Ask Andrew W.K.: My Friend's Taste in Pop Culture Is Killing Me

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[Editor's note: Every week New York City's own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions, and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose or -- no surprise here -- a party. Need his help? Just ask: AskAWK@villagevoice.com]

Andrew,

I've got a friend who I love dearly, but certain things about her just drive me insane. I can't stand her taste in music, movies, clothes, and I really don't like her views on politics. Sometimes I get so frustrated and upset by the stuff she likes, I have hard time being around her at all. But when it comes to spending time together, we usually get along great and have tons of laughs just hanging out. We've been friends for over 10 years, but I find it harder and harder to relate to her tastes. Am I being shallow? Can we still be friends?

- Love Hate

See also: Come Hear Andrew W.K. and Wu Tang Clan's Masta Killa Tell Outrageous Tour Stories

Dear Love Hate,

You don't have to like everything about someone in order to love them as a person. And you don't have to relate to every single aspect of your friend's life in order to have a meaningful friendship. In some social relationships, you can enjoy someone's company simply through a shared interest in things like music and movies. But with other friendships, the bonds go deeper and have little to do with style or taste. The beauty of humanity is in finding common ground. Anyone can look for a reason not to like someone -- but it's when we go beyond our differences and look for ways to understand each other that we truly experience the spirit of unconditional love and togetherness. That's why we can develop very close bonds with very unlikely people - someone much older than us, or from a different background, or in this case, with much different tastes in culture. It's great when you can agree with someone on everything, but it's unrealistic and uncommon, and also potentially boring. What's to be learned when you're only hanging out with mirror versions of yourself all the time?

Even if you don't like your friend's tastes in all the areas you listed, people's tastes change -- both your friend's and your own. So who's to say you won't end up liking some of the same stuff someday anyhow? And maybe your friend will turn you on to some cool things you wouldn't have found out about otherwise.Try to be easy going and keep an open mind. Most of all, don't be too hard on your friend about what gives her happiness. It's draining and painful for both of you to focus in on what you don't like, and there's absolutely no shame in avoiding topics that cause arguments and anguish. If she's a super left-wing Democrat and you're a staunch Republican, then it's probably best to not discuss politics, unless you want your friendship to feel like a TV news debate and you like getting all worked up.

And some people do like friendships based on arguments -- just like some people love constant drama and emotional back and forth. It depends on what you truly value about this friend, and from what you've said, it sounds like you just enjoy her, pure and simple. Sometimes the best friendships are solely based on being with each other. You don't need to say or do anything to enjoy someone's company or be very close friends. After all, you have the most important thing in common already -- you're both human beings living in the world. Focus on that, and let the rest of the stuff go for now. Oh, and don't forget to party! That always helps too.

Your friend,
Andrew W.K.

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6 comments
conspiracytheory
conspiracytheory

I have to say that I am still continually blown away by the level of caring and depth of understanding from Andrew W.K.  This is yet another amazing, well written article. I also think politics is actually one of the easiest things to overlook in a relationship.  I had a friend for years who was a very strongly religious republican, while I am an agnostic democrat.  However, we both enjoyed similar tastes is music and hobbies so we became really good friends throughout high school.

mn_oss
mn_oss

A lot of the times someone else's version of partying will differ from our own, but we shouldn't be quick to condemn them as long as they are happy. However if their choices and preferences are making you both miserable, it may be time enlighten your friend to a new way of partying.

Brownd27
Brownd27

I'm a very open minded person when it comes to musical tastes, and almost media in general, and that led me to meeting a lot of fun friends. But I hate politics in every aspect. I can't understand anything about it. And yet, for the friends I kept from high school it's perhaps the main conversation topic most of the times we hang out. There's constant discussion when that happens, and it seems they fight a lot, but afterwards, they still get along as usual. Kinda like doing it just for the lulz.

And I just stay quiet watching the chaos until they move to a different topic :D

bourneyr
bourneyr

Remember, each to their own! I don't know anyone who likes exactly the same things as me. Like Andrew says, tastes can change! I hope that your friendship continues for many a year to come. And when you say you don't like her music taste....I hope she's a fan of WK!! Party. 

nicolekrystyn
nicolekrystyn

I love this advice! I can't think of a single person I know that likes all the things I like, but that's what makes it more party. Having friends introduce you to new things you never would try on your own and bonding even deeper!

estandco123
estandco123

 It seems like these difference, though difficult at times have become a hallmark of your friendship. Though it may seem hard at times, your relationship probably wouldnt be as fruitful without these differences. And when in doubt, of course, party on.

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