Friends Matter

Best Friends (1)

Written by Ife Nellons

On the morning of April 21, 2016, Amy Joyner may have lost her life because of the wrong friends. A different choice of friends could have kept Amy Joyner safe on April 21, 2016. But it is not the deceased young lady’s friends I am talking about but those of the accused teens.

Friends, true friends, look out for each other’s best interests. Even when it doesn’t seem cool or isn’t dramatic.

The irony of it all is Amy was reported as being that type of friend; the friend with a level head that makes others think before they act. Yet these other young ladies did not do the same for one another.

Where was the friend to say, “He is not worth it!” or “Don’t jump in.” Or even, “Why are you confronting her and not him?” As reality television full of highlight reels of shoes and weaves slung around while grown women are fighting over various man-childs while they are cheered on as being the realest or the “baddest b*tch”, these behaviors are condoned repeatedly until adulthood. Your “friend” who is quick to give a virtual high-five to the on-screen antics of a female who jumps in or fights another female for her friend while claiming, “Now she’s a rider” is not your friend.

7d4b0e4e5c5faaedb4f80a2134e3b97fYoung ladies, your friends matter. You must surround yourself with young ladies who are willing to add positivity to your life. You must learn that everybody doesn’t have to be your friend and that is okay. Quantity of friends or the length of time being friends means nothing compared to quality of friends and quality friendship time.

Of course I did not always believe this way. I wanted to claim everyone as my friend and I would “squad up” for my girls in a heartbeat. I even remember how ridiculous I thought it was when one of my friend’s mother forbade her from being friends with another one of our friends. I mean, God gave us all free will right? How could one person’s bad behavior influence anyone else’s without threat of violence or force?

But I was wrong. Hindsight allowed me to see that the bad decisions I often made were not initiated by myself, but instead by my friends. Yes, I was culpable for the things I did, but the ideas were not my own.

So, the issue is less about choice and more about suggestion. And if you’re friends with someone who suggests negative behaviors, run for the hills! They are not worthy of your friendship. But, who should you befriend? The choice is yours; however, I would recommend staying away from the following traits and types.

Negative Friend Traits and Types:

  1. Gossiping: Yes, it’s all fun and games when they are spilling the tea and Koolaid on everyone else, but if there’s a juicy story about you, she will be telling it to another willing ear.
  2. Low self -esteem: Her low self esteem will cause her to make decisions that could put you in harm’s way. She may take any opportunity she deems will give her an advantage over any female including her “friend”.
  3. Jealousy: The worse part of a jealous friend, is there is no rhyme or reason to her jealousy. You could have gotten a cute hair cut because your hair is damaged, but because people are complimenting you, she becomes jealous. They are unpredictable and usually feed off of attention.
  4. Low achievers: Yes, it’s nice to befriend someone who is different from you, but if you are a high achiever and they are a low achiever, statistically you will lower to their status. Now your ‘A’ average becomes a ‘B’ and she is happy with going from failing to a ‘C’ so you pretend to be impressed but deep down you’re angry with your grade.
  5. Angry: This friend is dangerous period. Angry people are not rational and although they may not take their anger out on you, wait long enough and they will.
  6. Blamers: Nothing that happens to them is ever their fault, and if that means throwing you under the bus, prepare your knees.

The most important thing of all is to know yourself. Then, look for people like you to become part of your tribe and together you will soar!