we all have our sore spots. our jobs, our children, our families and friends, our bodies, our sex lives, our educations. the easy thing to do seems to be to just simply avoid prodding people's sore spots so you can then avoid all the drama and the fallout. however, i appear to be incapable of this abject avoidance.
i feel our sorest spots stem from the things in our lives we consider most dear, most important. and, perhaps, the importance weighing upon these things clears the path for inherent insecurity. self-confidence is a trait lacking in all the world today and it is evidenced clearly by our inability to accept even mild criticism or just plain observation on our choices.
now, we come back to the question: why the fuck does it matter what anyone else thinks, if you're happy with the decisions you've made? ah. it's because you are not happy. or, at least, you are not sure you are happy. you need reassurance and affirmation from your peers. but happiness and satisfaction are not things another man can give you. they come from within your self. i suppose, again, the lack of self-confidence comes into play here.
in any case, i sure do wish none of my friends would ever need my approval again, so i could stop pissing them off by not offering it. and i wish the same for me as well. i know i can be quite a burden at times.
speaking of friendship, i've been encountering some odd derivations over the last year or so. to me, friendship is something you offer to another person on certain terms (or perhaps unconditionally). whether or not this other person chooses to accept it should have no affect on the degree of friendship, at least not in my book. i suppose, now, that could be one of the initial conditions. however, this seems more like a trade/barter/exchange than a gift of friendship. and, as i see it, friendship is a gift for those you care about.
there are people, though, who will try to manipulate you into feeling guilt for not needing them or their friendship in your life. some will even instantly rescind their "gift" and offer instead blind, irrational hate and anger in return for your refusal. obviously, it makes no sense to me.
expectations play such an important role in relationships. many of my "friends" are constantly disappointed in me because i do not choose to live my life as they live theirs. they will never accept me for who i am, until i am exactly as they are. i will always care for these people, but i do not expect to ever understand them. i certainly don't expect them to ever truly care for me, or even understand that they are more users than friends. i do hope they learn, so that our relationships can progress, but i do not judge them harshly for choices i would not make. i only adjust my interactions to protect myself. i suppose that may seem as an unfavorable judgment to some, but i wouldn't doubt that those same people change their behaviors around certain people as well. (locking your doors in an unfamiliar neighborhood, for instance.)
i find it interesting that the people who seem most irrationally afraid of harsh judgment are the ones who feed most desperately on like-minded affirmation.