I understand this title seems, well, “unfriendly” because undoubtedly the sweetest thing one can do or say for someone else these days is to proclaim being “best” friends. In the sense of having a shared childhood, having gone to college together, having uncountable photos together- the statement that we are not best friends, is merely factual.
However, I don’t mean it just like that.
Here’s what best friends have started to mean to us:
“People who indulge us in our pathologies”.
“Go for it babe, have that drink. Smoke a cigarette, it’s cool. I got you”
“How dare he disagree with you, chor do!”
“How dare she want to do something so brave, tor do!”
“You are right; your life really sucks. My life sucks too. We are the unlucky ones; come let’s bond over that.”
“I wish this, you wish that- let’s sit and count the number of things we do not have.”
“Look at her!”
“Look at him”
“Nobody gets us”
YADA YADA. Sound familiar? The person you call your 2 am call who only tells you- to please go ahead and continue thinking exactly how you are thinking. To keep on doing exactly what you are doing. Because you are perfect and they love you exactly how you are.
Imagine having that person asking you to self-evaluate. To re-consider. To be the change you seek in others. To shift your own paradigm. And God forbid, point to your areas of improvement!
No sorry- nobody wants that. We just need a team of people who stick by us through all our complaints and defense mechanisms and validate them. Which might explain why so many of us never really get out of shit completely, despite having so many “best friends”. I myself have only learnt this the hard way- to truly get better and to “truly” feel better- I did not need more people to cheer me on every time I messed up- I needed a few people to whip me back into place. I needed someone to call me out on my own bullshit and make me see things clearly. That was the kind of friend I needed. That is really, the bets kind of friend there is.
Which is why I am here, as “NOT YOUR BEST FRIEND”; hoping to give you good advice- whether you like it or not. The idea is not to be mean, the idea is to be good- actually- and to not help you raise your neurosis better.
This advice is based on years of messing up myself and learning many things the hard way. Here’s hoping some of you out there are smarter and don’t insist on learning everything the absolute hard way, like yours truly.
(So send in your questions and I promise to answer them to the best of my ability, honesty and knowledge. We will be covering one question a week! )
Artwork by Areesha Zaki