You know exactly who I’m talking about. The “friends” who you can only discuss a handful of topics with or otherwise your business will end up on the evening news. The “friend” that wants you to be everything, everyone and everywhere for them, yet they barely even manage to send you a “how you doing” text unless it’s right before they ask for their next favor. Or how about the one who claims everyone is their friend or “sis”, but as soon as they walk away they are talking shit about them? All in their comments on social media saying “looking good boo” and then screenshotting the photo to send to a group text with the caption “what does she have on?!😩” dontbthink they aren’t doing the same thing to you behind your back! I’ve seen it one too many times. Fake friends come in all shapes and sizes, but the common thread is that the energy is always off. You don’t quite trust them, or enjoy their company. Used to confuse me, but not anymore 😒
Now that you have listed over a handful of people in your head, ask yourself why are you still filing these people under the beloved title of “friend” at all. 😕
I’ve seen and cringed at far too many Instagram memes that glorify and normalize dysfunctional friendships. Since I know we are in the age of “receipts” and showing proof…here you go. This one seems to be a really popular one.
No thank you. Where they do that at? Yes- true friendship is rare, but what you just “shouted out” is a far cry from friendship in my book. It sounds more like an admission of mental illness and emotional instability. There are clinically trained professionals that can help you unpack some of that. Until then…I don’t think you will ever be nor recognize a true friend with that mindset. Friends make time to nurture friendships.
And here is another social media favorite.
You have friends that you don’t want to go anywhere with? You don’t enjoy spending time with your friends? Nah fam. But really. What type of petty, narcissistic ego stroking BS is that? You’re so insecure that you would strangely be offended by not being invited to something that you don’t want to go to? Let’s again revisit that professional help. These are obvious issues that clearly scream for intervention. It may be “normal” in your “friend” circle, but lemme be the first to tell you- it’s not healthy. Seek help. And until then, don’t try to be my “friend.”
At a young age, my mother would be very quick to correct me “that’s not your friend, that’s your classmate” when I would casually refer to the girl who sat next to me in class as a friend. She was attempting to teach me that “friend” is not a term you should use loosely or reward people with too quickly. Yet, as adults, many of us still haven’t learned that.
One thing that I recognized I did, far too often, was allow people to remain in my life as “friends” although all we really had in common was a history. Our “friendship” was based in a shallow history of working at the same job, attending the same schools, or rotating in the same social circles. These histories do not equal friendships. They equal aqaintanceships. Major key people. 🔑 This “history” gave me a false sense of closeness and dare I say – obligation- that never really existed, yet I wondered why I always felt so drained when I was around these people. It was never a reciprocal exchange of energy, and frankly finding things in common was too much work. I don’t want to work that hard for conversation in my free time. Especially when I have had the pleasure of experiencing free flowing organic chemistry, that’s actually restorative, with far too many awesome people! Why bother?!!
Your energy is far too precious to waste and exhaust on people that do nothing but drain you and never make any deposits. I know some people believe that you “have different friends for different reasons or relationships” and that’s fine and good, but if I can’t be my most authentic self with you and feel celebrated for it, no thanks. If I don’t feel that you are able to be your most authentic self with me- nah, no thanks! And some people just aren’t my cup of tea, or vice versa! But all this collecting “friends” who you never talk to, nor to you want to accept invitations to do stuff with- stop lying to yourself – you don’t like them and they don’t like you. Move along! Find someone who you actually enjoying doing stuff with and want to go places with. Find someone who you want to call during your mood swings because they will actually uplift you and make you feel better. Find someone who you can sit in silence with and still feel like there is no place you’d rather be. It exists. I am fortunate to have several REAL friends that are all different, yet I can be the same ME with all of them. In this digital age, people consider every Facebook friend and Instagram follower a genuine connection. If we only communicate on social media, we are online community members. If we only talk at work, we are coworker’s. You’re not getting invited to my wedding, and I don’t want an invite to yours. Let’s call a spade a spade. No beef. Just honoring what’s authentic aka boundaries. Friendship is not something I take lightly. So unless I can trust you with my truth and know that you are giving me yours, the good-the bad and the ugly, (you’ve earned it and are maintaining it) you don’t get the title nor the privileges. Who we keep as friends is one of few choices we have complete control over, if they are uplifting, supporting and loving, why keep choosing them!?