What is the ‘friendzone’?
Not much more than a really immature term used by an individual to rid themselves of any blame when the interest they’ve expressed in someone else is not reciprocated.
…okay. Enough of that. Is the mythical ‘friend zone’ real? No. At least, not in the way that many seem to portray it as being; not all that different from hell. In (universal) reality, the friend-zone is simply what happens when your emotions are not reciprocated, and you decide to react by either:
a) Accepting it, and moving on
b) Creating an environment filled with self-pity and hate towards the individual who you, as difficult as it may seem to believe based off of all the insults and such you're spewing their way, you apparently are/were hoping to win their affection?
What would be the most logical thing for our fictional participant, Jane, to do if she at no point hears fictional participant #2, John, ‘baring his heart’ to her? Well, of course nothing. She’ll leave him where he is, and see him as a friend.
Now- it’s tough to make a sound argument that anyone, Jane included, should ever assume that someone doing things such as holding the door open or allowing them to go through the door before oneself, is a definite sign through which they’re not only confessing their feelings to you, but also extending an invite to start a relationship. Unless this door-holder makes no effort to explicitly state anything other than them possessing basic courtesies, the other individual has every right to look at them as nothing more than someone who wishes to be their friend.
With us having gotten the rational (more like ‘irrational’, but I digress) side of things out of the way, perhaps we’ll take a look at what has given ‘the friend zone’ such a claim to fame. What is it about this non-existent reality that people find so appealing about it as a frame of mind to adopt after being rejected?
1. It’s a source of comfort.
A coping mechanism, in a sense.
Who wouldn’t love to utilize a non-existent, and by proxy, defenseless term to shift their feelings of inadequacy and rejection onto? I mean, let’s get real, here; as much as our mind may tell us otherwise, nobody in their sane mind enjoys taking responsibility for things that will tarnish reputation, or in any way negatively affect who they are as an individual.
It’s hard to turn down the accommodation provided by the friend-zone in which one can sit back and rationalize the fact that life is not fair especially for themselves, what with the object of their affection being 100% to blame for this rapid-onset of blindness. The object of their affection is also to blame for themselves not being able to verbally express (much less act on) that they hold such feelings.
2. It’s mean.
Okay, okay. So you’re bitter that someone else got the attention and/or interest of who you also happened to be pining after. Which is a perfectly understandable reaction to have but let’s take a step back here- in receiving interest from who you happened to have your hopes set on, was the other person doing anything to consciously and intentionally spite you? Did they slash your tires last night, or talk smack about you to your boss? ..No?
Okay, good. In that case, doing everything you can (from the comfort of your computer chair, at least) to reflect them in a bad light is in no way warranted. From an outside perspective, you’re going to look like the ‘bad’ one.
“Let me distort that and turn that into an insult against you and anyone who you’ve given a second glance at.”
“Your selective blindness to my greatness and just how ‘nice’ I am deep, deep down must be quite a headache.”
3. It’s deflective
Deflection is a classic maneuver pulled when one realizes they’ve gotten themselves into a less-than-ideal circumstance, and they’d like to pull the attention away from their involvement. You know what going on endlessly is going to accomplish in the end, though? Draw even more attention to the fact that you didn’t succeed at winning over who you wanted.
4. It’s flat-out immature.
When hearing people (both online, and to a lesser extent, in person) complain about how they had gotten turned down and ‘that asshole’ had undeservedly ‘won their prize’, you know what comes to mind?
A toddler throwing a tantrum at Toys’r’us because their parent refuses to allow them to place the Barbie mansion into the shopping cart.
…Nobody should ever be made to feel obligated to return your affection, whether you actually make it known or not, simply because you’ve been ‘nice’ to them.
Where did this recent trend of women all of a sudden flocking towards the ‘douchebags’ even come from, though? Well, if you think about it, why does anyone, regardless of age, complain or throw insults?
To mask jealousy.
Why do you get jealous of people? Because you know they possess something, be it material or otherwise, that you don’t.
People want to be around people who are confident. People who create value within themselves, be it via developing really good social skills or a sense of humour, having a good set of skills in a certain sports, etc.. Resulting in them to having some personal value to ‘give away’ or entice others with, versus seeking validation from everyone else through endless complaints.
Tl;dr- there is no golden ticket capable of ensuring that anyone of your choosing will magically ‘like’ you. Being confident is great, sure. But being confident yet failing to actually make your hopes for being more than friends known? Not so much. Same goes for being ‘confident’ yet saying it’s the other person’s fault for not having reciprocated your interest. Complaining about how you've been 'friend-zoned' and then feeling like this justifies your hurling certain girls with an assortment of name-calling is common in toddler/children below the age of 10. Assuming that you're within a few years of 20, if not older, though?
Cause for concern, for sure.