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Acknowledge the Shadow

The Best friend, best, as in the broadest stereotypical definition.

Stories, song, dance, movies portray best friends, pals for life, as the norm, reinforce the notion that people are destined to have a “best friend,” a true confidant to ensure survival or inclusivity within the herd.

Definition of Best Friend


  • to value above other friends
  • with whom you enjoy sharing common interests, (hobbies, food…)
  • you trust
  • in whom you can confide
  • you call to share good news

As a child, my Shadow had a best friend. Although she was our best friend, we were not her best friend. The category “best friend” fulfilled a category within my Shadow’s friend’s sphere of friends.

The category “best friend” fulfilled a category within my friend’s sphere of friends.

This arrangement puzzled my Shadow. How one person could consider another as a best friend who was not a best friend in return.

The absence of identical, reciprocal friendship created a life problem.

Life Problem:

  • We do not have a best friend
  • People are supposed to have a best friend.
  • We don’t, therefor we are deficient, lacking

Rule of Two

The nagging doubt which informs of this deficiency in personality is the inner guard protecting the Id from acknowledging your role in forming relationships.

  • Existence vs Relatedness
  • Survival vs Thrill
  • Deficient vs Capable

Either or choices provide ‘do or die’ arguments with little room for growth. Do or die arguments take place in the emotional realm, where devils and angels, ethics and morality, battle for control of the self.

Relatedness (Chaos), Existence (Control), Growth


Before we Can Increase our number of Friends, we must determine whether the need, indeed, exists to obtain a friend or a “best friend”.

Break down the qualities of a friend through determination of need based upon the ERG theory: Existence, Relatedness, Growth

What is a Friend to Existence?

Natural State

What is the meaning of a Best Friend to existence, the survival quality of we?

A safe friend ensures our continued existence but in order to locate the safe friend we must take risks.

  • Existence (Control) keeps us safe, protected, comfortable within the status quo.
  • Relatedness (Chaos) thrives on risk, rebellion, challenges to the status quo.

You see the quandary.

Primal Brain

  • What is a Friend to Relatedness?

    What is the meaning of a Best Friend to the Relatedness quality of me?

    • Relatedness is Chaos.
    • Chaos is open to every and any potentiality.
    • Chaos is the target of everything and anything.
    • Chaos cannot/ will not say NO to anything or everything.
    • Chaos desires many friends and no friends.

You see the quandary.

Conflict between Existence and Relatedness

  • intensifies depending upon intensity or immediacy of risk vs survival decisions.
  • relies upon prior memory, reactions to prejudge the conflict for quickest resolution.

A best friend to Existence is the friend who helps us survive.

Friends to Existence and Relatedness ensure status quo.

What is a Friend to Growth?

What is the meaning of a Best Friend to the Growth quality of we.

  • The Growth friend encourages improvement to our continued existence.
Existence: Safe Friend Relatedness: Chaos Friend Growth: Friend
Qualities of a Safe Friend

  • Admits weaknesses
  • Spiritual
  • Open to feedback, concern, criticism
  • Humble
  • Apologizes
  • Admits problems
  • Forgives others
  • Trustworthy
  • Honest
  • Dependable
  • Loyal
  • Truthful
  • Willing to change
  • Supportive
  • History
Qualities of a Relatedness Friend

  • Displays positive emotions
  • Are Warm and competent
  • Display Shared values
  • Reveals flaws
  • Make Casual touches
  • Smile
  • Keep secrets
  • Possess a Sense of humour
  • Are Vulnerable
  • Act like they are your friend
  • Good listeners
  • Able to be non-judgmental
  • Are fun to be around
  • Appear self-confident
  • Practice reciprocity of liking
  • A cheerleader
Qualities of a Growth Friend.

  • Possesses a growth mindset
  • Has passion for learning
  • Is intelligent and creative
  • Appreciates a challenge
  • Willingness to fail
  • Is capable of growth and change
  • Shares interests
  • Brings new perspectives, ideas, experiences, and advice
  • Like a Prophet
  • Like a Clown
  • Places friendship before principles

Desired Qualities of a Best Friend

Now that we have gathered and compiled all criteria necessary to determine what a qualified, bona fide, paterfamilias friend is all about, where do we find such a perfect being who fits snugly into our carefully balanced friend mold?

Why do we not attract a perfect friend, a best friend?

  • Chaos questions: why? why? why? why? why? why? (Not unlike a dog begging its master for scraps)
  • Control: Protects the Id, mot telling why, not explaining
  • Chaos Makes Desperate Promises
    • We will be the best friend in the whole world
    • just once, please
    • we need
    • we want
    • we love
    • We will call
    • We will write
    • We will go shopping
    • We will go to the movies
    • we can share clothes, makeup
    • we can have facials
    • blah,blah,blah is what control hears
  • Control: Not telling why not explaining

Diagram Power Imbalance

Control (Existence) and Chaos (Relatedness) becomes 2-way power struggle, impossible resolution. Because the arguments originate from Chaos (Relatedness), Control (Existence) offers no resolution. Because Control (Existence) provides no answers, Chaos (Relatedness) punishes self. Because Chaos (Relatedness) punishes Self, Growth becomes deprived, lacking.

How to Regain Power Balance

Growth intervenes. Self asks Control the questions: Why?

Control allows Chaos to reveal hidden, repressed knowledge Chaos reveals what we already know but have refused to acknowledge.

Chaos reveals

  • Would not be an attentive friend
  • Enjoy solitude
  • Enjoy quiet
  • Friends have issues we are inclined to “fix” things, take charge
  • Wouldn’t call, write, go shopping, movies, share clothing, do makeup

Growth (Self)

Realizes perfectly OK not to have a “Best Friend” and perhaps stories, songs, dances, movies which portray best friends, pals for life is an ideology to promote social cohesiveness within a society for the greater good of a community but not necessarily for the greater good of the individual (self).

That one “best friend” is not necessary for growth.

Why have one “best Friend” when you can have hundreds or more. Not the ravaging hoards on Twitter or facebook sort of friends but real friends in specific categories within your mind based upon criteria of need.

Now that the baggage of doubt, insecurity, deficiency and lacking are resolved in this particular sphere of existence, we may concentrate upon what qualifies a good or bad person.

We assume people are good within our paradigm of what constitutes a good person in our sphere of existence.

What constitutes the sphere of existence depends upon our accumulated experiences, memories and learning which we utilize to determine basic safety, survival, social skills in order to continue our existence.


The Smell Test

What is it that you do not tell yourself?

The inner guard protects the Id. The Id prevents us from acknowledging the role we play in that which contributes to what we find lacking about ourselves.

when we drop the inner guard we know what we do not tell ourselves.

About Post Author


The Theory of Pat is a gradual process which will expand as we work out the mysteries of our past, present and future. We chose to share as we learn and practice how to navigate our own impulsive and irrational thoughts so we may help others better defend against those who work to exploit weakness.
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