Back in the days when I was young, friends were the people who told me the truth. They listened to my drama, and then they told me where I screwed up. Of course the other person was the biggest wrongdoer, but push comes to shove they were in my corner no matter if I was right or not. And in return for this magnificent gift, I was there for them.
But these days, as I talk to various people, it seems like friends are “yes (wo)men”. Those people who simply agree no matter what. And more often than not are nowhere to be seen when push comes to shove.
God forbid one of their friends might actually suggest that they might have strayed a bit too close to the edge. Or *gasp* might even suggest they had crossed a line and been in the wrong. Or that there might be another way of looking at things. And if somebody says it out loud, why that’s grounds for cutting the “friend” completely out of their life.
Maybe that’s why I’ve never had many friends. I’m not a “yes man”. I’ll never agree with anything absolutely. And I do have a bad habit of asking people “What’s your take away from this, what did you learn? Could it have been prevented?” I’ve never needed my ego massaged, but occasionally I have needed a reality check.
The short version of all that is people, it seems to me, don’t want friends, they want sycophants. And what’s even worse is they want their minions to always be right, to be utterly perfect, even if they themselves do get to make the occasional mistake. And that leaves me out yet again. I’ve never been perfect, don’t plan on starting now. Look at what happened to the last perfect guy. (For those who don’t get the joke, his initials are J.C.)
Personally, I blame Hollywood for most of it. After all, we’re the stars of our lives, right? We should come and go as we please, and get to do what we want. It’ll all work out in the end, right? It always does on the screen.
When I outlined this blog to a friend he suggested it’s due to the Politically Correct movement standard about protecting feelings. Of course, protecting feelings also means not teaching people, or asking them to grow up. Then we started sharing horror stories about “safe places” on college campuses and “time out” cards in boot camp. If you don’t understand why this is absurd, give it twenty years when we have emotional ten year olds on the highway. Or military commanders who want a time out.
But all hope isn’t lost. On the Words from a Bitch Facebook page I found this:
Appreciate your rude/blunt friend … They’re always the realist.