People fall into three categories when it comes to my life: No (your motives are questionable, but since we have to be around each other I will be civil), Maybe (I need to warm up to you first before I can reveal anything about myself) and Yes (you’re dope AF, I love you and I’ll be here for you anytime!). The category occupied the most is No and the category with the least number of occupants goes to Yes. I can sense when people are genuine and when they are collecting friends like Instagram Followers. I’ve never been one to care about the quantity of something, which is probably why I have a small, but mighty team of people that I call friends.
In school, I hated when teachers would tell me to take someone to coffee in order to get in good with my dream company. The business world calls this networking, but I didn’t see it that way. I felt as though I was using someone to get ahead in life, which is why I avoided events like this in college. My outlook on relationships was to genuinely connect with people who I could relate to. If that lead to a job opportunity, great! If not, at least I’m walking away knowing someone in the business who I can relate to. The connection was my primary focus and everything else was secondary.
College was the same. I never hung out with the popular kids and I found solace in being alone. My best friend is someone I sat next to in college for four years and didn’t speak to until the last day of school. Grad school was similar. I walked away with friends who took time out to get to know me instead of treating me like a collectible item. Even though we’ve all moved away from Chicago, we still call/text and everything in between. Again, it’s about the quality of people in your life and the not the quantity.
Work is more challenging. The personalities are very up and down, there are people who will love you and others who won’t. I learned through the years to take nothing personal. When I have to work with a group of people who aren’t necessarily my favorite, I become a thespian and do what’s best for the team.
I’ve tried my best to be a good friend to others, but became disappointed when the opposite was returned. I’ve supported people by celebrating birthdays/attending their events just for them to show up to my functions 2 and ½ hours late. I’ve allowed others to confide in me about personal things and when I tried to do the same, they went back and told my private business to others. A few have blatantly lied to my face and “accidently” told me the truth afterward.
I’ve seen the best of friends fall out and the next day their dirty laundry is on social media. Gossip, betrayal and deception have ruined some of the closest friendships that I’ve watched play out on social, and in public.
Life has inspired me to become selective about the people I chose as friends. It’s hard for me to meet someone today and consider them my bestie next week. When people tell me things, I automatically keep it private. You don’t have to tell me to do it either, it’s just something I would want someone to do for me. But, I’m not quick to vent or share my private life. It’s nothing personal. I’m protective of my space, my life and the people in it.
For me it’s about having authentic relationships with people who give a shit about me and vice versa. My intuition is the best judge of character and often helps me distinguish between fake and real friendships.
I’m not into forcing relationships because we work together or we have similar friends. This doesn’t matter to me. I want to be around dope people who have dope goals and who do things that enrich life.