My former boss who was once my friend began introducing me as his assistant when I first started working for him, and it bothered me because although it wasn't inaccurate, it made me feel like I was less his friend. Now he's made me realize that he isn't much of a friend to me. It's an unfortunate, tragic, and eye-awakening reality. Today he introduced himself as my friend.
Then the other guy who always introduces me as someone he works with was interacting with me like we were co-workers. And that's fair. Social conditioning and all. But he's actually my friend. Last time I hadn't seen him in a while, and he seemed really happy to see me. He was opening up to me like we're friends. I guess it rubbed me the wrong way that the one who I see as no more than a former employer described me as my friend, while my actual friend acted like we were just former co-workers.
I guess what bothers me most about it is the believability factor. The non-friend can do a convincing job of playing the actual friend. How long after you wear a mask long enough does it actually become your identity? And what if he decides to take the mask off?
The friend who's passive reminds me that we're not really that close. It has a stabilizing effect on this reality, but I can still feel the presence of the other possibilities that no longer exist. And I've come to accept our fate here. But I like the idea that I matter to him. It doesn't really matter in what way, just that I do. And I know I do. But when I see such polar opposite reactions, it digs into my insecurities.