I have had non-vegetarian and alcohol loving friends who did not associate or avoid me based on my lifestyle choices, they lived in their delirium and let me live in my own.
I have this closest friend from my college days (we were set apart by distance after college), I asked her recently if she was a vegetarian. She laughed and said she is a non-vegetarian and asked me the same question. So all these years we did not know what we chose to put in our own guts, reason is simple because we connected on understanding, empathy, compassion, care and love. I had like to believe that is what normal people do. So the point being I do not know the food and drink preferences of many of my close friends.
I have heard it from many people that best of their friends started omitting them from a social scene because the ones being omitted did not drink or smoked.
One girl told me that she was avoided by girls living in her society because she didn’t speak the same language as they did – of clothes, shopping and jewelry. I can tell you for sure that this girl is highly educated, independent and more successful than the rest of her neighbors. I insisted (but to no avail) that she tell her ‘society girls’ that she had the biggest jewel of all times – fitness.
Another friend recently told me that he prefers to eat home cooked fresh food everyday (Kudos!) and rest of his friend circle loves to eat at restaurants every other day, he chose to let go of that group who also had started to avoid him, and he formed friendship with people who did potluck, poker, hiking and biking, as simple as that.
Anyway, I think you get the gist of what I am trying to say – do not fall prey to bad habits (like smoking and drinking) or eat unhealthy food at the restaurants frequently or change your food preferences or change your religious beliefs or become a clothes horse – just because you want to adhere to a group of people.
This is a big problem within people living away from their own country – they try to form superficial friendships just to be able to socialize with their own kind and culture. They do not think if my wavelength matches with this group, are their lifestyle choices bothering me, am I just hanging out with them to kill time or just to get a feeling of belongingness.
Believe me the world is full of nice people that you will stumble upon every inch, every corner and you will end up finding more wonderful and interesting people who match your psyche and respect you for who you are.
If you have had one such bad experiences before then don’t let it dampen your mood to have that kind of emotional involvement again, just make sure that you are accepted irrespective of the choices you make. Also don’t make lifestyle choices based on what your so-called friends are doing – don’t succumb to social pressures.
Your social circle (and every relationship for that matter) has a big role to play in the lifestyle that you want live or the mental equilibrium that you need. All I can advice is stay away from relationships that are affecting your lifestyle or physical and mental health.
(I have written about this experience in bits and pieces previously in ‘the meaty story- ‘).
Top: White house black market
Shoes: Kelly and Katie