We indeed showcase different aspects of ourselves to different people. Some people see your funny side. Some see your stylish edge, while others may experience the empathic side of you. However, not everyone who experiences many sides of you is your friend. Today, in the age of social media and fading boundaries in employment, many people may consider you their friend if you follow each other on Instagram, Facebook or Tiktok. They get to see the sides of you that you wouldn’t typically showcase in a professional setting or around mutual acquaintances. This becomes a slippery slope for people to loop you into a friendship trap with ridiculous expectations. e.g. “You said you couldn’t hang out with me, but you posted yourself out with other people.” Sometimes, the irritation can be triggered when you agree to meet up with them for tea or coffee, but they want to take pictures to tag and post.
Another red flag is when someone claims to be your friend, yet they’re only around for the simple checkups or gossip. Sometimes, they ask if you’re okay; however, that’s as far as their friendship goes. They don’t want to dive deep into life experiences with you. These people often only want to be with you when you’re at your best and do not think twice about helping you find solutions to problems when you’ve sunk to your worst. So the question in all situations is, what do you consider friendship? Does it have the safe space and ability to communicate without judgement, or just have companionship for shopping sprees and clubbing? It’s subjective, though, depending on how you like to spend your time and your consciousness level.
So what do we do when we’re unsure? Well, realise the cold truth that not everyone is your friend, even if they claim that they are. Know yourself so well that you have an awareness of your needs and strong discernment to make the best decisions for you. Understand that people don’t even know themselves most times, so be wary when they claim that they know you so well. Likewise, when you feel a distance in your immediate friendships, understand that we are constantly evolving and that what worked for your friendships last year wouldn’t necessarily work for you this year. Finally, be patient because it’s okay to grow apart as everyone grows to find or reinvent themselves.
Until next time.