Just when I thought tantrum-filled, egocentric Kanye West was totally out of touch with reality, he blesses us with the super-relatable track “Real Friends” off of his recent album, The Life of Pablo. The introspective track aids the audience in journeying through your own life that may be filled with ghosts of friends past and present. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. West that the maintenance of true friends seem to wither away throughout adulthood.
I’ve come to realize that the spark and demise of close friendships is an inevitable growing pain in life. There are various reasons why friendships end: people grow apart due to differing lifestyles, friendships can become one-sided when one friend tends to naturally take on the role of the giver and the other the taker, or just utter betrayal. Throughout the “Real Friends” track Kanye shares different stories of the demise of relationships with families and friends that reflect the downside of his fame and fortune in the music industry. Although I’m an everyday dope-n-broke chick, I do have an empathetic stance towards Kanye in regards to the various ways people handle conflicts that arise in friendships.
Personally, I have had tons of friends fall out of my life. Some instances took me longer to get over than others, but I’m currently at peace with all of the situations because I know that everything happens for a reason, and there’s a vital reason these so called “friends” are no longer in my life. Overall, I would say that there have been three major categories that the demise of my past friendships falls under:
- “Undercover Hater” – these often tend to be longtime friendships where they are carrying an immense amount of jealousy or animosity towards you. The unfortunate part is that instead of ending the friendship with you, so they don’t have to feel this way, they stay in the friendship and want to continue to watch the events of your life so they can conduct this secret “life comparison” game in their mind that either deflates or blows up their fragile egos. The reasons for this animosity can be for various reasons: superficial, emotional, or circumstances beyond anyone’s control. Personally, my former friend who possessed these qualities was the most disappointing once I realized her true character. I’ve always wanted her to experience anything her heart desired and always supported her achievements. Unfortunately she did not appreciate my support for her, and definitely didn’t view me in the same light. She definitely had to be kicked to the curb because I don’t believe in the concept of “frenemies”; either we’re down for each other or the friendship is non-existent.
- Friendships of Convenience – these are self-serving people that are friends with you based on factors of your personality or life circumstance that they deem to be useful to them at that moment in their lives. They may use you for your knowledge, money, time, or any of your possessions that may be on a slightly higher level than them. They are always asking for favors, and conveniently put themselves in the passive and helpless stance in your friendship so that you never view them as a source of dependability. The second you decline to offer them any help, they either lash out at you or attempt to make you feel guilty. Usually these types of friends walk out of your life on their own once they think they’ve found a new naive source to their madness.
- “Bye Girl, I got a boo” – this one is pretty obvious. These are friends who completely disappear from your life once they get into a serious, monogamous relationship. They don’t put any effort into fairly dividing up their free time between their loved ones, and tend to put their romantic relationship in first place, which leaves others by the waist side. Whenever you reach out these friends to check up on them or invite them to an occasion of yours, they either don’t reply or way after the matter. And when you call your friend out on it, they conveniently use their significant other as an excuse, such as “oh, he/she doesn’t like me going out too much”, or “he/she was sick and I had to take care of them, or blah, blah. I’ve always worked at being mindful to not being one of these people whenever I was in a committed relationship, because if your romantic relationship ends, then you’ll be alone and out of touch with your other former loved ones.
This list of the leading reasons as to why some of my close friendships ended all mainly happen around the time my mother was diagnosed, and past away from battling cancer for two years. It was very difficult at that time of my life. I was in my mid-twenties and still trying to figure myself out. It was unfortunate to realize that majority of my so-called friends were not around in my time of pain, although if the tables were turned I have and would certainly support them when and if they were in the same situation.
In retrospect, I am extremely grateful for the friends who’ve remained throughout all the transitions in my life. We may still experience disagreements and challenges, but we all realize that we value each other presence and know the importance in respecting each other’s positive growth. Life is too rough to figure it out alone, and I’m grateful to have friends who help me whenever shit gets way too real. I’ve learned that friendship is all about reciprocating love, support, and respect. This realization is a true blessing, and I plan to stay true to these values. But if all else fails, I will always be blessed because I know for a fact that #JesusIsMyHomeboy, #LetTheChurchSayAmen!