I’ve written before about how easy it is for the psychopath to leave their friends when the friend is consuming more than they produce in the relationship. The psychopath is fine being a parasite but has a quick trigger when it comes to others doing the same. I’ve written how, as the effort of keeping normality in the relationship increases, the psychopath is more apt to leave. What I have not discussed is what separates the few friends I keep from those that I do not. I have few friends, many ex-friends, and many that will never be friends. What makes those close friends worthwhile?
This closeness is not a result of action nor acceptance. I’ve cast away friends that were very good to me and that have gone far out of their way to help me. I’ve casted away many more that have accepted my transgenderism or that have, uneasily, accepted my psychopathy. Something else must be in play.
For me, it is a question of practicality. There must be mutual benefit and respect. Action does matter, but action alone does not dictate anything. Acceptance also matters, but once again is not sufficient. The best friendships I have are the ones where we meet each other’s expectations and never expect the other to exceed those expectations. I will never be a good person to go to when one is emotional and needs reassurance or emotional support. I will be that friend that lends you money or that can offer some other form of support that is not empathic in nature. From those I befriend, I expect the same. I expect no bullshit, no nonsense, high intelligence, and honesty. In return I will be the same.
Many that I have befriended in the past and let go, met these criteria for a while. Maybe they were fine, at first, with my stoic response to their emotional needs. Maybe they were honest with me at one point. It is hard to yearn for something that will never come as those in the first group found out. It is harder still to be honest with one whose worldview is so alien and hostile at times. The friends I’ve kept are the ones that moved past those barriers and have accepted me, warts and all, while expecting zero on the emotional front. They never want, openly, for more than I will give.
I often wonder how my life will play out with the high bar I’ve set for friends. People to manipulate for immediate gain abound but are discarded quickly. The friends I have possess their own lives and their own wishes and will not be around forever. As selective as I am, am I merely guaranteeing that my future days will be spent entirely alone? I’m not as young as I used to be; this will only get worse as time goes on. However, I could not see my selection happening any other way. True and respected friends are rare, acquaintances are common, but the time spent is infinitely more rewarding.