The East Vision

It’s time to ditch fake friends

Ben Sagritalo, Opinion Editor

As a soon-to-graduate senior, reflecting on my last four years at East Grand Rapids High School has become an everyday occurrence. Through that I’ve realized that what defines your high school experience isn’t your Freshman Spanish class or the B- you received after struggling through AP Calculus.

Instead, the people who were alongside me grinding through eight months of We the People, persisting through chilly nights on the Cannonsburg chairlift, and laughing on the weekends are what comes to mind when I reminisce on my high school days. And it brought me to this realization: it is the people you’ve met and the bonds that you’ve made that genuinely define your experiences.

So when I frequently hear complaints like “ugh why does she always lie,” “he screwed me over yet again,” or “yeah after my massive party fail, he ended our streak and stopped talking to me,” all I can say is: enough.

If you can continuously trace stress and trouble to a particular person, it’s pretty clear that they are not someone who is worth your time. Everyone has slightly varying definitions of what constitutes a quality friend since everyone has different values. But one thing everyone should agree on is that friends should have a positive impact on your life. Whether it’s from companionship, trust, fun, or humor, a friend should make your life more enjoyable and worthwhile.

So if you find yourself with friends who aren’t benefiting your life in any way, the best thing you can do is leave them. You will be happier and better because of it. And you don’t just have to take my word for it. Psychology agrees with me.

Abraham Maslow, one of the most renowned American psychologists in history, dedicated his life to studying human motivation. After decades of research, he created the “Hierarchy of Needs,” which established the order in which human needs and desires are prioritized.

First, come the “Physiological needs,” the needs to satisfy hunger and thirst. Following this is the “Safety Needs,” the need to feel the world is safe, predictable, and organized. Thankfully, the vast majority of East Grand Rapids students have these needs satisfied. But so often I hear about people struggling with the next tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: the need for love and belonging.

And this is often due to fake friends. If you constantly have the fear your friends will ditch you or can’t bring yourself to trust the people you spend so much time with, you do not satisfy your need for love and belonging. Not satisfying this need has greater implications than not reaping the benefits of quality friendships; it’s hampering every aspect of your life.

In order to have confidence in yourself (self-esteem needs) and live up to your fullest and unique potential (self-actualization), it’s necessary to have the stable bedrock that quality friendships provide.

So if you’ve realized the people you spend your time with aren’t as great as you once thought, or if you have always known they were fake friends, it’s time to ditch them. You’ll be a better person because of it.


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