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  • We have all kinds of illusions that are set up for us in childhood.

  • Like Santa, he makes no sense.

  • We tell children that, once a year, a fat old man breaks into our home, eats our snacks and leaves us gifts.

  • And that we should be excited about that.

  • We should be so excited, we can't sleep.

  • We should be so excited, we should plan our behavior for an entire year around this burglar who travels with forest rats.

  • I can't imagine trying to sell this concept to an adult.

  • - I don't even have a chimney. - You don't need one. He'll, like, find a way to get in there.

  • - I don't know. My alarm system is pretty advanced. - You don't want to set it, though, because he's gonna bring you a gift.

  • - Like, what kind of gift?

  • - You write a letter, you send it to the North Pole. - He lives in the North Pole! Why, it's so cold?

  • - And if you're nice, then he gives it to you. - Oh, are the men told to be nice? What constitutes as nice?

  • - Well, listening to authority figures.

  • - Like, blindly? Without question?

  • - Well, yeah. - That sounds fascist.

  • - No, it's not fascist. - And I think it also sounds like a stalking situation.

  • I mean, why would I let some guy watch me all year round and bring me a gift?

  • I have a job, I could just buy myself one.

  • Why would I let some strange man break into my house and leave me a mini fridge for my beauty products, when I can just get it delivered?

  • - You also leave out cookies and stuff for him to eat.

  • But I think the most harming belief that we perpetuate in childhood is, drum roll kids, romantic relationships.

  • We spoon-feed fantasies about what they're supposed to look like, feel like, what they mean, how they're supposed to complete us in every single way.

  • Movies, books, music. They all advocate this highly romanticized idea of love without any mention of compromise, communication, rupture and repair, feeling bored sometimes, how it's natural to be attracted to other people.

  • The ebb and flow of a relationship as you're both growing.

  • Not to mention nontraditional relationship dynamics like polyamory and queer relationships.

  • And lately, I have started to wonder, does this same shattering of illusions applied to friendships?

  • We're told friends are forever, friends are chosen family, friends stick by you through thick and thin.

  • Even one of our misunderstood sayings, "Blood is thicker than water," actually means, "Blood of the covenant" is thicker than "the water of the womb," insinuating that some friendships are stronger than familial ones.

  • And I used to think that something was wrong with me when it came to friends.

  • You know, I grew up as a military brat and move every few years.

  • So I got really good at making friends quickly.

  • But I've been in LA for, like, a decade now, and keeping friends is just a whole other sports ball game.

  • You know, I've had best friends that last maybe two to three years and then you either drift apart, or you have a falling out.

  • Or because it's LA, they threatened to sue you, and you have to lawyer up and prove they have no legal basis to claim ownership over an intellectual property of yours, or a photo of you or some other idiocy because people here are full of delusions of grandeur with no work ethic to match it.

  • Like, dude, we all read "The Little Red Hen."

  • If you don't do any of the baking or contribute any ingredients, you don't get to eat the cake.

  • I made the cake. I 'm gonna eat the cake that I made.

  • I'd give you a piece if you bothered helping me with the cake in any way, shape or form instead of turning me away when I asked you for baking soda.

  • This basic principle was taught to us when we were five, and it's one of the only childhood lessons that isn't an illusion to be broken.

  • Like really, Suzy, you don't believe in the simple message of the "The Little Red Hen," but you believe in the Tooth Fairy?

  • You think someone's gonna give you $5 to $20 for this useless chunk of calcium and minerals, and collagen that your body has just shed?

  • No wonder you've so much entitlement, Suzy.

  • You believe you deserve to be compensated for doing absolutely nothing other than existing.

  • And I've been thinking, is this normal?

  • You know, the cycle of friendships turning over every few years versus being actual "BFF Forevers".

  • You know, am I just horrible at it?

  • Or are friendships actually like romantic relationships where you meet someone, you spend several years getting to know them, and you simultaneously evaluate your compatibility and platonic companionship.

  • I think best friends forever is a childhood lie.

  • And all of this came about because, surprise, surprise, a friend breakup.

  • And my therapist has kind of assured me that the process of friendships, of relationships of being a human being Interacting with other human beings is the process of figuring out what does and does not work for us.

  • It takes time to find our people.

  • And as we grow into adulthood, we realize our tribe is probably gonna be pretty small.

  • Now she gave me three questions you can ask yourself when you're evaluating who is a real friend.

  • I'm sorry to make you wait until the end of this video, but your girl's gotta improve her watch time, you know?

  • One, how does my body respond to this person?

  • Aside from regular social anxiety, do you feel excitement, love, safe, joy?

  • Your central nervous system is gonna tell you so much more than your annoying brain can.

  • Two, how much can you be your authentic self?

  • Do you have to filter yourself?

  • Do you feel like you have to walk on eggshells?

  • Or do you feel free to showcase who you are at your core?

  • And three, if you ask this person for feedback, can they be respectfully and lovingly honest?

  • I think this is one of the most important aspects of friendships for me.

  • You know, I want someone who can call me on my shit, but I also want them to do it in, like, a loving non-judgemental way 'cause I got a lot of stuff to call out.

  • You know, I do want to improve. I want to know what I'm doing wrong 'cause sometimes when you're so caught up in your reality, you don't have any clarity on the situation.

  • And most importantly, I want to know when I've hurt someone's feelings so that I can adjust my behavior accordingly.

  • I'm Anna Akana and thank you to the patrons who supported this video.

  • And I'm very excited that I've teamed up with Audible for today's episode.

  • You can visit audible.com/anna or text ANNA to 500-500. With a 30-day free trial, you can get one audiobook credit every month.

  • Good for any title in the entire premium selection of bestsellers, new releases, regardless of price, to keep forever.

  • You also get full access to the Plus catalog and can listen to thousands of included titles.

  • I just listened to "Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship" and, wow, I loved this audiobook.

  • It covered so many interesting points of view when it came specifically to female friendships.

  • The inherent competitiveness that can sometimes happen.

  • The insecurity, the jealousy, the misguided feelings brought on by your internalized misogyny.

  • It was just an enlightening, amazing audiobook.

  • You can listen to "Text Me When You Get Home" and more by going to audible.com/anna.

  • or text ANNA to 500-500, bye.

We have all kinds of illusions that are set up for us in childhood.

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Signs of a real friend

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/08/28
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