Are They ‘Friends’ Who Insist You Live By Their Standards?

Are They ‘Friends’ Who Insist You Live By Their Standards?

Anyone who insists I live my life according to their standards doesn’t earn the moniker “friend.”

I was inspired to write this post, based on the above quote from an article on the page The Introverts Corner.

A persons standard of living is usually defined by themselves; what they do, how they act, where they go, and how they treat others. A persons friends, if they really are friends, would accept, and maybe not always agree with, how that person chooses to live. However, what defines a person as a friend?

The people in my life who I consider friends are such, to me, because there is something about them that I like, or, perhaps we have a shared experience together, and common interests that bind me to them. Things like that are what I use to consider someone a friend. We can share good times, and bad times, have some laughs and go out into the great big world and experience new and different, and even familiar, things together.

As a rule, I accept that those friends of mine aren’t exactly like me in nearly every way. If they were, they’d be clones of me then wouldn’t they? Hardly friends even. The differences among us are what make up the wonderful and dynamic part relationships we have. I don’t always think like they do, act like they do, or do some of the things that they do. That doesn’t make a difference to me because I am not them. There are even times when I don’t agree with something they may do, but I don’t get in their way and I don’t try to make them conform to what I think. I may say something asking them to consider something else if I think it might be a better way and let them choose their own path. Asking questions, thoughtfully put, is a great way to get to understand someones thought process and reasoning.

But what happens when a person, deemed a friend, goes about trying to make you, rather than ask you to consider, live by a standard they set and not by one of your own? Making, or attempting to make, you live by their rules doesn’t sound like a friendship, but more of an authoritative relationship – like a parent to a child.

I don’t see relationships like that working out very well. If one person is forcing a standard on another, the other person might become unhappy and bitter towards the first person after a while. Resentment will undoubtedly ensue and an end to the supposed friendship may result.

In a personal relationship with someone, a friend, I neither need, nor want someone trying to make me live by standards they believe is right for me. The only time this is acceptable to me is in an employer/employee situation where I’m being paid to do a job and meet a standard that they expect of me. But living my life is my business and I’ll live it how I see fit.

The topics of standards can be endless and some of the things I can think of are about personal finance, political, religious and social issues, interpersonal relationships and so on.

If a ‘friend’ thinks they’re going to try to make me live by their standards, it might not be long before I no longer consider that person a friend and break off communication with them.

I’m no going to judge my friends on their life’s choices and I don’t expect them to judge me on mine. Otherwise, would we really be friends? I accept my friends for who they are regardless of their standards and views on things.

Do you have anyone in your life who is a friend who tries to impart, even forcefully, their standards onto you?

5 Years On, Still Single & Happy

5 Years On, Still Single & Happy

It’s been nearly 5 years now since I wrote the blog post about choosing to be single and being happy about it. Today I’ve finished a book entitled Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After

After finishing the book and recalling the blog post I wrote, I was amazed at the similarities between both, and how I seemed to be on the same wave length as the author.

In the past 5 years things have largely remained the same with me as far as relationships go. There have been no new developments to speak of and on occasion someone try’s to convince me of joining an online dating site. I have gotten older and am now on the downward slope to 40 and lost a little bit of hair on the top of my head.

I suppose Ive softened up since the fist post on the topic and don’t feel like I should come off so hard anymore. I’ve learned that my solitude is part of my introverted needs. The need for alone time is a must in my life. Home is where I recharge my mental batteries and I can really only accomplish that by being by myself. I spend my days at the office working and interacting with others and that’s where I get my needs of a little extroversion fulfilled. It’s like a balance between the two personality types that each of us needs. Some need more introversion and others more extroversion, but we all need both. Going to work with people and coming home to no one provides me a great balance of both and allows me time to recharge for the next day.

I’m still amazed at the mythology that married, or coupled people, still seem to believe in the false notion that if you’re single, you’re lonely and in need of a partner. It’s seem like an automatic reflex for them to believe that and make comments to the same. What they don’t understand is introversion and the need for solitude. I feel like most people believe that introversion is a bad thing, that there is something wrong with you. That’s not the case at all. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a different thing that extroversion.

It does get old when people are always assuming that they can bother me when I’m not at work to do this or that, to fix this or help them with minor problems that can otherwise wait until I am at work again. It’s as if they think I am sitting around waiting for something to do or waiting to jump into action to fix something because I am not married with children which would presumably take my time. That time, as being valuable if you have a family. But if you’re single, your time isn’t valuable at all and it’s okay for others to bother you on your time off.

Not true at all. What makes people think a singles time is less valuable than a coupled person’s time? Isn’t it a bit biased to think that? My time is just as valuable to me as it is to coupled person’s time. What I choose to do with it is my business and I value it highly just as a coupled person would value their time together highly.

Wake up coupled people, us singles can be quite happy, if not more than you! Our time can be just as valuable as yours too. Don’t feel bad for us, because you might actually be insulting us. If you tell me that you hope I find someone soon, don’t get mad if I retort that I hope you get divorced soon, because, you know, being single is so much better than being married. It’s a two-way street so yield the right-of-way once in a while.

I’m still single and I’m still happy!

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