Friendship á la 2022

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Friendship and honesty á la 2022… Should you speak up or shut your mouth? Be brave and take a stand or cowardly retreat in silence? It’s a thin line today 2022. Friendships oh so fragile. Cancel culture has been creeping up on us, infesting our lives, and there’s hardly anything you can say today that won’t at least offend someone out there.

“Your views are dangerous… You are dangerous”

During this last year I have been quite a busy bee on social media and maybe slightly too eager as regards to openly sharing my views on certain topics. Especially considering that I’m not that fast in real life with letting my views sip out of me…

Maybe I believe I’m doing this because I feel the issues are important, but it could be so much more complex. My need for screaming out my opinions might just be a sad result of a world getting sicker where we constantly feel the need to air our irrelevant opinions for every Tom, Dick and Harry.

A narcissistic world where we live in the delusion that EVERYONE cares about what we think about anything.

Plenty of acquaintances have gotten annoyed at me, hated on me, terminated their social media friendship with me. Thus even our real friendship I suppose. Or how does that work when you meet someone out and about after you’ve ended the digital friendship? Do you say “hi” or just walk on by? Stop to talk about the weather in all politeness?

I haven’t a clue…

A couple of weeks ago a close friend of mine chose to make a stand,  in that she chose to dissociate from me, and that threw me completely off balance. Without withholding (that’s just not my style anymore now, is it?) I confess in this good-spirited “let’s air it all” manner I completely lost it. The last thing I had expected was a close friend to not accept or respect me. Up until this point I had thought friendships went deeper…

Maybe I was “frightening” and “dangerous”…

She wrote me a message. Admitted she was afraid of my views. It reminded me of how some acquaintances at some point during this last year had called me “dangerous”. My views were “frightening” and it made her so incredibly sad there were people in our world having “such thoughts”.

It made her sad there were people like me out there…

Hearing from a close friend that “people like me” shouldn’t be allowed to air their frightening views hurt like hell. Her choice to interpret my posts freely, reading stuff into them I never wrote broke me. Instead, she could’ve chosen to read what I actually wrote, alternatively asking me what I meant. After so many years of friendship, she didn’t know me at all and it was painfully obvious.

It hurt me so much I started to doubt what I was doing and what I was believing.

Come to think about it, there had been others expressing I was “dangerous”, others who thought my views shouldn’t be allowed to take up space. My overthinking got way out of hand, naturally. Did I actually have a right to speak my mind? Why did I even want to speak my mind on issues I should be silent about? Should I even have these strong opinions about topics I knew nothing about? Shouldn’t I trust authorities and be more accepting instead of questioning everything?

And what was my goal of screaming and yelling about every little thing, such as during this last year? Did I simply want to provoke people? Did I want to force-feed people my own views as the one true religion? Or did I simply want to be difficult for the sake of it, as my friend assumed?

But in the midst of everything I realised I had done nothing wrong.

I have never encouraged or demanded people to think what I think or do what I feel is right. I’m just telling my story, revealing my views on issues that matter. To me. Hearing that I’m frightening and dangerous means nothing to me today, happens every day nowadays. And it couldn’t bother me less.

But when the hurtful words came from someone close it messed me up. For a while. Until it strengthened me because I was once again forced to consider “why” I’m doing this. “Why” I’m being this open…

More questions entering the roundabout of overthinking: was the root of the problem that I simply had the audacity of voicing my views? Would it be ok if I had my views, just not voicing them out loud? Just kept my mouth shut and fell into line? Would she had wanted to keep being my friend had I not spoken about things that matter to me, kept to shallow jibberjabber?

Is that how you keep “friends”? Being superficially pleasant…

I have of course been back and forth in my mind, put up a Facebook video where I suggested I might stop sharing so much on that platform. It’s so woke, it makes me sick, and I’m everything but woke. I’m awake, but woke…? Please no! Having been forced to confront my “why” yet again was good, but it hurts… Damn it hurts.

She’s grieving her friend who is no longer. And she is partly right since I was forced – for different reasons – to become a completely different person during the 20+ years we have known each other. I can still not help but wonder have we ever been real friends. If she can’t accept me for who I am without having to suppress her impulse of silencing me or changing me?

Was our friendship ever real or was it just another relationship in my life where the other person’s only intention was to control me?

 

 

Have you ever experienced friends avoiding you for having “controversial” views? How did you handle it? How did you move on? Please leave a comment…

 

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Friendship á la 2022

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