“Who You Epp?”
It’s not Wednesday.
It’s 5:11am on Thursday and I am up to write.
I had promised myself that I would write yesterday but the day turned out to be so overwhelming so my thoughts had to wait.
So here it goes.
I feel like my thoughts can be compared to listening to a piano instrumental without lyrics. You just allow yourself to fall deeper into the thoughts until you can outline the next key and understand your feelings.
The older I get and the more I experience life, I have begun to carefully examine the idea behind “friendships”.
- the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends.
What fascinates me the most about them is that we as a people have expanded the term and adopted it into almost a “family” like feel.
So much is demanded from friendships but what is given.
My mother said to me growing up,
“your best friends in life will be your spouse and your children”
Intentionally or unintentionally, they will be the ones to will be seeking to protect you the most.
Well, until we all get those spouses and babies running around the house, we have to “settle” for these friendships or do we?
It’s not you, It’s you
As you get older, you start to recognize that it’s not you, it you.
Failed or empty relationships, you find yourself sitting back and questioning why they end up like so and you then have to say to yourself that it’s you.
So it takes a lot of self reflection and analyzing who you are vs. who you want to be and then taking action.
Many of us like the comforts of who we were and who we used to know. Without acknowledging the growth and the “need” for more that comes from growth.
But when you start to properly analyze your relationships and you begin to decipher why some are so hard to maintain now, you recognize
“Oh wait! I’m not their friend of two years ago anymore. I’ve changed”
That change can be for good or bad but it’s change.
And in some cases, you just need to cut it. ✂️✂️✂️
You see with the changes that occur that I explained above, it doesn’t always mean a crumbling of a relationship.
What usually tips it over the edge is trust or it’s lack thereof.
You see there are friends that you can trust with you life. To hide a body for you. Use their phone to stalk your ex’s Instagram. Whatever friends do today. But if at any point you begin to doubt their loyalty to you, either in words or their actions, whew! It’s gets bumpy.
Most friendships or disagreements in friendships are centered around communication.
But people fail to recognize that one of the most important catalysts to communication is trust.
If someone truly feels safety in the trust they have and share with you, they will have no problem coming to you.
But display in your actions that you are no longer a safe haven, a doer of all things good to them, if you become malicious, dishonest or just selfish; they will pull back.
I find it the hardest to talk to people I can’t trust.
Like why will I call you everyday?
To talk to you about my problems when I don’t know if you’ll have my best interests at heart?
This is not a religious piece but that is where God and your family come into play. Seek them.
You have the same blood running through your veins. Never underestimate that.
There are those friends that you elevate to a certain point that they abuse the power. The ones you give information to that then use it to judge you.
Sitting high on the pedestal you put them on, they want to tell you about yourself and about everything else.
These are usually “tenured” friends. They are not always tenured by years of friendship but sometimes by how much you have been through together.
See telling someone the truth either about themselves or something they do is hard. Getting called out is hard but you see, if you get reprimanded or admonished by a friend who you can trust their intentions, it lightens the blow.
But the ones that start to make comments like
“I just don’t think that’s who you are…
Or when I see you do that, it baffles me
You’re not that guy… ”
I’m almost like “who the hell are you????” and plixxx what guy am I o?
Like I gave you the power you have and I’ll take it away because you have forgotten that loving me is not by you trying to judge me.
But when you hear about their escapades you’re just left wondering if Jesus died so people can eat Jollof with Basmati Rice.
Lets not fool ourselves, the closer you are to someone and safe you are with them, you feel like you can approach and tell them about themselves sometimes to better themselves but when you can’t trust it?
Cut it? lol. jk jk.
At the end of a meal, unless you are feeling super generous or in a large party where your tip is factored in; you usually sit down and review your meal and gauge how much to tip.
You view how you were approached, treated and how good you feel at the end of the meal.
Think of friendships and their interactions like an expensive dinner.
You somehow approach each other or maybe you stumbled into each other because of the hunger to love. Now you begin to observe your interactions with each other as you go along. Figuring out your styles and how things will balance out.
Each person exchanges a nugget with the other and sharing begins.
At the end of every interaction as friends though, you stop and ask “not what have you done from me lately but what impact have you left me with”?
So before each tip, I review every friendship and I ask, what did you give me to make me better?
And if I cannot answer that question confidently then I begin to reevaluate our friendship because life is short and time can’t be wasted on empty relationships.
Whenever I travel out of town and end up at a place that has Mac n’ Cheese on the menu, I think back to one of my favorite places in Oakland, CA called Homeroom.
And for a quick second, I feel a warmth inside as I appreciate the meals and time I have had there. My mind and body remembers the mark that place left on me and it makes me want more of it.
When I am away from a friend and I can visibly feel their impact, then I know what they have deposited in me and I seek more.
I am not asking you to be arrogant but this is where you talk about fruits of the spirit in a way. Like what is inside of you that is manifesting in the life of this person you are friends with.
If you are just observing them, can you point out the value you have left in their life?
And you have to be honest with yourself because if you are not giving to them, you’re automatically taking away from them.
These are the most silent killers of relationships. They are the type to form a dependency on their friend and then just take. Ogbeni, who you epp?
They take time, love, care, concern and often times leave very little.
The sad part about this is that all of this is intangible.
You never see it all at once until a glaring incident or two when you stop and say, “wait a second?”
Ever had that friend who always needs emotional support but will never truly ask you how you’re going through it?
OR the ones that call you at 2am and expect you to answer but won’t ask you why you aren’t sleeping at 2am? lol
Maybe we can talk about the ones that consume so much of your friendship with their “world” that you barely exist within the friendship?
Some of those people are emotional takers. And like I said, all those things won’t show up at once but they will and when you reach your limit, you just push back.
You cannot keep giving all of you to help someone build or complete themselves, ultimately you’ll run out of “you” and then crash.
And guess who won’t be there to pick you up? 🚶🏾🚶🏾
These are the friends that I truly can’t stand. Display this behavior and I truly will look to run from you.
There are people that I don’t like. We can’t like everyone and not everyone likes me. Probably including you reading this but you’ll still continue reading.
Anyways, the people I don’t like, I am not overly rude to them or disrespectful but they will know I don’t like them.
Never any confusion.
The ones I can’t stand?
“Oh…. hey! Girl, I love your hair and your strength. You’re so awesome!”
But then come to you in private,
“That girl is too ugh! I just can’t see you with her.
She’s not the type of girl you should be with”
And I’m like whaaaaaaa? 😳
Now while your assessment may be right, why pretend to the girl and be fake as if you like her?
Some people cannot help themselves. They want to be seen as perfect to everyone out in the open and then rubbish other people in private.
“That’s not the kind of girl you should be with”
But she’s the kind you’d want to have a…. lol nvm 😊
It’s Friday, almost Sunday. lol
Point is, I see fakers and I see them being fake about my life and our friendship and that doesn’t sit well with me.
So I avoid them and you should too.
Friendships are also formed when people with similar values come to the table.
We sit around and explore personal values and how they align with each other.
Sometimes values that brought you together as friends might start to conflict years down the road, its okay.
If you have trust and openness, it should be discussed and worked out.
For example A & B used to be great friends. Quiet and modest folk.
One of their values was self service and they helped out around the community.
Well suddenly A becomes successful and fame comes with it. Now A is following their dreams and attracting more fame.
A & B are not holding the same value anymore. But what they hold is love and trust without judgment. So what they should do is sit and discuss whats going on for them and how to best keep their friendship even as their most active values conflict.
Sometimes your personal values will clash with that of you friend but it should never interfere.
Like I have a friend who doesn’t believe in God per se but knows I do, he holds his value of exploration and inquisition true while I hold my value in faith.
He never holds judgment over me or vice versa.
There is love there.
There is friendship there.
And The Award Goes To….
I truly cannot stand these folks.
“The trophy bestie”
The one that just wants the position as your best friend but is doing NOTHING to hold the position.
The hardly support you, pray for you, motivate you but are the quickest to claim “best friend”
God forbid you have another best friend or one that you reckon is a better friend to you, the world might just end.
There are the ones that feel the most threatened in their position because they know they are not leaving an indelible mark on your life or that the are one of the people I have described above.
I cannot stand these types of friends.
The position is fluid but you impact should not be. If you are my best friend, I should feel it in your words, thoughts deeds and actions.
And if I don’t I ask why.
Give me answers and we talk through it but nope.
It’s also these ones that make empty promises. Promises of things they cannot do or keep and expect you to still hold them high up.
Not how it works..
Best friends are made in the trenches.
When it’s bad, when it hurts, when you are weak, when you are scared and when you feel like you don’t need a best friend.
Sound like some of the characteristics of a friend up above that we should be emulating?
If you are not getting these things, I suggest you reevaluate that friend and whats best for you.
Ogeni Drake said
“How are you supposed to figure out what I’m going through, you can’t even figure out whats going on with you”
I have realized that some of the friends I had 3-4-5 years ago have changed. Not out of life but the level of closeness, honesty and interaction has changed.
None of which I am entirely upset about because for the most part, it is because they have grown and changed or I have.
Still all love.
But what has come of me growing up is self evaluation. Taking the time to step back and peel back the layers.
Like what is going on for me inside and in my relationships.
And in terms of friendships, I realized that I had to get to a place where the toxins were dealt with seriously.
Some of you are out there either as takers or just giving all of yourself without being filled up.
Stop and be honest with yourself.
Be honest enough to be true with yourself and do whats right.
Not all friends even going through this list need to be cut off, if there is an honest effort to repair and grow.
I just know that often times people fail to tell themselves the truth and then want to sell you a lie.
Today, I challenge you as much as I challenge myself to be better.
A better friend, a better best friend, a better friend to myself also.
Appreciate the true friends in your life and demand more from those who are not giving the love you need.
You deserve all of it.
And to those that try to make you seem childish for not communicating, here is my word to you
“My silence is the loudest expression I can give you.”
Deal with it.
We all need love and we all need friends but if all else fails, God got you.
The Wordsmith says so..
“They say no man is an island but the island is not drowning for a reason”
Till next time I have thoughts to share.
Stay up and have a great weekend.
Also share this with your friends or enemies, whatever you consider them at the end of this post.
Check out all the podcasts to my show #TheRants on Gidilounge.
Here soundcloud.com/adewus4real and join us on Mondays.
Have a great weekend everyone.