Yes, friends are the family you create. This is because people chose their friends based upon mutual likes, interests, and beliefs. Furthermore, friends respect each other and do not have the inane expectations that your blood family has. Friends usually take each other as they are. There are no supposed obligations and gameplaying as there are in blood families. Friends encourage each other to maximize their human potentials and respect each other's differences.
Many times as a person becomes older, friends become family because you have more common interests with your friends than you do with your blood family. Usually when one becomes an adult and pursue different interests than that of your family, you cease to have that much in common with your blood family. Oftentimes, your blood family either cannot or will not accept your differences because you have broken away from the family paradigm. This is where friends came in. You have found people with whom you have common interests.
A lot of times, you may decide to pursue a drastically different belief, career, and/or lifestyle than your family members. This can cause discord within the family unit. Oftentimes, people are disowned by their blood family for electing to pursue a different lifepath. Many people who have found themselves in these circumstances adapt friends who eventually become like family to them. In fact, these friends treat them better than family.
Blood and/or related family does not necessary mean loyalty and love. I definitely believe that the family of origin or blood family is a total accident of birth. Yes, there are some people who maintain that we chose our family of birth in order to learn certain life lessons and/or to fulfill our karmic destiny. Well, that is all well and good. While there are a few blood families who are supportive, caring, encouraging, and nurturing of its family members, an overwhelming majority of blood families have inner drama. Yes, I said it! There are families which there is plenty of upmanship, power plays, and other types of gameplaying occurring.
There are families in which parents insidiously ruin their children's self-esteem and their human potential. In many families, children are regularly played against one another in order to curry their parent's favor. There are children who have been disowned by parents because they decided to come out as either gay, lesbian, or decided to be in an alternative or no religion.
There are siblings who actually hate each other because some received differential and/or preferential treatment. There are adult siblings who are envious of each other because one is more financially successful and educated than the other one. Let us add this to the mix-there are siblings and blood family members who expect that their wealthier members give them a free ride i.e. financially support them. Still, there are other siblings who actually sabotage their siblings' chances for success because it would threaten the sibling paradigm.
Do not let me go into more egregious issues such as incest. Yes, there are some families that cross the line into pathologies. I will not elaborate on this issue here. Many blood family members are subjected to this heinous act which has profound ramifications on them long after they becomes an adult.
Then there is the issue of abuse which encompasses physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. Many children are periodically subjected to this abuse because of the power plays and mind games initiated by the parental figure in the household. Many parents actually do not know how to be parents. It is their assertion that being a parent means being the boss and dominant one and that the child or children are nonentities without an individual or independent thought. These parents are immature parents who do not have an enlightened view of parenthood with disastrous results for their children.
Many blood family environments can be described as insular and claustrophobic. These blood families have a paradigm which it is political, religious, socioeconomic, job/career, and/or lifestyle which is not to be deviated from or there would be dire consequences. In such families, traditions and rules are to be strictly adhered to. The mantra of such family units is, "What was good enough for our ancestors is good enough for us!" Woe to the family member who elects to try a different path. Oh no, this is not done. The "erring" family member would be brought back into the family circle or if the "erring" member persists in this different path, he/she would be ostracized by family members or worse, be disowned. There are many examples of this, family members who were ostracized and/or disowned by their blood families because they elected to intermarry with a person of a different race/ethnicity, adapt a different religion, pursue a different career, or adapt different political views.
This is where friends come in. Friends accept differences with each other. This is usually no hidden agenda with friends as there is with blood family. Friends are always there for each other through thick and thin while family members have a certain expectation that you will adhere to the family culture. Friends allow people to be themselves.
Friends nourish you when you are depressed. Friends do not expect you to conform to the mentality of group think as blood families do. Friends encourage each other to be an individual and unique.
In conclusion, friends are the family that we create. This is because we select our friends based upon common interests and goals. However, this is not always the case. Friends may have different interests from each other; however, there is mutual respect for each other's differences. Friends usually value each other's uniqueness and individuality. One does not have to play games with friends as they do with blood family who have unwritten expectations.
Family does not necessarily mean blood family. There are many blood families that are very negative and have no family love towards each other at all while there are friends who are intensely loyal to each other to death. Ultimately, family means closeness, love, and respect for each other. Many friends have this bond while there are blood family members that do not!
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