True Friendship Is About Tough Love
By Raul Felix
“Men kick friendship around like a football, but it doesn’t seem to crack. Women treat it like glass and it goes to pieces.” -Anne Morrow Lindbergh
My best friends are assholes. Whenever they see an opening to berate me and talk down to me, they not only strike viciously, but effectively. They are well-versed in the guerilla warfare that is shit talk. Innovative, ruthless, and accurate in their ability to destroy my spirit and ego, they stop at nothing to beat me down and bring me back to reality. For this I am blessed.
Anyone can pretend to listen to you and tell you the things you want to hear to make you feel better about your adorable little problems. It’s a temporary patch that heals nothing and just strokes your ego. Your best friends are the ones who will rip into you and tell you the truth and what you need to hear. They won’t sugar coat it, but there will be plenty of whisky to help out.
You could be moping around, feeling sorry for yourself because Betty Sue won’t return your phone calls. You thought she was darn special didn’t you? Your friends don’t understand the heart break you’re going through. She’s a fucking unique snow flake and the prettiest of them all. She may be the love of your life. Damn, are you reading that? You see how pathetic you sound? That’s bitch talk.
If your friends are true friends, they will listen to your little bitchfest, but probably give you three, four minutes tops until they tell you stop being a pussy. That they didn’t know you were on your period and you should probably go to Walmart and get the premium brand of tampons to stop your heavy bleeding. No, in fact, your crimson tide is so heavy that you need to go to Costco and buy in bulk. They thought Betty Sue was a bitch any ways and thus, you shouldn’t be grieving for her.
You’re being a lazy, fat fuck who is apathetic about his future? You lack the self-awareness to recognize the useless piece of shit you’ve become? Don’t worry, your best friends will let you know how truly worthless you are. They’ll let you know that the path you’re on is leading you nowhere and that you’re wasting your life.
Don’t even think you gaining those ten extra pounds will go unnoticed. You think your boys are going to pass up the chance to ridicule you for being a lard ass? It will be such exquisite treat for them to mock you as your once mediocre body spirals downward into something resembling a potato sack with arms.
There are two reason they do this. One: it’s fun to pick you apart and break you down. Two: they care about you. They want you to toughen up and not let a simple woman have so much control over your emotions. They want you to be successful and live up to your potential as a man. They don’t want to see you spinning your wheels forever. They want you to move forward and make something out of yourself.
They’re your best friends because you have a deep connection forged by years of shared experiences and tomfoolery. You’ve grown up together and seen each other at highs and lows. They know what you are and are not capable of. It pisses them off when you’re not living up to your true potential, so they do shame you into—hopefully—doing something with your meager existence.
When you do actually start doing something to better yourself, they’ll be your biggest fans and supporters. If you start taking writing seriously, they’ll read every piece of shit article you write, hoping that you’ll eventually write something readable. If you take your musical talents seriously, they’ll be at your shows alongside your mom and no one else. When you decide to go back to school, they’ll warn you not to major in a worthless degree like they did.
There are a lot of men out there who don’t have close friends. If you’re lucky enough to have a few key men you can depend on no matter what, you’re way above the curve. The tough love they dish out comes with it. You truly need and want men who are honest with you, even brutally so. If not, you may as well be friends with gossipy chicks who will be your best friends to your face and talk shit behind your back.
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