friendship

You Have Many Acquaintances but Few Friends. Know the Difference!

Good morning folks.  I decided to take a minute to talk about true friendship.  I know most of us think we learned what a real friend is when we were kids.  However, in a day and age of social media, and so many claiming to be hurt by friends on a routine basis, I think it’s worth making the distinction again.

Back in high school, my dad taught me a very important lesson.  He told me, “in life you will only have a hand full of friends, but many associates.” Also, he stressed the importance of me not confusing the two.  Honestly, that was the best advice he’s ever given me.  Listening to those words of wisdom has prevented me from trusting too many people and repeatedly getting hurt by people I call friends.

For clarity sakes, I would define a friend as a person that you trust with your tears, brings about some cheers, and alleviates your fears.   It’s a person that is equally invested in supporting and loving you, as you are them.  An associate as my dad puts it, or better yet an acquaintance, is someone you never go deep with, nor is there a mutual expectation or desire to do so.  You two only share surface information about what another, and keep it light and fun.  (You sharing all your business, and a person telling you relatively nothing about his life, is not mutual.) A quote puts the difference between friends and acquaintances this way:

“An acquaintance merely enjoys your company, a true friend has your best interests at heart and the pluck to tell you what you need to hear.”

I almost hate that Facebook calls everybody that you add or adds you a “friend.” I mean that simply is not true.  A person just doesn’t have over 2,000 friends.  He or she doesn’t confide and trust in that many people.  Nor do that many people confide and trust in him.  Heck if I’m to be completely honest, I have some people on Facebook right now that I don’t even really know.  Most Facebook “friends” are NOT your friends people!  That goes for followers on Twitter, Instagram, and the Snap.

And just like romantic relationships, friendships need to be nurtured.  I’m not saying friends need to necessarily see each other all the time, and be on the phone every day. Heck my own friends can attest to the fact that I’m not the person to necessarily talk to you Monday through Sunday.  However, in nurturing a friendship, it’s important for people to set aside time in their busy schedule to at least send a message every now and then to check in on a compadre.  To make sure a person is doing alright.  Regardless of whether or not friends talk daily, real friends both have a sense that if either needed the other, he’d be there.

Friendships also may have to be reevaluated from time to time.  Two people that consider themselves to be friends should be in a equally beneficial arrangement.  That means one person shouldn’t always be draining the other of time, resources, and energy.  Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, wants a friend that always complains, does nothing but take, and exudes nothing but negative energy.

Look, I have days where I’m not going to be sunshine and rainbows (no pun intended). And during those times, I may need a friend to pray for me, send positive vibes, and lift me up a bit.  I can’t turn to a constant Debbie Downer for that support.  He can’t possibly give it to me.  That one-side relationship would drive me crazy.  I refuse to always be there for someone else, and he never be there for me.

To be honest, friendship is like a bank account you share with another person.  If you are the only one depositing money and the other person is always withdrawing, you’d be pissed.  Trust and believe, your positive energy, time, and support is much like currency.  So get pissed and reevaluate your friendship if you’re the only one lending the supportive listening ear, words of wisdom, or time.

Oh and if your friend can’t ever support you striving for better, that isn’t a friend worth having either.  I understand change is not the easiest for some people to digest; but, if you are trying to elevate your career or overall life, and a person can’t support you in your efforts to do that, hit the “reevaluate button.”  If you can’t go to the club and bar as much because you have to study, and a person doesn’t understand that, hit the button.  If a person tells you your dreams are impossible to reach, hit the button.  (Now if your dream is to win The Voice, and you can’t, don’t hit the button.  Listen to the friend. LOL!)  Just use discernment.  And if you don’t have good discernment, ask God for some.

In short, I just want people to save themselves some heartache by simply watching who they consider a friend.  Associate or acquaintance is not a bad word, and you can call people that.  They shouldn’t be offended, and you shouldn’t be afraid to say it.  Once you make the distinction between the people around you, you may get out of the habit of telling all your business to the wrong people.  Or expecting so much from folks that you mistakenly classified as friends.

The Lifestyle

Should We Be Mad about a Roots Reboot?

With the reboot of the classic Roots hitting airways this week, I’ve seen a number of posts on social media platforms and blogs bashing the miniseries and blacks recent depiction in film.  While I’ve admittedly not been the biggest supporter of this remake (I just feel certain projects should not be rebooted), I’m not against the miniseries for the same reasons most naysayers are.  But I most certainly understand the naysayers’ frustrations.

Dating

Gay Dating While Christian

I hope you are doing great. I am writing because it seems like I am at a dead end and I am hoping your words might help me out.

Even though I have been in relationships with some amazing men and have been extremely happy, I never felt fulfilled. You see, I am a gay Christian. With that said, whenever I tell other gay men that I am a Christian it seems like they get scared and run off. At 27 years old and been in the dating pool, I now know what I want out of a partner but more than anything… I know what I need.  I would like someone that is also Christian, someone which will walk this road of faith with, someone that I can lean on for prayer and vice versa, but where else do I find such man? It’s not as if Christian Mingle has a section for us. I know yourself has a Christian faith, any words of advice.

Your fellow brother,

Let There Be Light.

Dating

Is It OK to Message My MCM?

Hey T,

Quick and simple question.  Do you think it’s a bad idea to inbox your MCM?  My friends think if I were to do it, that I’m being super thirsty.  But I don’t seem the harm.  Not like I’m sending nudes or anything.  Thoughts?

-One Life to Live

Dating

“It Goes Down in the DM”

Hey T,

Love the site.  I check out your posts from time to time, and like what you have to say.  Actually hoping you can help me.  I came across this guy on Instagram, and think he is so fine.  Smile, body, and height are all topnotch.  Based on his posts, he seems to be real cool.  Of course I’ve liked more than a few of his pics, and recently he’s been liking mine.  Well I want to reach out to him, but I don’t want to come off thirsty.  Plus, I’m sure folks are throwing themselves at him all the time.  What would you do? I mean if you were me.

Thanks,

Want Him

friendship

Top 5 Signs You Are Dealing with a Messy Person

I have dealt with my share of messy people in my lifetime, and I make it a practice to keep such individuals out of my inner circle.  Life is too short and will bring about its own stressful situations.  There is no need to add unnecessary drama magnets to the equation.  So if the following points remind you of someone you know, Warning, you may want to reevaluate your squad. LOL!

The Lifestyle

Pet Peeves of Social Media

Hello folks,

I’ve come to realize that social media has really empowered many people and given them a voice.  These persons wouldn’t have a voice in communities without platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  And therein lies the problem.  These platforms have given some people a license to be bullies, and others an opportunity to vent their sincerest form of ignorance.  And then there are those that feel social media is the place to spew every negative emotion they are feeling.  Honestly, all three mentioned uses of social interaction tend to get on my last nerve.

relationships

You, Me, and IG Makes Three!

Dear T,

I’ve peeped out your advice a few times now, and like what you’ve had to say. So I decided to hit you up and ask you a question. Lately I’ve been noticing my boyfriend post a lot of pics on Instagram I think are disrespectful to our relationship. He’s posted pics of him flexing shirtless, pics of him from the bathroom after a shower, and even posted one of those eggplant Friday things. Other guys know he’s in a relationship with me (we post ourselves together all the time), but still leave suggestive comments under his photos. And he never checks these guys. He also likes a lot of photos of men he has only met through Instagram. I honestly want to check his DM inbox to see if anything is going on. This all makes me so uncomfortable. How can I stop him from committing all these Instagram fouls?

Signed,

Gonna Choke A Bytch Very Soon