How Many Real Friends Do You Have? – Part 1

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This article is about clearing away three big obstacles that stand in the way of having the kind of relationships we all really want to have.

The desire to be loved. Relationship. It’s a universal need. Unfortunately, it seems we’ve all been hurt in one way or another, some of us more than others. And yet, the desire to have that which seems to be so elusive to so many never seems to diminish.

Click HERE to for a free listen to a new song written and performed by Swedish artist Lisa Miskovsky. The song is titled “We Want to Be Loved,” and it’s about a girl whose mother keeps getting stuck in bad relationships. Some of the lyrics below…

We Want To Be Loved

If they knew how much I’ve heard

When they thought I was asleep

I’ve seen my mother try to hide her tears

When I say that I can’t breathe

We want to be loved

We all want to be loved

If you see me on the streets tonight

Just look the other way

I keep hearing we will work things out

I hope this time we all get to stay

Change is coming soon they say

I think it’s time to move ahead

I have done this too many times

Down by the shoreline on the sand

We want to be loved

We all want to be loved

I’m going to watch the sun go down

I’m going to let it burn straight through

And when I close my eyes…

We want to be loved

We all want to be loved

Can you relate? I sure can. So can lots of folks I’ve heard from.

First, with instant messaging technology and then various chat forums, and now with websites that help create virtual communities, the desire to connect online has been reflected in a big way for several years.

The current social media craze started on the Internet with MySpace. Today, one in seven people on the planet are on Facebook, each of us having an average of 100 friends. But this isn’t really anything new.

As I said earlier, we’re talking about a universal need that we’re all hardwired with, and this Internet stuff highlights and amplifies it in a big way. In the words of the theme song to the long-running popular sitcom, Cheers …

Sometimes you want to go Cheers
Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.
You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name.

But now it seems we’re going a little overboard… or at least we’ve skewed the concept of what friendship actually is… and isn’t.

For example, when it comes to the social media scene, so powerful is the average person’s motivation for finding relationship and to be liked by one’s “community” that it seems we’ve all entered into an absurd unsigned agreement with each other: you suspend your rules for what constitutes a friend and I’ll do the same. That way we can all refer to each other as a friend while remaining as aloof and independent as we ever were, safe from real friendship, real accountability, and real intimacy.

Ironically, at the same time we are making ourselves “known” online – posting status updates, announcing our likes and dislikes, posting pictures of ourselves, our loved ones and our families, and of our travels and in all kinds of social settings, and while accumulating as many friends and followers as we wish – we are also more guarded against true, quality relationships than ever before.

Both online and in-person, we present a carefully edited version of ourselves that is void of substance and absent accountability, which are standard elements of true friendship. We want the world to know about our make-believe farms, but too many of us have decided that we don’t want to tell the truth about ourselves, even to those we say we love.

This unfortunate dichotomy reveals a certain amount of hypocrisy, pain, and ignorance too many of us are living with. Let’s take a look at all three. In so doing, we’ll hopefully discover that overcoming these obstacles to a better life is much simpler than we may be aware of.

One Response

  1. Jenn
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    This is something the Lord has placed on my heart. TRANSPARENCY!!!!!!!!! I keep running into it over & over!

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