I hear what OP is saying, but also nod along to what iampheng
is saying, as well as alexann
IF I deem them in the category of 'friends', then yes - I accept them as they are.
And I much prefer to have 3-5 'friends' than 100 'NOT-really what I deemas true friends on my FB ... so FEW actually get inserted into my FB page (and a couple of friends don't even like FB a/cs, so they aren't even there)
I have different groups of friends of the type iampheng
is talking about too .... and all our lifestyle choices, goals etc etc are different.
Friends also complement and appeal to the different parts/interests/values/experiences that make up Me.
Some of these common 'friends' may all be my friends but bec they're all so different.
ie Different friends probably may not even be able to stand each other in the same room because they are quite polar opposites (for eg: one is big into shopping, spending big and buying nice stuff for every aspect of her life - cars, clothing, home, lifestyle, travelling etc. ... and another is as spartan as they come, doesn't even use hair conditioner, and will walk 10 blks just to save on $2 on parking).
But one thing they both have in common - they're smart and observant, humorous and we 'get' each other (ie when you say A, the other person does not think B or not get it at all) and basically are kind/considerate.
Then there is that grey area where you can appreciate SOME qualities of a person or at least know they have 'good' underneath that abrasive, unhelpful veneer they present to the world ... but you also know they can be major users and have qualities you don't like.
Once I am aware of some qualities that are undesirable (even by general population standards, not just my personal preferences) .... I try keep the 'user part' at bay for my own self-protection. Esp if they repeatedly keep asking for favors - non life threatening ones to them which no one else wants to do, and which they know is a major inconvenience to me ... but works out for them).
ie We can relate on those levels that we totally connect with, or have common shared experiences/insights/philosophies about some things which bond us .... but it does NOT mean I endorse or can appreciate their other opportunistic or hidden agenda tendencies or whatever qualities I don't like.
And yes ... if I KNOW or sense why some people are being nice (ie it's fake).... I too can just as hypocritically put on my 'nice mask' or just take them at surface value.
Happens all the time with a couple of highly competitive colleagues at work. Avoidance does not work, they will come by and dig me out. and they're not being just nice ... the purpose is to fish for info.
.... even if I keep quiet about some things I definitely do not approve of .... I can't be speaking out all the time, or shooting down ideas or opinions ... it just creates unnecc antagonism and bad vibes in the workplace. But to me, these people aren't really friends category. And often they offer suggestions and ideas which only benefit THEM but not the general population, other staff or clientiele.
So I still keep my normal nice and friendly self with them, as I normally do with most folk ... but with these colleagues or people like that, it's really is more a 'mask' because I know the claws that lurk behind their interest in me or in anything.
And through the extra special unconditional ways I go out to help un-related others ... they can also indirectly see what kind of person I genuinely am - even if I keep them at bay.
Doesn't mean I can't be nice too .... but my guard is up with such folk ... because I have/had already seen then on another context and observed aspects of her, or how she treats others (badly, unethically, unscrupulously ... or also that selfishness and endless greed in a person which reveals a lot, as to the extents they're willing to go).
All of which tells me tells me 'so and so' is faking it. Or that her/his interest in me and her questions are all beating around the bush to lead up to something else. And since it's not pleasant being 'fake' either to cope ... better to avoid these folk as far as possible.
... as we get older and wiser we're more aware of these things, and way less naive. It's self protection.
High school friendships were way more genuine and easy.
Edited by nomad 822, 11 January 2013 - 09:28 PM.