Friends, how many of us have them?
I’m not just talking about any type of friend or having friends for the sake of it, but how many of us have dependable, accountable, and attentive friends? Friends who check you when you’re wrong, support and encourage your dreams no matter how wild, make you laugh, and make the worst of times feel like the world isn’t ending.
If you do, that’s great! If not, I’ll take on that role for you!
Social media is awesome and exhausting all in the same breathe. In wake of everything happening in the world - cue the whole madness of 45’s “presidency and administration,” NFL protests, and this ludicrous suspensions over social media, i.e. ESPN’s Jemele Hill - we ALL need friends! Friends to help keep our mental health intact and encourage positivity daily when everything seems contradictory.
Reading and hearing so much about Jemele, I thought about support systems and friendships. With all the backlash she is facing, I see how everyone, her co-host, friends, and supporters, on and off social media, is supporting her and her stance of freedom of speech. But it made me think - do I or would I stand for my friends like this through adversity, high-proud moments, and everything between.
*STAND refers to supporting and being that beacon of light through ANY type of situation for your friend, or as Google Dictionary states "withstand (an experience or test) without being damaged."*
Friendships, a lot like relationship, require time, growth, and communication. I can admit I have not always been that supportive and reliable friend to some. Communication played a HUGE part in that; I internalize, then verbalize, which is sometimes dangerous. If something made me upset, I would hold it in, be all worked up about it, avoid conflict, which added tensions. I have always, ALWAYS been sensitive with every little thing. I hated, and still hate, conflict and always want to avoid it. Now I understand how and why bluntness is needed, its purpose, and how to still say it in a loving way. But within this new journey, I am becoming more intentional and direct with saying and doing what needs to be done.
Since my devastating experience almost a year ago, I learned how much my friends play an important role in my life and why I needed them more than ever. They stood for up and held me up daily. With that and God, I eventually pushed me up and out of that dark and depressing moment in my life.
While I haven’t been through anything near close to what Jemele is going through, I understand her reasonings and why she has a great support system without even knowing her personally.
Quantity doesn’t matter, but quality does. You can have 15 friends and they can all be sucky. Get you a small group of women/men who can hold you accountable and vice versa - talk about dreams, bond, and build individual connections. I can depend on my friends for pretty much anything - they are supportive, honest, have tell it like it is personas, show love, and have moxie.
While I do not talk all of them everyday, I know we still maintain that same friendship as when we last communicated. And I believe it is important to play a part in their social life on social media, even if it’s silently.
Here are some questions to ask yourself and your friends:
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