By now, most of the country has been exposed to the web of lies that was season nine of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. As entertaining, or perhaps just shocking, the battle between Kandi and Phaedra was, or the relationship shift between Porsha and Shamea may have been, I find myself thinking about the underlying notions of friendship. I’m one of those people that believes there are certain rules to friendship whether people are on good terms, or they fall out. And all that unfolded on this season seems to break a few of these rules. So in essence, RHOA this season taught us what not to do when it comes to friendships.
No Trash Talking
Kandi and Phaedra were both guilty of this. While Kandi may not have said as many things directly from her mouth, she constantly allowed the people around her to invest their time belittling Phaedra, while she laughed. Which is no better than having said the insults herself. On the other hand, Phaedra directly went for broke when it came to blasting her former friend.
Look, if two people decide to stop being friends, I don’t think they should bad mouth each other to other folks, or air each other’s business out for the world to see. I just don’t understand how two people that thought highly enough to befriend each other and share intimate moments and secrets, and even love, could turn around and trash one another. I’ve fallen out with a friend or two in my past, but I never made a point to destroy them. I handle the dissolving of friendships maturely.
Not once did I take time out of my day to run around town saying that X got such and such STD. Or Y is cheap and takes advantage of folks. Or Z’s relationship with her boyfriend is built on a lie. Doing those kind of things is not only childish, but requires me putting energy into a situation I decided was no longer worth my effort. That’s energy that would have been better spent in saving the friendship if it was salvageable. Plus, my mom always told me, “God don’t ugly.” And what’s uglier than you trash talking an ex friend so publicly? I don’t want that kind of thing coming back on me. I’d rather be unbothered and disassociate myself.
Taking Sides and Standing Up for Your Friend
Now this point has less to do with Kandi and Phaedra, and more to do with Porsha and Shamea. I don’t care how Porsha or her fans try to spend it, she didn’t have Shamea’s back as a friend. At least in my opinion. I can recall having two friends who didn’t like each other, and not once did I make either feel as if I were comfortable with either one bad mouthing the other to me. I never wanted to entertain conversations that would look like I was taking one friend’s side over the other. And as my friends, they both respected me by not putting me in a situation where I would have to take sides.
Having said that, if I were in a situation with friends or strangers, and I heard people insulting one of my besties, I feel like I have only two choices. Either I stand up for the friend, or I leave the situation and inform my friend so he can handle it as he sees fit. It’s that simple. Now to be honest, depending on the environment in which my friend is being talked about, would determine if I’d confront folks or just walk away. But I know standing there saying or doing nothing makes me implicit in a conversation I have no business being around.
The point here, is that friends deserve a certain amount of loyalty. They deserve to know, that they can trust you not to allow their name and reputation to be drug through the mud if it is in your power to help it. I’m sure most folks reading this would want the same loyalty and respect.
By no means is this my exhaustive list of expectations of friends. But again, this season of the Bravo hit had me thinking about certain aspects of friendship. Oh, and I’m not naïve to think the show is about a group of friends at this stage in the game. It’s about coworkers that are friendly at times, with a few real friendships on occasion.