Definitions of friend on the Web:
- a person you know well and regard with affection and trust;
- ally: an associate who provides assistance;
- acquaintance: a person with whom you are acquainted
The word friend is a term that many of us use very loosely. It seems nowadays that ANYONE can attain that label with a simple “hello”. It is also a word that I cherish and don’t throw around. I consider myself to have a great core of people around me that have my best interests at heart and whom I can trust. However, my experiences have led me to believe that many people don’t know what a friend truly exemplifies. So, me being the man that I am took her to the condo pronto I decided to compile a list to differentiate between a friend and other social relationship designations:
Acquaintances – This can be someone with whom you went to school, a “friend of a friend”, Facebook/Twitter homies, or someone with whom you are cordial and have a nice rapport. This probably comprises about 60-75% of all social interactions. You can have nice conversation, party with them, and hang out here and there. You wouldn’t confide in them or trust them more than any average person. They more than likely have never been to your house (unless you got a ride home or something) either.
Associates/Colleagues – Your co-workers, organization members, and business partners fall into this category. You congregate for one specific purpose. You may confide and trust in them within the confines of a business relationship, but you tend to separate business contacts from “your real life” so that the two never intersect and you won’t offend your political connects.
Family – I may hit a nerve or touch on an interpretive grey area, but I feel family is in its own category separate from friends. You don’t choose your family, and with them, you play the hand that you’re dealt to the best of your ability. They are your blood. The love is unconditional. It’s almost like being in a contract with Diddy. You may have a stronger relationship with friends, but it’s a totally different dynamic that falls within its own designation.
Frienemies – Although it has the word “friend” in its root, a frienemy is more of a rival. Think about Agassi v Sampress. Federer v. Nadal. Jay-Z vs. Nas. Any sports team or competitive individuals will tell you that there is a certain respect among their rivals. They may take shots at each other, prey for their downfall, and stop at nothing to surpass them in any event. However, that quest to be #1 will foster a respect for the other’s ability.
So where does this leave friends? Well, a true friendship can develop from any of these relationships (including family to an extent). These are you confidants. The people who you would call late at night for an emergency loan to bail you out of jail get you out of trouble and they’d do it. The people who are first ballot selections to be in/ attend your wedding. They know your family, know some of your darkest secrets, your likes/dislikes, and at times know you better than you know yourself. Unfortunately, they will also be the people to betray you at the worst possible time, talk behind your back, drop subliminals to others yet smile in your face, and let you down time and time again. The only difference between a friend and the other social relationships: It hurts more coming from a friend. That’s when you know the relationship is significant, but you also know that you may have to end them.
The hardest part about being a friend is knowing when to judge on one transgression in a friendship vs the “body of work” throughout the friendship. All friends more than likely will talk behind your back. You do it. Your friends do it. Hell, your mother probably did it twice already. They may hate on you openly or indirectly, envy, lie to your face, and let you down. The best way to deal with this is as follows:
Never live your life for the approval of others. Everyone is a critic. Everyone comments on life through their own perspective. Keep doing you, stay true to yourself, and respect the input of true friends in your life, while remembering to be a great friend yourself. The more official you are, the more shots thrown your way. Let your thick skin be your bullet proof vest, and let your success fire back, not your mouth. Remember friends are human, but definitely reevaluate the relationships in your life and see if Spring Cleaning is in order.
Cosign? Nosign? Let’s discuss
Thanks a lot for this post Streetz. I am one of the people that throw the word 'friend' around loosely. Most of the people I refer to as friends are actually acquaintances. I really have some spring cleaning to do.
-loyal Sampras supporter here… he won 20/34 matches with Agassi.
-love Federer too – I've gotta say I have no beef with Nadal when he wins @ Roland Garros…French Open is his but I do have a problem each time he upstages Roger at Wimbledon #backupoff
-Jay Z & Nas – No comment lol
Funny but my frenemies at work and Uni have all been guys that actually turned into real friends…they brought out the best in me and we genuinely have respect for each other. We confide in each other and look out each other. i know they have my back (hopefully for life) and the feeling is mutual
I don’t think there can be such a thing as a woman frenmies…we’re evil with that #avoidliketheplague
'Never live your life for the approval of others. Everyone is a critic. Everyone comments on life through their own perspective. Keep doing you, stay true to yourself, and respect the input of true friends in your life, while remembering to be a great friend yourself.'
I've never been one to throw around the word "friend" too loosely. Even with my selective nature in who I consider a "friend", I have had some pretty deep cuts inflicted. I can't even describe the strife brought on by some of them. I've had to cut off most of those people for various reasons, and now there is only a very, very select few that I still call friend.
I've always been a fiercely loyal person who would be the first person you call when you need bail, a ride to the airport, or anything else. I also don't give up on people easily. I also won't talk ish behind your back, I will say it to your face (I'll admit sometimes it's unintentionally passive-agressive). I have enough two-faced folks in my life (I agree family is its own category), I don't need more. So, that part of your post put me in a little bit of an Eeyore mood (most under-rated Pooh character). Other than making me want to go live in a secluded mountain cabin and become a hermit, excellent post.
I tend 2 shrug off most things & dont care too much generally about what people think of me… but I’m very human… I have my quirks…d@mn I have my issues #whodoesnt… and that means deep down I bleed bad despite the façade. However; I find that it’s what my brothers, my parents (not so much my dad) and about 5 – 7 close friends say that count…I need them to keep me in check, to celebrate the good times & cheer me up when I’m down #selfishbuttrue
i also remember something oscar wilde said 'true friends stabs you in the front’ #truth…you do it behind my back and I know that you’ve got no love for me and cos of this many people have had to check out of my life #goodriddance … 2 me a true friend = love #solidkind
life’s partly about who you call friends and true friends matter to me… the people I’ve mentioned above understand my past, believe in my future, and accept me just the way I am. That’s so important to me cos I know that they have been/& will be there for me through thick and thin and that keeps me steadfast whenever I feel I’m about to crumble…& when they need me, I’m there in a second #nodoubt
Hello,…Long time lurker. Finally got enough courage to post. Anywho…
totally co-sign streetz.
You know what grinds my gears?! when colleagues think they are friends. I am the youngest at my job. (Mid-twenties) and a lot of these older women always want to chit-chat. Now I don't mind. But I don't know where it states in the employee handbook that just because I work with you, we have to tell each other our deepest darkest secrets. I had to put a couple of colleagues in their place. If its not work related, please don't call me on my days off, after-hrs, weekends, etc. Matter of fact, don't call me at all.. lol
ITA, people tend to overstep their boundaries with the work situation. I'm very strict about keeping my professional and personal life separate. I've even gone so far as to tell people that they don't even really become my friends until we no longer work together…until then, they get the title of coworkers. I'll throw them a bone or two at work so it won't seem like I'm anti-social (which I can be), but trust it's nothing that anyone else can't know….I just may lean in a little and whisper like I'm telling them something. But they're still just associates.
^^THIS! 100% Co-Sign. This is my life on a day to day basis. I probably have the most habitual line steppers working on my floor. I really do think it's important to keep work life separate from the rest of your life. I have to say though, one of my dearest friends is someone I met because we were co-workers. Neither of us work at the same place anymore, and even after I moved back to the motherland for a bit–homie was still my good friend while I was gone and when I came back. That's really just an exception…but i'm definitely not looking for any!
Welcome! I completely agree when it comes to coworkers. The funny thing is that those same coworkers who think you're friends will wonder why (insert random coworker B) thinks that they're friends.* o_0
*I sure hope that makes sense.
LMAO Sane. It does make sense, and i've actually pointed it out to someone when they came to me asking why so and so thinks they're friends..
Me: For the exact same reason you think we're friends.
Idk, I can be blunt. People need to know sometimes tho. Especially in the work place. I can't have people trying to take their liberties with me.
Right?!? This reminds me of what I was telling the twitter fam the other day. My "boss" (who thinks we're great friends despite how mean Peyso thinks I am to her) asks me with all seriousness "Did your mother even know who your father was?". See this is why I can't be nice to some people, they get too comfortable too quickly and risk getting hurt.
WHAT!? Your boss…No…I can't
They had whatever response u gave to them coming 10 fold lol.
Sane… can we get a little background on that story? I mean.. why in the world would a person say that to you?
Are you Dez Bryant?
She's always asking me off-the-wall ish like that, which is why I give her a hard time. This specific comment came because of the sh*t I gave her about Father's day. She had asked me if I knew when Father's Day was. My deadpan response: "I don't know, I don't have a father and nobody will impregnate me, so Father's Day has never been an issue". That response came from her ridiculous need to ask me questions that are too personal.
This reminds me of my goal to get you on the Twittah, Cheekie and I were discussing this the other day.
I purposelly hide from FB and BBM from coworkers… If they ask for BBM I tell em I dont use it. If they ask for a FB add, I put them on Limited profile.
I dont play…lol
"Never live your life for the approval of others. Everyone is a critic. Everyone comments on life through their own perspective. Keep doing you, stay true to yourself, and respect the input of true friends in your life, while remembering to be a great friend yourself."
this part of the post almost brought me to tears. The friend word cannot be thrown around with me. I'm one of those people that take all my friendships seriously. If I call you a friend, it's like getting a Suki Nobel trust prize. With friendship comes trust, for me at least. Because once you're my friend, it's deeper than being acquainties or associates. Friends is as deep as it gets. That's why I don't have many.. I have "cool peoples" and "homies". Very few friends…
the real friends stab you in the front line… Tugged at my fragile heart strings >_< I had a "friend" stab me in the front when the going got too tough for him. I haven't had any real and/or new friends since him. They will stab you in the front and damnit, to say it hurts is an understatement.
The family part? :/ I have a friend who's like family. She's reached that level in our relationship to be just friends now. She's kinda like my little sister. Annoys me & alla that.. I love her like I'd love fam..
Friendship is one of those touchy topics for me.
@Sane I'm about to get Eeyore-ish too *le sigh*
great post streetz.
Good post…so true! Some people who say they are your friends may have a totally different idea of what friendship is. No a friend is not a person who is there solely so that you can take advantage of them. If you envy a person & constantly talk sh*t about them to try to make yourself feel better about yourself, you are not a friend. If when your "friend" is doing good you have nothing but negative things to say to them…you are NOT a friend. Spring cleaning has been done for this year on my end. I too am one that called everyone my friend. As I got older (& stopped giving a hoot) I realized that just because you've been friends for someone for X amount of years doesn't mean you have to keep them around if you don't feel like they've had your best interests at heart. "The more official you are, the more shots thrown your way." <–THIS is what I've come to realize….hence, I no longer call those "shot throwers" friends. I live by one rule…if I wouldn't do it to you, I don't expect it to be done to me. 99% of the b.s. I've put up with should've been the end of a lot of friendships. But you forgive them…why? Because they're your "friends". Ummm nope! Not anymore. I've realized my closest friends are my siblings & everyone else is expendable. It sucks but its true. I remember & cherish the good times I've had with friends throughout the years but when the bad outweighs the good its time for The Princess to say Toodles (& there will be no looking back)!
I cosign every word of this post. I do not throw that word around loosely at all. I'm very, very strict with it. As a matter of fact, I only have a few select friends and rarely have to cut people out because I'm that selective. I jokingly say that I'm taking or not taking applications for friends. Right now though, I'm taking applications for some associates, but I digress. Friends are truly hard to come by, so if one is getting that title from me and are included in my circle, then they've earned it #justsayin
"Friendship is essential to the soul."
you know i had to say it. i'm the type of person that takes friendships seriously. i don't just toss the word around all willy nilly. if i call you my friend then you are in my inner circle. in the city i currently reside i have plenty of acquaintances but i can count my number of friends on one hand.
i'm a pretty social person. i hand with my classmates, friends of friends, frat brothers but i'm not quick to trust people with information about myself. i really don't think there is one person on this planet that knows everything about me. *shrug*
you are absolutely correct about family. i know that if my siblings weren't blood they definitely wouldn't be the type of people i would normally hang out with. they are my family and i love them unconditionally. because of that even though we are all different, we have found ways to use our differences to bring us closer.
i have had friends that i've known since grade school and i have friends that i've met since moving here.
I actually respect the open realism of your frat when it comes to the 'hood. I cosign your post.
"i really don’t think there is one person on this planet that knows everything about me. *shrug*"
"you are absolutely correct about family. i know that if my siblings weren’t blood they definitely wouldn’t be the type of people i would normally hang out with."
Heavy co-sign on these statements…
My sister & i are polar opposites in just about every way imaginable but i love her because she's my blood but we don't see each other outside of family events.
great post twin!
yeah I am not one to have a lot of friends. but I have a lot of associates, acquaintances and "homies". My homies we can kick it all day long and heehee all day too, but thats probably where it begins and ends. no shade, but you gotta be selective in who you share you business with. I'm not even worried about who knows what anymore–because its inevitable that people talk, I just try to do like you said live for self and try to make good decisions. A friendship recently ended with someone that I've been close too for about 15 years and it still kinda hurts but we grew apart. you know what they say: people come into your life for a reason, season, or lifetime. it is what it is.
"you know what they say: people come into your life for a reason, season, or lifetime. it is what it is."
This quote is so true its not even funny. When you go through things in your life, there's always someone there. I can think of a few people whom I'm not as close to now but were there when I needed them most. No love lost, but I understand the poignancy of that quote. Everyone serves a purpose. Exes, former friends, everyone! they come into your life, change you for the better eventually, and leave. Cherish that time, but know when to both hold 'em and fold'em
This is a great post and your definitions are right on target. Glad you shared 🙂
It's sad when you have to break up with your "best friend"… a friendship is also much like a relationship, sometimes you have to cut ties with those people… and take a look at how toxic they are after taking 5 steps back…
Second time posting; y'all got me going. SMH
"Other than making me want to go live in a secluded mountain cabin and become a hermit, excellent post."
Two snaps and around the world, Sane. After dealing with certain men and "friends", I feel like that's what I want to do for the rest of my life. Hell, I've been doing it pretty much all summer. But I realized I can be too great of a friend to people who ain't friends, and it needs to be only directed towards those who deserve it. May sound bad but I'm pulling a Janet.#whathaveyoudoneforme
I had a group of "friends" from high school that didn't become real until the brother of one (my brother's best friend) died from suicide in 2006. We have definitely came together since, and I believe his passing brought us together.
As it goes with yesterday's post, I need to be better about keeping the friends and associates separate.
"Second time posting; y’all got me going. SMH"
You say (type) that like it's a bad thing. I'm happy we got you going (just don't let us talk you into Twittering, it's addictive).
Good post, Streetz!
I have a ton of associates, but only about 5 friends. These are the people who know intimate parts of my life. The funny things is some of my 5 know things about me that the others don't know. And none of them know everything about me. You have to keep some things to yourself.
Honestly, I think about spring cleaning about once every 3-4 months, and its always the same person. However, since I know that she doesn't understand the meaning of discretion when it comes to her own business ot the businees of her friends, I just make sure I only share certain info with her. She has become a friend/acqauintance hybrid. Only time will tell if we remain friends.
Great post! I needed this like cooked food. I have a pending divorce of a friend…sigh.
Welcome! Sometimes a divorce is necessary, whether it's a friendship or marriage. I've had both and let me tell you, it hurts like hell at first, but you realize that you're better because of it after a while.
When I was a younging everybody was my friend… But boy oh boy did I learn quick and fast that is not the reality. I only have one friend and thats my BFF and at this point she's not even my BFF she is Family… I dont care what nobody says this girl has been more of a family to me than my own family has and thats the TRUTH… and I met her 5 years ago when we were co-workers getting underpaid and overworked and I see her as been a lifetime partna! Everybody else ehhhhh… We'll just place them in the accquaintance files
I just wanted to say I really enjoyed this post. It’s very insightful but it hurts deeply when a person you’ve been friends with for years backstabs you or the friendship ends. I’m talking about the type of friend who knows your darkest secrets along with your family’s business. I think when this type of friendship ends its worse than being heartbroken by a man. Anyway I enjoyed the post.
end of the day. I'll be brief. I have no family just friends. I do have cousins though, but we aren't day to day close.
I stay loyal to all my friends and could never betray them. They come from all walks of life: college (who I am closets too), to freinds that stay selling drugs. Some are doing time some are making it big on wall street. But they are all my ninjas.
The one thing that hits me is when people don't take friendship as serious as me.
Streetz, this post was the truth! When i consider someone a friend, i'm willing to go out of my way for them but i've found that some people don't reciprocate…its hard to find people who embody true friendship. It hurts to come to that realization but nobody said it wasn't supposed to.
I look at it like this, a friend to me is someone that I would have stand up with/by me at my wedding. If I can't picture looking back at my album fifty-leven years from now and reminiscing happily about the day that you were able to be a part of with me…..you not my friend. As of right now I have 4 solid ones. Who really needs more than that anyway?