I noticed a pattern in my relationships (by relationships, I mean *all* kinds of relationships not just romantic ones). I always hung out with people who *I* thought were less than me: whether it was in academics, social status or talent. I don’t know how accurate I am at understanding my own self but my guess is that I like hanging out with people who *I* think are morally inferior than me. I will complain about their lack of sensitivity and ethics but deep down, I feel good. Of course, this was not the only reason why I hang out with them but it is certainly a strong reason. This was/is not conscious. What’s interesting is that when these people treat me as someone who is superior to them, I start hating them (after the initial ego boost of course). This is how I think:
Oh, so they love me because I score more marks/I am more talented than them. What if I scored less? Their love is conditional! This is not nice. They are not my true friends!
In this article from School Of Life (click), the writer says that we want people who will be there for us during tough times. We know that the most fulfilling friendships are those that allow us to be open about our deepest fears, our embarrassments, our dark sides etc. Vulnerability is life and if we cannot be our vulnerable selves in front of our loved ones then what’s the point of relationships? But we do the opposite: we try everything we can do hide our vulnerabilities and then complain about unfulfilled relationships!
Most of us are busy presenting only our good side. With social media, the images are crafted more shrewdly (okay, human beings were always like this, social media just exposed it). We are so careful about our images that we are afraid of making mistakes or failing. Ironically, we want friends who won’t shame us when we fail. Why do we do this? Is it because we are convinced that we can never get such friends and hence, we have to impress our friends and family all the time (just like the way we try to impress strangers)?
Of course, strangers need to impress each other before they become friends but we are talking about making an impression at the cost of authenticity.
When did you feel at home? When you were accepted for who you were, right? So let me get this straight. This is your strategy: You want to find someone who loves you as you are. Who loves your weirdness. And you want to do that by being something you are not? In other words, you want someone to like your weirdness even though you try your best to hide it?
We are basically afraid of situations where we will be shamed or feel embarrassed or fail and yet, deep down, we want to be in such situations because this is the only way to test those who claim to be our true friends?