“Electronic communication is an instant and illusory contact that creates a sense of intimacy without the emotional investment that leads to close friendships.” – Clifford Stoll, silicone snake oil
It is not enough that so many relationships at work, at home, and at play are disintegrating, losing their connectedness, intimacy, and rapport. Now people have the opportunity to create new relationships, poof!, Buying and selling “friendship”. uSocial, an Australian marketing company, will save you the time and hassle of building friendships by “buying” you a few thousand friends and cronies. If you feel out of friends, uSocial will help you “buy” friends by the thousands on Facebook for as little as $ 200 per thousand. So, you need to feel like someone being the friend of someone who is popular, or you need to have someone like you, or have no friends, just sign up! Money talks and says: “buy or sell your friendship!”
What if I don’t have $ 200?
While many may scoff at the shallowness and folly of buying or selling “friendship,” many of us actually “trade” for friendship, though not for money. How is that?
Self-denial for friendship
One way many people cultivate friendship is by doing-doing-doing for others in the hope of buying their acceptance and approval: their friendship. Even married and engaged couples do this with each other. We do this at work with colleagues and bosses, at home with partners, spouses, children, and parents, and in the outside world with neighbors and others. We sacrifice our own being, our integrity, our time, even our hopes and dreams to please others and to be able to feel accepted, loved and “be their friends”.
Furthermore, many even sacrifice their life force so that they can be accepted by someone whose “friendship” they feel they desperately need. They will avoid associating with particular co-workers, bosses or relatives, for example, to be accepted by another person whose friendship they feel they urgently need. The specific ways that people sacrifice their lives for others are: putting their plans on hold, doing something for others, or owing someone something, out of shame, putting off making important decisions and choices without asking their “friend first. “Feeling guilty when making a decision with which your” friend “disagrees, constantly seeks approval and is in a relationship of codependency.
Control others to generate friendship
One of the most insidious behavior patterns that people use to “buy” friendship is controlling others. For example, do you ever act like a victim, fake an emotional or physical illness, or feel powerless for a “friend” to save you or work to “cure” you? Have you ever openly or covertly threatened to retain or withdraw your friendship if a “friend” doesn’t “do something”? Do you ever say “it’s your turn” to take care of yourself? Do you feel like you need a “friend” to constantly complete your activities or tasks because you are overly stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed? Do you offer friendship as a “reward” that your friend earns for doing what you want someone to do for you? On a deeper and more abusive level, do you threaten a friend with self-destruction in order to maintain your friendship? Do you try to play with the friendship of others by telling them how essential they are to your life?
Probably the most unconscious and unhealthy way that people seek to win and keep friends is through complacency, that is, doing whatever it takes to please another in order to win or maintain their friendship. We adapt when we tell others what we think they want to hear, we do what they want for others, even if such actions or activities may go against our values or moral code. Settling in is the most common way people buy someone else’s friendship, without paying for it, and sometimes we pick up the tab and pay whatever it takes to make or maintain a friendship.
Why we buy friendship.
The worst loneliness is to lack sincere friendship. “Sir Francis Bacon
Very early, as infants and very young children, we have a deep need to relate and be related; we needed contact, warmth and human relationship. At that time we had the ability to be our True and Real Self, but our parents and primary caregivers, given their own imperfections and struggles (as all parents and primary caregivers experience as a fact of the human condition) were unable to see and appreciate. our True and Real Nature, our True Self. So, we interpret his “rejection” in the sense of: “Real being means the absence of love, warmth, embrace and security.”
Then, as we grew up, we learned to pretend, to be like them, to join them in their world: the world of illusion, of “lies”, the conventional world. As part of the human condition, most of us learn to become what our parents and primary caregivers wanted us to be by focusing on what they paid attention to in us, what they preferred in us, what made them relate to us (while we moved away and abandoned from our True and Real Self, our Essential Nature). Thus, we learned to “accommodate” and please them in order to earn their love, acceptance, and approval.
And now, as adults, we find ourselves behaving in often self-limiting and self-destructive ways that we believe will get the love, approval, and acceptance of others (friendship), even paying $ 200 per thousand “friends.”
Authentic friendship is an “inside job”
Essence is a quality of the heart and soul. Living your own life isn’t about pleasing others, having a full dance card, or bragging that we have a lot of shallow “friends.” The foundation of a conscious, healthy, and real friendship comes with accessing one’s inner trust, worth, and dignity, not by controlling others, accommodating others, or responding to the controlling behaviors of others, in the work, at home or at play.
The core value of friendship comes deeply from within, not from pleasing or needing others. Allowing our own fears of abandonment, guilt, shame and low self-esteem and then “doing personal work” go through our fears and insecurities, contact and allow our True and Real Self to allow the possibility of being and acting in a way independent, with more confidence and a healthy sense of self-worth and worth. This flavor of Friendship arises from contact with our True and Real Self, where friendship is defined by quality, not quantity.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Friendship with oneself is of the utmost importance, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.” Especially the thousand that you can buy for $ 200.
So some questions for self-reflection are:
How do you define friendship?
How would your friends describe your friendship?
How well do you know your “social network” friends? Actually.
How well do you know your friends in real life? Actually.
Do you ever use controlling behaviors to keep a friend?
Do you ever sacrifice yourself, your plans, your energy, or accommodate others to maintain your friendship?
Do you ever feel lonely?
Do you feel that your parents / friends were / are “genuine” friends?
Would you invite your friends to share a Christmas dinner with your family? If not, why not?
Do you ever criticize, judge, or be ashamed of your friends?
Are your friends trusting and trustworthy? As his friend, are you?
How was your friendship experience when you were little?