Many people claim that they have a lot of friends. However, having a lot of friends isn’t necessarily a good thing if the quality of the friendship is flawed.
I will give you a quick example. Years ago, while working at one of my many jobs, I worked with this brotha who was cool as shit. He and I would joke around every time we worked together and our vibe was generally positive. He would tell me about his crazy girlfriend, I would tell him about the barrage of losers I was dating and we’d sometimes have a drink after work.
In my mind, this cat was my good friend.
But as time passed I began to notice some things about him that didn’t necessarily fall in line with what I believe is true friendship.
For instance whenever he would be around some of our other co-workers he’d kind of distance himself away from me. It didn’t bother me until there was a work event that I really didn’t feel like going to but I knew if I stayed for a hot minute just to show my face that would be sufficient. Earlier in the day I asked him to text me when he got there so I would at least have someone to talk to, but he never hit me up. Eventually I texted him to ask if he was there yet and he informed me that he had been there for over an hour. Then when I told him I was on my way he replied with ‘It’s cool. You don’t have to come’
I didn’t text him back because my response would have been “Uh, yeah bitch, I know that. But I’m still coming anyway.”
Years later we maintain a friendship that’s primarily relegated to Facebook and I’m fine with that. Now, do I think he’s a bad person? Not at all, far from it honestly. I still think he’s one of the coolest people I’ve ever met but I know from my experiences with him that if I was ever going through some real deep shit I wouldn’t be able to rely on him for support.
The old saying ‘Keep Your Friends Close And Your Enemies Closer’ is bullshit because sometimes your closest friends are enemies in disguise just waiting for the right moment to either fuck you over or relay your misfortunes to others with delight.
Everyone is not your friend. That’s a hard fact for most to accept yet the reality is true for everyone. Some people deal with you because they have to or are trying to get something from you and they will get it by pretending to be your friend while cutting your character up to shreds behind your back. It’s just as true at 36 as it was at 16 because trends and technology may change but human nature remains the same.
The gift of friendship is an oxymoron because it is both valuable and priceless at the same time. And the people who know this are your true friends. They are the ones who look forward to hearing your voice, or hanging out with you, or giving you advice, or even asking you for advice.
These are the people that value you for you. Not for what you can do for them, but because you are awesome and they want you to be a part of their life.
Calling someone your friend is an honor. It is a privilege that should not be wasted on everyone you meet. After I experienced that incident a few years back I told one of my best friends about it. She was unfazed because she had already suspected something like this would happen at some point (FYI-Your really close friends can pick up on bullshit wayyyy before it happens. Trust me) and she gave me one of the best pieces of advice I have ever gotten;
“Sometimes you have to put people in their box”
There are some people in your ‘Friend’ box that need to either be moved into your ‘Acquaintance’ bin or the ‘Trash’ bin, because not everyone will have your back. And I wish I could say that there’s a direct science to knowing who has your back and who doesn’t but unfortunately there isn’t. Life doesn’t come with a handbook and most of everything we learn is from trial and error. But if you keep your ears open and watch with more than just your eyes you’ll be able to decipher who’s true and who’s not.