Selfish friends

What do you do when your best friend is a self-consumed individual? In once sense, I feel attached to my friend as a great companion, who offers great encouragement and wisdom in my travels. Yet I know behind that is a egotistical drive for consumption. His communication often consists of his sexual desires and desire for more things. Never content with this moment, always reaching for more. I guess my attachment to him relates to similar inner desires.

I am a complex being. In the background I have music playing that revolves around simplicity and selflessness. I am attuned to human suffering, finding the plight of the Tibetans or East Papuans to be disturbing and heart-warming. At the same time, I want my good coffee and red wine. I want to eat good food, live in a nice place, and make love with a beautiful woman. I feel more disgust than compassion towards beggars, and look on the homeless with suspicion. Yet, I know that within me is the deeper desire for love and compassion.

So, my friend tends to bring the worst out of me. His influence almost always lends to foolish talk and decisions. Some of my most recent decisions I won’t even go into detail here. Yet he is my only close friend; I have very few others that I speak to on a regular basis. It seems that this relationship is more a selfish one than not; our primary needs are merely to have a companion and sounding board. I am only now just realizing this attachment – our regular catch-ups have no meaning, bring us down to lower desires, yet I fear losing them as I have no alternative.

We both have a number of things in common. We suffer from severe self-criticism. Some of our issues come under a broad title of ‘social anxiety’, hence we both have few friends and find it difficult to make new ones. We work in the same industry. Based on these things, we meet every weekend, conversations revolving around work and sex and desire for more. It’s got to the point where I’m revolving my weekends around these, most often waiting for the expected text message indicating that our catch-up is about to happen.

Looking at it from this angle, it seems silly and pointless. Yes, I want to build something greater than this, relationships of mutual trust and respect, where we are about enjoying the here and now rather than caught up in the future. I do not see this as currently possible in our friendship. I fear that posing a distance will cause more harm than good, but the fear is more of my loss than my friend’s welfare. What to do? This I must consult with others who are intimate and trustworthy.

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