Friendships can be a source of great enjoyment in life. But there are few things that can trick our brains into thinking we have more friends than we actually do. Here are some examples of not fully real, or “faux” friends.
Social media has a tendency to trick our brains into thinking that we are more connected than we are. But it is a false belief. Responding with a short comment or emoji on someone else’s post is not a replacement for a real human connection. Consider if there are people that you consider to be your friends that you haven’t actually talked with for a while — it might be time to give them a call.
Don’t get me wrong, pets are great. Pets provide company, exercise, and fun. But pets are not really a replacement for human connection. As much as it can bring comfort with a furry friend by your side, we humans also have a need for the support of other humans.
A partner can technically be a friend. Hopefully, most couples enjoy spending time with their partners. However, romantic partners aren’t a complete replacement for the need for friends.
If you find yourself wishing that your partner was a bit more like you sometimes, or frustrated that they don’t want to talk long enough about a certain topic, consider if you are asking too much of one person. It’s not completely reasonable to expect a single person to fill all of our needs. In fact, it is the very fact that one’s partner usually is a bit different that creates the attraction.
We, humans, are meant to live in a community and generally need a broader range of people in our lives to fill different social needs. And every now and then, as much as you love them, isn’t it nice to have a moment with a close friend to complain about your partner with 😉
Money or fame
The Greek philosopher Epicurus said that chasing vain ideals, such as money or fame, is often a way to try to gain approval and acceptance from others. However, it is not really possible to fill these needs this way. Feeling approval and acceptance can instead come freely from real, good friends.
There can also be “friends”, who are not really friends. If you find that you feel sad or angry every time you hang out with your friends, or you are constantly competing: it might be time to consider making some new friends. Friendships can of course have some bumps along the road, but they should generally make us feel happy and supported.
These are some examples of not fully real, or “faux”, friends. If you do not have enough friends in your life, consider investing time into making some new friends. It can be a bit uncomfortable at first to put yourself out there but the reward for the effort can be truly priceless.