That probably seems like a weird friend requirement, but hear me out. Do you have any idea how often people who know I am a psychopath and know what matters to me and what doesn’t will still apologize for things that would matter to an NT but has little to no interest of mine?
All the freaking time. Not only that, it is usually about something that has to do with how they think that I might view them or some judgment that I might be passing on them. Often they will catch themselves and note that they understand that this is not something that matters to me, but they are so used to the thoughts in their heads that tells them that it is important, that they can’t help themselves.
You know all those things that you are uncomfortable with about yourself and that concern you how other people might perceive you? I don’t care. They are nonissues to me. They aren’t even background noise. Another aspect of this is your physical appearance. Don’t ask me if I think you have gained weight, have aged, or anything of that sort, because I have no idea. This is not information that registers to me as important about you.
I mean sure, I will tell you if that outfit is atrocious… granted I will use kinder words, but I will let you know, because I know you would be unhappy if I let you leave the house looking like that. I will also tell you if you have broccoli in your teeth, or lettuce, or whatever because I know you feel embarrassment, and that would cause it.
On the other hand, I don’t care about the little or big thoughts you have in your head that make you think you’re a bad person. It is way more likely that I will listen to what you are thinking, and say, well, it’s good that you work through that sort of thing, and understand it because then you can control it. It can’t sneak up on you. All a good thing.
I am not sitting here secretly thinking, “Wow, you are such a bad person, I can’t believe I am friends with you.”
Find someone in your life that will let you be you, not pick you apart because they are insecure, give you a place to work your dark thinking out, not have to worry if you didn’t say goodnight to them in the exact right way, or even at all. Find yourself someone that is looking at you, the person as their friend, not your outward appearance, your weight, your skincare regimen, your job, your financial position, just you.
I tell my friends all the time that I don’t care, but they just can’t accept that internally. They can logically, which is why they tell me that they know I don’t, but there is still that nudge that tells them it’s important, and that it should be mentioned.
I understand that these social cues are pretty normal, and expected in a relationship. People worry about how they are thought about and perceived. Unless you are doing something truly awful, or you are doing something that is going to become my problem in the future, generally I won’t have an opinion about all those things that niggle at you at night.
Having a friend like this is pretty useful. If you can find someone that isn’t seeking to make you feel more unease about what already makes you uncomfortable, or doesn’t try to inject their own thoughts into your thinking, you very well might be able to see those things in more neutral terms. Once you can, and you see that whatever it is that is bothering you isn’t the end of the world, it is easy to work through and figure out its true place in your mind.
Count your friends by their quality, not their quantity would be my advice. If you have plenty of friends, but every relationship is a social ballet consisting of meaningless interactions, and judgemental interludes, you really don’t have great friends. If you’re a social butterfly, and that works for you, I get it, but don’t expect those friends to be the sort who will bail you out and not bother asking for the reason.
Get yourself a friend that judges you like a psychopath. That neutral ground can really be freeing, or so I’m told.
So true. I am always amazed by the superficial requirements people have of their circle. I favour integrity and an overlap of values and interests. Yet people will say, "Oh, Gary, yeah, he's a great guy", and I'm thinking, "No he's not, he's an arse, you just find him amusing".
You know, from what you’ve written, you seen like a very valuable friend to have. I wish I had a friend who could see things through your lens. Everyone should have such a foil. :)