Posted in Anxiety/Mental Health/Stress Management

Artificial Friendship & Liking Yourself

We go through life often wishing simply to have friends and people who care about us but we don’t always realize that this is possibly a bad approach to life.

If you wander through life desperate to be liked and have people who care about you, you loose sight of who you are as a person. You become so consumed with wanting people to like you rather than focusing on liking yourself.

Perhaps what we should teach to future generations is to focus on loving & respecting yourself before you think about anyone else. In this current world, some people become so consumed in having other people liking them that they forget about themselves. They may hate themselves or blame themselves for every slight thing that goes wrong in their lives.

In high schools, a lot of children put themselves and others down while pinning all their attention on making a certain individual like them, maybe someone they see as popular, cool or just someone that they want to be friends with.

The current school system is corrupted in the sense that teaching authorities focus on results. Everything is results, results, results. I believe this is the wrong thing to be teaching children. This is the wrong approach to life.

Yes, results matter. Yes, if you have good grades you have a better chance of getting into a course or getting a job but grades aren’t the be all and end all of life. You don’t get sent to jail for not having good results, nothing bad happens. You can still get to where you want to get to, you can still get into the career you dream of. Yes, it may require a little more hard work, but not doing well at school isn’t going to lock you down for the rest of your life so you can only get into careers you hate.

Schools tend to focus so much on results that students begin to overwork themselves trying to get as many qualifications as possible. Yes its good to study and aim to get as good grades as you can at school but teachers need to realize that some students may not be able to handle the pressure of doing so many subjects at once that they have very little down time.

This can lead to depression or having low self esteem. You become so focused on getting specific grades that you put yourself down when you don’t achieve the grade you were hoping for. I think that teaching authorities should start to factor in their students health.

They should begin to think about how this heavy workload can affect the students health. They should monitor the system better so they can adapt the timetable when they notice their students struggling. When students struggle they should be able to feel more confident to go to their guidance lecturer, head of course or head of year and feel that they are being listened to.

Another common problem with the school system is that students may be struggling and will go to their teacher to not get the help they need to improve their work or to be able to understand what they are being taught.

When I was in my last year of high school I absolutely hated school. I took three classes: English, History & Administration of which I only enjoyed Administration. I was seriously struggling with English & History but wasn’t getting the help I needed.

The sad thing was that I had extra support in BOTH of these classes that was supposed to help and assist me. In History, I really didn’t like the teacher. All he ever did was read from textbooks or put on videos and this was not the way in which I could learn. He would often read whole chapters from textbooks which I would not understand but then wouldn’t help us understand if we were struggling.

Other teachers didn’t like him, he told us weeks in advance when he was going to be off ill, he even laughed at me one day and had the whole class laughing at me when I got confused with a piece of work. What didn’t help is that I didn’t get on with the teacher I had there for extra support either.

She would never help me when I was stuck because she assumed I was just at it, when in actual fact I was seriously struggling. She called me a liar on multiple occasions when I wasn’t and when I proved that to her she was rude and didn’t apologize.

I also didn’t understand what we were learning in English. Yet again, they extra support teacher thought I was at it when I didn’t understand things. Then one day, we got a new teacher for one day a week whom was Italian. I didn’t understand the woman’s accent but no one would help me because they thought I was making fun of the woman which I wasn’t.

I tried to tell my guidance lecturer that I hated History, it was making me miserable and that I wanted to drop it cause I was never going to understand it. No one would listen to me until I stormed out the class and refused to do the work. I was lucky that with English, another new teacher started teaching us one day of the week (a different day to the Italian woman) whom helped me with my folio work. I feel if it wasn’t for this teacher then I wouldn’t of passed with a B. I ended up doing all the revision the last two weeks and was surprised to see myself get a B.

Teachers like these are not what we need. As a result, students struggle even more while knowing they can’t get the help when needed. Whereas I didn’t get the help I needed to do well in my last year of high school, in college I felt I got the help I needed.

Throughout my full 3 years at college I felt I was lucky to have an amazing guidance lecturer that was a great support to me. I’ve mentioned this before, but I organized a big Scottish journalism competition for my graded unit this year. During the process of this event, I was extremely busy and didn’t think to factor in time for myself. It even got to the point I would skip lunches and not even factor in time to eat.

I suppose this was the time when I was most lucky to have such amazing support. My old guidance lecturer was my rock throughout college especially while organizing this event. He would force me to stop for a minute, force me to take a lunch break and was genuinely there for me when I felt low also. He got supportive when my team weren’t nice to me when tension got high. Without him I’d of probably had a complete break down before I even got to the night of the event.

These are the types of teachers that schools need. People who genuinely care about the health of their students and want to actually help when things get tough.

After that huge conversation diversion, back to the topic of artificial friendship. Artificial friendship is fake friendship, when people act like they are there for you but when it matters they are nowhere to be seen.

It can be difficult to realize when a friendship isn’t healthy. In my younger years of school I had a massive argument/disagreement with a girl I believed to be a friend of mine. When we fell out, she began to glue herself to the sides of the kids seen as the “popular gang.” She would bitch about me and talk about me behind my back especially in classes to make me feel small.

One day we decided to work things out and be friends again but that was probably a bad decision on my part. I remember at the time I had a teacher whom actually said to me “be careful” when I told her I was friends again with the girl in question. At the time I just dismissed this and didn’t really get what she meant. Looking back, I now understand what she meant completely.

When I finished school I realized this girl was fake and wasn’t really my friend. I think I probably realized that a while before I was finishing school. Being the child that I was, I was desperate to be liked and have friends like pretty much anyone else my age. I stayed friends with her because it was easy and convenient. It meant I had someone to hang about with at lunch times.

What I should have done was ditch her there and then. I seemed to believe this would make me a bad friend but that isn’t correct, she was the bad friend for using me. Maybe I also stayed friends with her because i’d have to see her everyday anyway.

When I left school I realized my mistakes after I asked her about meeting up multiple times to no effect. At first she would say yes, maybe even like comments on my posts. But then she began to ignore my messages/texts and just like my comments about meeting up to make her look popular.

One day I got fed up with the whole pretense of this situation that I just cut her out my life completely and I can honestly say I am genuinely happy as a result.

I would say to anyone currently feeling like they have a friend who uses them and isn’t there when they need them to cut them out their life. It may be a difficult thing for you to do and you may have to see them each day but it will make you happier if you just have people in your life who want the best for you. People who are a support when you need them most.

I am one of those people in life who struggle to see the best in myself. I see the best in everyone else and wonder why I have people who care about me in the first place. I received some great advice from someone recently to focus on what matters to me, forget the rest of the world and to do things to make myself feel happy.

That’s what I would say to anyone struggling to see the best in themselves. Focus on what is important to you and hopefully things will start to become more positive for you.

Artificial friendship is not healthy. It isn’t good for you to have people who pretend to care but don’t actually. It is often difficult to tell if someone is genuine. I would say if you feel in your gut that they aren’t, you are probably correct.

Time and time again I have put off dropping someone from my life in the hope that I’ve been wrong and something would happen to keep changing my mind. If someone seems like a black cloud around you then maybe its best to let them go.

I’m not saying you should ditch your friends at the first sign of trouble but I am saying you should have a limit. When I left school I had a good friend whom I thought I would be friends with forever. It didn’t turn out this way, things began to change for her. She had a kid and through the whole time, I told her I was there for her. I tried to show her how much I cared.

She didn’t seem to see this and kept asking me if I was still her friend. She pushed me away and I began to give her space for her and her child thinking it was a good thing. Now she has me blocked on Facebook and I lost her but I have learnt to accept this. People change and its not healthy to hang on to the past. If people change, you need to accept this as them now instead of clinging on to what has past.

When life gets too much, take some time out for yourself. Do the things you love or the things that calm you down. Run a bath, listen to music, try and realize that you deserve the same respect in which you give to others. You are human too!

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One thought on “Artificial Friendship & Liking Yourself

  1. I agree we should love ourselves first. We should know ourselves first.
    When we know ourselves we start to understand others along with their inner struggles and beauty. The way we strive within to become our better version others do too. When we can Love ourselves even with all our imperfections we can Love others too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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