a contract, rather a recognition of mutually held implicit values. There is no right way of friendship. Thus, you cannot make friends. You can only recognize friends.
When I worked as a substitute teacher, I noticed that students of all ages had no problems making friends besides late high-school students. They no longer made racist jokes. They no longer said anything that could be categorized as inappropriate. They had essentially given up freedom. They had become zombies. They had learned the fallen ways of society. To get to college, some embraced political correctness and an overall culture of sweet-talking. It was no surprise why they could no longer make friends by the time they reached college. Since they were getting rewarded for sweet-talking and people-pleasing and others were getting punished for being raw, they were pretty much blind to the truth that they were on the wrong path. The paradigm of society was wrong. And they had fallen for it for momentary benefits.