“Oh my god no! By selling yourself as a good friend you’ve just shown how you’re anything but!”
And you know what, you’re kinda right. It’s like that situation when someone says “You can trust me” as if you’re meant to implicitly intuit they’re trustworthy.
See, if you read the title without choosing to go any deeper, you’ll likely come to the conclusion that I’m fishing for validation. That’s a valid assumption, and you’re welcome to take it — I don’t argue over wrong assumptions.
However, if you want to read and find out why I’m making this bold claim, the doors are open.
Disclaimer: I believe there are many variations of good friends — archetypes, if you will. All of them are necessary in their own way. I won’t be speaking about all of them. I will only be speaking about my own variation and what it brings to the table.
#1 – I Won’t Pamper You
I respect your autonomy and abilities as a human being; you’re living, just as much as everyone else. You don’t need my supply of good words to keep on being awesome. Also, point #3 already has you covered. No need to abuse it.
Note: Also, don’t pamper me, there’s nothing I find more insulting — which obviously isn’t an open invitation for you to go on the other end of the spectrum and be an a**hole. To be fair, if you apply this kind of semantic voodoo to your reasoning we’re likely not friends.
I’m not in the habit of making friends with noise.
#2 – I Will Never Rely On You
It’s important to define what “relying” means in this specific context. I won’t depend on you. For anything.
Ask for help? Sure. I may want help with something — but I won’t make you an arbiter over the matter. That’s a personal rule I apply to everyone.
This is good.
Because it means we’re not friends out of a desire for resources. We’re friends because we chose each other to be friends.
No transactional bias — Well, no conscious transactional bias at least. (Read the post “Conversation Economies And Vanity Traps” for added context).
I’ve been told I’m a Healer
One of the many reasons I don’t pamper is because I’m a natural pamper-(rer) (?)
The problem I’ve often noticed is that when I sometimes help pull someone out of their rut; they expect me to be able to do that every single time. I obviously can’t.
There’s a transference of energy from myself to the other person every time this happens, because in helping I make that person a priority. I will share what I’ve observed about them and act as a counter-weight to their spike in depression. I won’t tell them nice things just for the sake of it; I will deep dive with them into a kind of mind-melding.
It’s a big responsibility, but I take it on when I care enough to call someone my friend. Otherwise no. It’s not my job.
#4 – I Care Enough To Call You Out
I do, I really do. I’m careful with how I approach it too.
We need to be on the same page so you notice I’m not trying to attack you. Only help.
Sometimes my approach is not perfect, I’m human. However, the reason stays the same. I’m trying to help you avoid making the same mistake again.
I’m calling you out because I actually care. It takes effort doing something like that because:
1) I need to tell you where I’m coming from.
2) Why I’m choosing to tell you now .
3) Potentially prepare to debunk your rebuttal (which is often a waste of time because I don’t speak on others unless I’ve taken time to observe them thoroughly) but I’ll do it anyway because you’re my friend.
Now, If I just let you be a problem …
Should tell you where we stand on the friendship-o-meter.
#5 – Open Minded Doesn’t Even Begin To Describe ….
Do you like anal? Do you like BDSM? Do you like writing fanfic of how the princess kisses the frog — it doesn’t turn into a prince — but she has sex with it anyway?
Do you have specific political leanings? Do you dress to keep society happy though you’re a nudist? Do you believe the Earth is flat? Do you think Santa is real? Have you spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out if you can communicate with your cat with different meow inflections?
Listen, I don’t care. Do your thing.
I only have a few exceptions. Don’t make fun of other people; particularly the ones who’ve done nothing wrong to you. You have your oddities. I have mine. What makes other people’s oddities so different (minus crime-related).
And don’t derive pleasure from other peoples suffering. It’s very telling.
#6 – You Don’t Need To Know I’m Not Listening
Scenario: You’ve had a hard day. All you can think about is sharing it with someone.
Enter – Le O.D.
So you gush about Steve at work and how he’s not doing his part in the group project and how your boss is —
I’m gonna zone out, sorry. BUT, you don’t need to know that part. You just need a sounding board. You just need the impression that someone is listening.
The part where I come in is when you ask for advice, I can offer that. But as your friend, you need to understand, the complaining part isn’t really helping. What you actually need, is a solution.
And from one friend to another, you don’t want to subjugate me to your personal hell, do you? I mean, that’s kinda cruel when you think about it lol
“Here, listen to my BAD day. Listen to every detail and feel how I feel about my BAD day”
And now that I’ve said this, a lot of people that I know IRL are going to be making sure I’m listening when they start their Rube Goldbergian rants. But I have some bad news for you:
It only proves how compliant you are to my suggestions. Please be yourself.
And thanks for reading.
#7 – I Know A lot, But Not Enough To Save The World (Search: “What Is A Genius?” for further clarification).
I’m not even gonna be humble about this. I love how intelligent I am. In the realm of friendship, I can help with creative problem-solving. I happen to be really good at it. I can also make you laugh when I feel like it.
Please stow away the pitchforks. I haven’t cashed in a single brag chip this year. This is it. Let me have it. It’s like — what — one paragraph?
Lol Don’t be greedy, Reader.
Besides, I have an ego-death coming soon.
#8 – I Would Probably Die For You
“Probably” — don’t get too excited.
Be good friends to your friends.
They chose you for a reason.
Choose them back, or don’t choose them at all.
Just don’t waste their time.
– O.D. ©2022
Art by: ArthurHenri