Fast food tastes delicious, kills your health and makes you dumber. Is there a counterpart in relationships? If we end up codependent, seek flattery incessantly, and cannot tolerate being alone, we probably have too many fast food relationships!
” Oh dude you are so awesome!” , ” Your coming here has made my life more meaningful (Indian relatives), let me prove that by jumping headfirst into your feet. Interesting how many of these kinds of toxic friendship exchanges are made to the cadence of physical indulgence!- food based drugs (greasy, carb, non nutritious), drugs based drugs or alcohol fueled (so you can tolerate everyone around you). Dull the rational parts of me or this family/marriage/couple/best friends shit won’t work! This friendship miasma cannot stand the rational glare. No wonder Omar Khayyam drank- a LOT.
My friend X will flatter beautiful girls beyond redemption. “That is so INTERESTING.” ” Ooooh you are so evil.” He will let these girls order him around as long as they are hot and “interesting” – he pays attention, time and resources and they provide hotness and company. He hosts couchsurfers- people who stay at your place temporarily for a few night and move on… All elements of an emotional fast food chain well-constructed- temporary indulgence, hazy interactions, vague feelings of emptiness later, satiated by more cravings of the same. However, have us men done worse things for female companionship and to obtain beauty- absolutely! Let me not only throw stones but admit to my own pizza and fries binges. ..
A part of my friendship/or any friendship is complementarity. Also some of it is acknowledging human nature and that we need some flattery /sugar and fat to please us, nurture us and cover a lack of flavor. However, scientifically engineered fast food to make you an addict and engineered ways to “impress” other people/ make them codependent/find the worst in them and nurture that so they will do something for us (indulge our anti evolutionary/entropy decreasing/idiotic behaviors) is evil.
However, in the immortal words of Gene Fama” The market clears”-
Or in the equally immortal lyrics of Eurhythmics..
“Some of them want to abuse you,
some of them want to be abused ..
Sweet dreams are made of these
Who am I to disagree…..”
So how could I take a moral stand against people’s clearly expressed preferences? Do I know more? Am I just being alarmist? A sanctimonious, hypocritical do-good-exhorter-without-economics?
It may seem like a social stand but it is a personal stance. Some people just are fat and miserable but do not have the intrinsic courage to throw off the habit. Similarly, I desire to do things but not enough to throw off my own habits that prevent it. Sometimes, we need that temporary help or that extra force. That extra force can come from people we look up to but really can come from better systems (habits) or deeply understanding what we are giving up by indulging.
Once I understand the true cost of my indulgence, it helps me make a more informed decision about how much I value that pleasure- that burger better be worth it.**
Overall, I am telling myself- that it is worth fighting to conquer myself. I will achieve AWARENESS. I don’t want to eat pizza or drink or seek flattery because I am sad. I want to joyfully explore my senses and emotions with awareness! I want to be free of the NEED to drug myself- I want to choose to INDULGE while evolving.
*However, the human brain works in funny ways. We are momentum driven. If we see ourselves doing something- our capabilities in our minds expand. So if I get on a good path then my estimation of what I can do increases and so my perceived cost of bad habits increases so I am more likely to give them up. This is obviously personal observation and speculation on my part…
**That cost is variable- if I have been working too hard then the cost of pleasure is high and I should indulge in it, should circumstances allow and if I have been slacking then I should probably get on with it or I won’t achieve my goal.
It is exhausting to always compute so the key for me is to develop self-aware systems or just eliminate some of the worst habits.