Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I have a new theory. It drives all the man-made conflicts around the world.

It's called the bias of the friend.

See, when normal people, your average guys and girls, do things, we have a reaction. However, when a friend does things, the reaction can go two ways : to help the friendship or to break it. You could, of course, opt to not do anything about it, but what you don't do is equally significant as what you do.

On a minor level, lets say girl A shortens her skirt by, let's say, 10 inches. (At the same time let's assume girl A is really really tall or she'd be showing more underwear than skirt.) Now, a normal person, one who doesn't know her, would go something like "SO AA(attract attention)!", "Is she even wearing a skirt?" or "*drool*". However, a friend can either go "You look so sexy now!(Note : Even if it's not true, look for this to happen a lot at prom)", which would make girl A feel all the more self-important and proud of her decision, or go "EEEEEEEEE, I'm disappointed with you", which would greatly hurt girl A's ego, effectively breaking the friendship or causing things to go back to square 1.

Now, what I'm saying here is that being a person's friend would increase reactions twofold as opposed to what a normal person says, i.e Friend calling you a bitch hurts more than random punk calling you a bitch. This is also why you should identify whether you are a person's friend before you open your mouth. There are many variations in which this fails to work, i.e not being serious, person already aware of said flaw, et cetera.

On a larger scale, when Malaysia builds a bridge and tells Singapore to build the other half, it pisses us off more than say, Lebanon, which would lean back and laugh at us as comic relief as conflict goes on in the background. This occurs because Malaysia is so close to Singapore, while Lebanon is some 646861 x 10^888 miles away.

This also occurs when person perceives himself to be close to the rest of the world, like America making everything happening in every corner of the world their business.



At the end of the day though, this theory reduces itself to a very simple concept that while being extremely prevalent, has gone unnoticed and become the cause of many a broken friendship.

The closer you are to a person, the more stinging or sweetening your words can become.

This could, of course, branch out into a dozen other theories on how to treat your friends, but if you've already read this far without pressing the back button or the red X at the top right hand corner, you should be able to figure that out yourself.


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