Tim Ferris has a neurotic way to vet friends, business partners, and dates. He basically puts them in a stressful situation intentionally, focusing on time-pressure, money, schedule, race-bias, to find out how they react. He says that people lie and put on a face during the initial phase of friendship; it’s in a crisis that their true character is revealed.
Although this is interesting and very telling, I think the deceit in its contrivance is a bit cruel. I agree with one of the comments, “I find this advise sorely misplaced. Your readers and all others ought to comport themselves with honesty and integrity.”
Maybe I’m naïve, but I like the artifice in the beginning. It’s nice when people are nice. I know people have dark sides and they’ll probably let you down at some point. But, give them a chance to blossom and grow. I used to think people didn’t change; they could show some change but they would always revert back to the same old person. That WAS my view. But I changed. When I recognized that I could really change, then I was able to believe that others could really change too. Besides, it’s a more hopeful place to live when you mental allow people the possibility to be better than before.
I have been thinking about my friends during the holiday warm fuzziness. I appreciate my friends. I have old friends that I rarely have meaningful conversations with just because they’re far away. I have newer friends that I hang out with all the time. Some friends need space to grow and I nudge them slowly and don’t shut them out just because they were lame a few times. I have some friends that rub me the wrong way sometimes. But I don’t shut them down for that. My personal drama level is pretty low. I don’t make a big deal out most stuff. I appreciate the good stuff that my friends are doing and let the dirtbag sh*t slide. Do you really want your friends riding you about every time you’re not perfect? Or worse dump you, cuz you’re a dork one day. In stressful times, you make quick decisions. Sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m wrong. Don’t throw me out, cuz I suck under pressure. I like reading TimF stuff, but I’m pretty sure he’d throw me out or really piss me off. That’s called provocative.
My other guiding principle in life and friendship is living without regret and living guilt free. Neither of those work on me. I just completely discount regret and guilt. Those are horrific life stealers to me. Don’t throw regret my way and don’t throw guilt at me. It won’t work. I won’t wallow in what didn’t happen. I won’t worry about what I missed out on. I don’t waste energy worrying about what life I could have had. Rather, I do spend my time enjoying the life I do have. I do savor the good things my friends accomplish. There’s always new opportunities tomorrow, but I don’t worry about yesterday. Cheers, Joe