Too Much to Ask?

Here is what you can expect if we are friends.

I will have faith in you and in other people. I will not expect you to share my idealism, as I know that most people are more cynical than I am, usually with good reason. All I ask is that you not try to tear down my faith in humanity.

I will trust you, and trust you even more as time goes by, unless I am repeatedly given reasons not to. It’s in my nature. Again, I will not expect the same of you, because I know many people have a hard time trusting, usually for good reasons. All I ask is that you try not to project your own or other’s past behavior onto me.

I will not be very good at communicating, or at picking up subtle signals. I have trouble with social cues that borders on the autistic. I will take things too literally, and appear either stupid or belligerent as a result. I will try to compensate by talking things out that might remain implicit in other relationships. All I ask is that you have patience with me, and try to ascribe my mistakes to obliviousness rather than ill-will.

I will respect your opinions and give them careful consideration. I may challenge them, if I judge you to be comfortable with having them challenged – but only for the purpose of helping both of us to better understand them, not for the purpose of changing them. I will also reevaluate my own opinions when I find they conflict with yours. I will never, however, change my opinions to match yours simply on the basis of respect for you, nor will I necessarily accept it when you “prove” my opinions wrong. My opinions change only as the result of reevaluation, never on someone’s say-so. All I ask is that you accept this, and refrain from telling me what to think.

I will often have nothing to say, but this will not indicate disinterest in you or in what you have to say. All I ask is that you allow me to compose my thoughts at my own slow pace.

I will forget your birthday, and your dog’s name, and where we first met. This will not indicate that I dislike you, only that I have a memory like a steel sieve. All I ask is that you forgive me when I forget.

Given the opportunity, I will give long boring lectures (perseverations, in the terminology of Asperger’s Syndrome) on subjects which interest me, with far more information than you ever wanted to know. All I ask is that you tell me to shut up when you get tired of it, rather than waiting until you are aggravated.

This is what it is like to have me as a friend. Is it too much to ask?

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  1. (hug) You are loved for who you are… not for what you try to make yourself into.

  2. A question?

    If you define yourself as naturally loving, optimistic, cheerful, etc – all of which are wonderful qualities. And you actively seek out friends with whom discussion will provoke thought in both parties. Doesn’t that mean that an unavoidable aspect of some of their feedback will be to tear down your faith in humanity? Many of the realities under people’s behaviour are grim, nasty and self-serving – how can someone express those realities without making you feel your faith in under seige?

    1. Re: A question?

      Most of those realities will roll of me like water off a duck’s back, because of the nature of my faith. The only thing that gives me any confidence in my faith in humanity is the fact that I constantly hammer on it by seeking to come face to face with evidence of human cruelty and degeneracy. My faith is not that people are good to each other, but in the potential of humans to be good to each other. My personal philosophy is to believe the best of people but to be prepared for the worst.

      Thus, simply confronting the darkness does not dampen my belief. I just ask my friends not to attack me for my foolishness, or to convince me that it is all a downward spiral. They wouldn’t convince me, but it wouldn’t be kind. Basically, I’m saying don’t try to pry my eyes open to the harsh realities for “my own good”. My eyes are wide open.

      1. Re: A question?

        what if (and this is strictly hypothetical, i am not suggesting ive seen you do this) a friend sees your idealism in a situation where they sincerely believe you will bring serious harm upon yourself? should they ‘pry your eyes open’ in a loving attempt to spare you from a disaster? or respect your wishes per this entry and let you drive off the pier?

        1. Re: A question?

          Good heavens, I should hope a friend would alert me if they thought I was going to hurt myself and didn’t realize it. There’s a difference between directly attacking my idealism, and pointing out a possible result of my actions. At the same time, they should realize that I will choose to drive off certain piers from time to time with eyes wide open, and I would hope that once they’ve satisfied themselves that I really do understand the gravity of the situation, they will stand back and let me do what I need to do.

    2. Re: A question?

      And another thing…

      Many of the realities under people’s behaviour are grim, nasty and self-serving

      I don’t see selfishness as inherently evil, so that part, at least, doesn’t hurt my faith. I see human potential as something that will be achieved through perfect, honest selfishness.

      1. Re: A question?

        I agree, as previously stated here

        but i dont define selfish and selfserving identically. one can consider effects on people and make a choice that is selfish, having assessed it as being worthwhile to them. selfserving, to me, calls more to mind a mentality that doesnt even pause to consider effects on others and never tries to combine a selfish motive with one that will also benefit others.

        1. Re: A question?

          heh… yeah, I was being blunt. In fact, I believe humanity’s salvation lies in enlightened self-interest, which is what I’m really talking about when I use the term “selfishness” in a positive sense.

          1. Re: A question?

            enlightened self-interest

            I agree completely. That statement alone is the single largest reason I became consistently involved in your journal to begin with. Not an easy task to get humanity to see and strive towards that and I need all the help I can get ;).

        2. Re: A question?

          I’m not authorized to view that entry.

          1. Re: A question?

            wierd it mustve locked funny when i reset groups recently, it should be friends visible now, and i can alter that if you want later.

          2. Re: A question?

            I can see it now, thanks.

  3. Too much?!? It’s better than most people give. People gotta appreciate that.

    As for the metal sieve, are you sure it doesn’t more resemble swiss cheese? It’s got larger gaping holes and sometimes emits… Ummmm.

    With that analogy, you get away with cheesy thoughts.

  4. “This is what it is like to have me as a friend. Is it too much to ask?”

    Not in the least. 🙂 Brilliantly put.

  5. I don’t think you give yourself enough credit. You’ve been a much better friend to me than what you described – /when/ you were around. However, it could just be because I have some of the exact same faults as you do – the inability to pick up on some subtle things (though I expect other people to pick up on mine), and the urge to talk out even the most implicit of details. We understand each other because we understand our drawbacks, at least in part. I don’t know. I think you are a diamond in the rough, to be really clicheed – yet you are a diamond.

  6. Nicely said!!

    Avdi, I have only known you online but you come across as an amazing person, even when limited to using just words. I have great respect for you, and expect none of the same 🙂

  7. at least you are capable of expressing yourself well.

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