When I was younger, my mom had the ability to detect insincere friends from a mile away. I would bring a friend home after school and she'd politely make us snacks and make our guest feel as if she were home. All while she was putting together these turkey ham and cheese sandwiches, she was investigating, silently yet accurately. (Side note: Until this day, I am still very concerned about a. what the hell is turkey-ham and b. why did I eat it so much in middle school) A few hours later, my friend would get picked up and my mom would have some insight to provide on why I should be cautious. Looking back, it's funny to see how often she was right and how little I listened. Sure, I paid extra attention to the signs my mom had pointed out... but to little, naive, Jovania, there was no way someone I'd picked as a friend could have bad intentions. As I get older, visits home are far less frequent. With that, my mother's keen eye for bad apples isn't put to use as much. She's still nothing but a FaceTime call away but I like to think I've gotten a better hang on who I give my time to. Friendships require just as much work as any romantic relationship, if not more. You have to spread your time between everyone you want to see, make your busy schedules sync, and find ways to compromise when you live very different lifestyles. Personally, I manage to have very compartmentalized friend groups- I have the friends I see daily and grab lunch with in between class, the friends I party with, the friends who I go to for advice on my credit score, and the lucky gems who I can go to for all of the above.
As with everything in life, the quality of real friends you have serves a bigger purpose than the quantity. As you grow up, you start to decipher who's in your life for a purpose and who's there simply out of comfort.I read Alexis Belon's blog post months ago and the idea of letting certain friendships go stuck with me. It's essential to release the negative vibes that hold you back. Sometimes the indicators are clear and you fail to acknowledge them for the fear of hurting someone's feelings or the fear of change. If you would break up with a partner who no longer served your romantic wishes, why not do the same with friends? Many women keep a list of the traits they seek in a man, whether it be a mental list or a tangible one; the same should apply to friendships. You shouldn't have to settle or accept mediocrity because that's the kind of thing that holds you back.
I'm a senior in college and along with the anxious thoughts of what will I be doing come May, I'm also asking myself which of the friendships I've made over the past four years will transform into something greater. It's important to evaluate your circle and be honest with yourself about the energy you allow in your space. No matter how old you are, you're constantly growing which means new goals and ideas are emerging daily. You need to surround yourself with the kind of people who'll push you towards these goals, you should also be the kind of friend who supports their ventures. Part of growing up is finding yourself entangled in a tug of war between work and play but the true friends will be there when its time check in not just when it's time to celebrate the victories.
Take time to observe the energy you let into your space. Be able to decipher between the ones who are only there to keep tabs for their personal gain and the ones who truly care. Remember, if it no longer serves you or brings you joy, it's time to regroup. You deserve to only cultivate meaningful and inspirational relationships.
Have you broken up with friend lately or is there someone in your life this reminds you of- how did/will you react? Share with us in the comments below!