Demote Your “Friends”

Some of those in our lives we call friends no longer fit the definition of friendship. It’s time we moved them to a different shelf.

9 min readMar 27


Photo made by the author using Canva Pro

No, I am not going to do detective work about who your “real” friends are. But have you noticed that a percentage of the people who we call friends — or even close friends — are, in fact, acquaintances, or even placebos? Should we go on pretending as if we are surrounded by a group of loving friends who will be there for us in times of need, even when we have found no trace of such behavior in them? Or should we free ourselves from this illusion once and for all?

This self-help (!) post will help you identify patterns that reveal if a person you call your friend is actually worth investing time and effort in. I also write about how to confront our contradictory thoughts into accepting an uncomfortable reality. This acceptance will gradually lead to better friendship decisions.

How to seek new quality friends is subject to another article in the works.

Classical Friendship Definition

Without going deep into elaborate details, most philosophers agree that the nature of friendship has three main themes:

  1. Mutual Caring: A necessary condition that manifests itself in both sympathy and action.
  2. Intimacy: That separates friends from other types of interpersonal relationships like colleagues.
  3. Shared Activity: In which, motivated by friendship, we engage in joint pursuits that do not necessarily tend only to our self-interest, e.g., playing, talking, going to the theater, or a very consequential example, traveling together.

The lengthy article linked above is by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and is worth every second if you are interested in the roots of the definition.

Should We Redefine Friendship?

Quick answer: Not really. It is abundantly clear that we no longer live in the Baby Boomer era. Tight family and friend connections have disintegrated by an array of socioeconomic changes. Personal interactions have diminished to social media likes, impressions, and retweets. In…




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