The desire to believe the best in people is a prerequisite for intercourse with strangers; suspicion is reverse for friends.
How often we find ourselves treating our acquaintances with exquisite courtesy, while our friends and loved ones get our yawns, our sulks, our tantrums. We may pride ourselves on treating everyone alike, but most of us lapse into rudeness with our intimates. “It doesn’t matter,” we say. “They know me.”
If someone doesn’t know us, we behave with generosity. Why? To convince the stranger that we are nicer than we really are? Which is the ideal person, the one who is courteous to strangers, or the one who is rude to friends?
Mistrust of ourselves is the basis of these false values. Most of us fear, at one time or another, that we won’t be liked, loved, or respected for ourselves alone. So we try to appear different, usually better. we feel comfortable enough to drop the facade.
Sometimes, perhaps, we even punish the new friend a little for the strain of our good behavior. Wouldn’t the best behavior be comfortable respect?
My friends deserve my courtesy as well as my love. Today I will welcome them gratefully to my life.