Friendships are probably one of the most complicated relationships to navigate. Friendships are the first relationships we get to choose and the first relationships we want to last forever. Often times we focus on the heartache which is associated with a romantic relationship, neglecting the pain and hurt associated with the end of a friendship. The simple truth is the we all need at least one or two solid friendships to help us navigate through this challenging life.
Growing up, I am sure we all heard our parents, grandparents or any random adult say "choose your friends wisely and stay away from bad company." I’m sure most of us rolled our eyes and thought to ourselves "duh, that’s so obvious." The more you grow, the more you realize that it is harder said than done. It is extremely difficult to find genuine people who love and support you. Although difficult, it is crucial to select wisely because the right type of friend can help you to grow and flourish but the wrong type of friend is like poison to your soul.
I'm sure we have all selected the wrong person at one time or another. We have all spent our time and energy on someone who was really a "fake friend". Tyler Perry and TD Jakes both talked about the three types of people we will encounter in our lives. Tyler Perry or should I say Madea uses the analogy of a tree with the three types of persons being leaves, branches or roots. On the other hand, TD Jakes categorizes these individuals as confidants, constituents and comrades.
These individuals are a dime a dozen. They are only every in our lives temporarily. Some of us have met them in classes, jobs, our apartments or even parties. This individual does not really care about your goals, passions or life they are simply associating with you to get what they need. Once their goals are met, they leave just as easily as they entered your life. Your encounter with such an individual may not be negative, you may even learn and grow from the relationship. However, this type of individual cannot be relied on when the wind blows too hard.
Do not get upset when they leave because they were never meant to stay.
This is the trickiest group to navigate. We often mistake the branches/constituents for the true friend, the real deal, the genuine friend, the one that will be with us until the end. These individuals may be there for us during some trying times which makes us believe that they are the real deal. As a result of this misrepresentation, they are placed in the inner circle where we bare our souls to them. They will have access to any emotional,financial, spiritual or physical support we can give. We let them into our lives and hearts. We grow to rely or depend on them to help us to weather the storms of life.
When the true nature of this relationship is discovered, it can be very painful, even heartbreaking. When we are faced with the hard cold truth that the person never really cared about us, all we are left with is a deep sense of betrayal and hurt. How could she/he do this to me after all I’ve done? We’ve been friends for years, how could she/he do me like this? The sad reality is that they were never really about you to begin with.
Just because someone has been there for you in a couple situations does not mean that they are truly for you. The relationship may be more beneficial to them than you realize. Some move on when they find someone else who they think will help them get what they want, you have nothing more to give or if you are in a horrible storm.
My mom and I had a discussion in which we concluded that if you were to switch positions with some individuals you call friends that they would not even look your way.
I repeat - don’t be upset when they leave, they were never meant to stay.
This class of individuals is harder to find than gold. There are so rare that you may only have 1 or 2 in a lifetime or 3 if you are truly blessed. This type of friend changes your life for the better. They will encourage you to be the best version of yourself. They will quarrel with you if your doing something wrong. They will weather ever single storm that comes in your life with you. You can always rely on them to be supportive and encouraging.
We often make the mistake and think that this is the friend we meet when we were little, before we glowed up but this is not always the case. This friend can enter your life at any point in time but when they do, they make a huge and positive impact. They don’t say what we want to hear but what we need to hear. They will ensure you achieve your goals.
I’ve seen individuals who have sidelined their roots/confidants for individuals who were really branches or even the leaves. But, the good thing is that if someone is truly a root/ confidant in your life they will always be there for you.
Do not let go of this person - cherish them, love them & respect them.
One of the most difficult parts of navigating friends is being able to let go. Some of us find it so difficult to let go of someone whom we’ve known for a long time, someone whom we’ve shared so many memories with. Someone who we may love with all of our heart.
Ironically, many of us pray and ask God to show us who our real friends are or to remove the fake friends but then we are in denial when He shows us the person. Sometimes the truth is a bitter cold pill we have to swallow. However, not taking the pill could cause damage or even kill. If you refuse to let go, it may hinder you from fulfilling your purpose or destiny. Are you willing to sacrifice your purpose in order to keep a friendship? Remember it was Judas , a disciple who betrayed Jesus and not a random person.
Food for Thought:
1. Do not spend time or energy on someone who does not encourage you in positive things.
2. Do not spend your time or energy with someone who is not growing.
3. Do not spend your time with anyone who speaks negatively about your dreams or aspirations.
4. Evaluate your friends and the value they add to your life.
5. Not everyone who smiles in your face is a friend.
6. Remember Jesus had 12 disciplines but only 3 were in his inner circle. Who is in your inner circle?
7. Pray and ask God to remove those who are not for you. And when He removes them, do not be upset, be grateful.
Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother(NIV)
Char is the Editor of doseofinspiration246.com. A firm believer in Christ and has a deep love for her family. Char believes that we should always seek to uplift and encourage each other and she desires to continuously promote positivity.