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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Compartmentalizing Friends

A friend and I were talking the other day about whether or not it makes sense to try to compartmentalize your friends. Ideally, you'd love to be around your friends all the time and in any situation. However, it's often the case that not every friend is well-suited for every situation. For instance, the wild friend is a lot of fun to go out with, but you can't really take him or her to a civilized or formal event.

Lately I've found that a lot of friends are good in one-on-one situations, but I find them to be quite annoying in group settings. It's funny how people behave differently when there isn't an 'audience' to perform in front of. I know a number of people who behave this way. It's a bit confusing. Some would find it an interesting study in sociology. I just find it to be a hassle.

I think I usually give my friends more leeway at first and then if they fuck up a situation, then they get reined back in, or compartmentalized. One friend of mine got quasi drunk at a party and proceeded to say evil shit about the host, along the lines of "oh, the guy who was fat and lost a lot of weight, but is still ugly?" Jesus Christ!! Shit like that will get you blacklisted. I had to cut him off. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever invite him to a party with me again.

Other friends just seem to view my friends as their own personal friendship and/or dating pool. They'll sift through my MySpace or Friendster profile for boys and then get in touch with them. I find that to be really distasteful. I assume they realize that I'm typically really picky with who I'm friends with (note, "typically" ... sometimes shit falls through the cracks) so they by picking out my friends, they don't have to do the 'sanity check' work upfront because it's already been done for them. Maybe I wouldn't mind it as much if they themselves had decent friends to introduce me to. But more often than not, their friends are either uninteresting, provincial, or just hot messes.

I feel like there's a social protocol for hanging out with your friend's friends. You can't just go behind their back and do it. I mean, you can, but then you have to deal with the fury that ensues when you're caught. And more importantly, if you're just hanging out as friends, then why not invite everyone along -- the more the merrier, right? Why I have so many friends who ignore this protocol is beyond me. Scratch that -- the number of friends I currently have who ignore this social protocol is going to start dropping, as my friends are going to be dropped. I have no time for deceitful friends -- typically I call those people 'enemies'.

I was actually surprised the other day when I met a friend's friend and he was actually normal and fun to be around. Of course, he doesn't live in New York, so that kinda blows.

But back to the point. Personally, I think it's entirely plausible and advisable to compartmentalize friends. That way, you still get to keep them as friends and you accentuate their good qualities, while minimizing your exposure to their bad qualities. I just hope some of my friends don't catch on to the fact that they're being compartmentalized. Although, it'd be good for them to realize it. Maybe they'll ask why and then grow as a person as a result.


  • Brilliant. Firstly as a person that loves and treats friends with dignity and secondly as a psychologist, this is common sense and social etiquette. A simple putting oneself into another's shoes on how they themselves would like to be treated. Consideration goes a long way, mind boggling on how undignified many people carry themselves.

    By Anonymous Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, at 1/17/2011 9:35 PM  

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