When it comes to friends, I always emphasize the importance of QUALITY over quantity. Because what’s the point of having all of these “friends,” and you can’t count on not one? Now, I have other good friends and acquaintances, but I’ve been rocking with these three heavy all together since high school, and a lot has happened. Cookouts, parties, graduations, and trips all over. Hospital visits and funerals. Ups and downs in relationships. Growth in our personal lives and careers. Throughout it all, we’ve stood by each other. And, even though we don’t see each other as much as we used to, I know they have my back and would be there for me in a heartbeat and vice versa. Chels, Tay, and Wally have been around, and I know they’ll stay around.
I thought of the special bond with my friends this week after looking at an old Instagram post I shared back in 2012 on Instagram:
A lot of us deal with so-called friends who are fickle, are only around when they want to be, or don’t really have our best interest at heart. Maybe you keep them around because you’ve known them for so long anyway. Maybe they provide some messy gossip or laughter, or have access to the hottest parties and events, and that’s why you still hit them up. Maybe you just need somebody to hang around. Even if you KNOW that these people aren’t real friends that you can truly rely on. Even if they’re constantly bringing you down. Even when, after you give all you have to them, all they do is take from you, with literally nothing to give in return.
Who you invite and keep in your space is all up to you. It’s literally your choice. Just like you opened the door to invite them in, you can close the door and let them go. When you complain about the negativity that a person is always bringing into your life, be honest about the fact that you’re the one allowing them to stay. After you’ve told them that what they’re doing is hurting you, and they still haven’t changed. After you’ve called them out for not being there for you. You keep them around. For what?
Whatever the reason, I’m here to tell you that there’s absolutely no point in hanging on to dead weight. I don’t care how long you’ve known a person, either. If we aren’t helping to build each other up in some way, you gotta go. If we aren’t vibing well overall, or every time I see you, you manage to get little digs in trying to make me feel small to feel better about yourself, we can’t be cool. If I’m putting all this time and effort in trying to be a good friend, and you can’t give me any effort in return, it’s time to go our separate ways. Y’all, at this point in my life, I don’t have enough energy or patience to deal with these kinds of people (friends or even family). We all deal with enough negativity at work, on social media, or wherever else. We don’t need it in our squads. We don’t need all of these fake friends that we really can’t depend on. We just need a few good people that we know, without a shadow of a doubt, will be there for us through it all.
This short clip from Tyler Perry’s play, Madea Goes to Jail, speaks on just that—having two or three good friends (or “roots”) that help us along the way:
As I’ve grown, I’ve learned to be careful about who I call friend, and who I rely on. Like Madea said, you step out on a lot of people and they have no probably leaving you high and dry. So I’ve said goodbye to some folks. We can strike up a conversation in text every now and then, and wish each other happy birthday and best wishes on Facebook. But I’m loving you from a distance…a LONG distance. I’m at the age now where I really only want good people around me. People who I know, as I’m a good friend to them, they’ll be good friends to me.
So if you’re holding on to dead weight, let them go. If you know you’re giving effort, and the people who claim to be friends can’t be bothered, let them go. You only have time for real people in your squad that you can trust, and you really don’t even need a lot! If you have two or three amazing people, or even just one, that’s more than a lot of people truly have. I know I’ve got mine, and they ain’t going nowhere!
Who’s in your squad? Show them love in the comments below!