The older I get, the more I realize that keeping good people around me is one of the keys to a happy and successful life. I’ve learned that if you don’t have a solid circle of friends who are not on your level and striving to get better, then you don’t really need them in your life. Lately with all my recent accomplishments, I have really been appreciative of the people I have in my life and how much they support and encourage me to do better and be better. I have come up with 3 major factors in this decision making process, and how I know that I don’t have any squares in my circle, lol:
- They force me to be great: A lot of people think that you should be enough of a motivation to be great in life, but sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to have a cheer section that is always rooting for you. Also, it’s good to have someone around who can let you know when you’re not on your A game. Although I acknowledge my own personal victories and accomplishments, it feels even better when someone else who is close to me notices I’m doing pretty good in life, and it gives me a extra boost of confidence to know that I am on the right track.
- They give me “straight no chaser” advice on life: I would probably be in a pretty bad place if I didn’t have the friends I have in life right now. The one thing I always tell people to do is to give me raw and real advice and let me know if I’m on the right track or sound completely bananas, lol. I would rather someone tell me something that might hurt my feelings at the moment, than have someone in my life who is only catering to my emotions. I’ll admit that sometimes I need to be told about myself, and I need to know when I’m messing up. We all do; which is why you need those types of friends in your life. Anyone who isn’t giving you the real (no Tamar lol) shouldn’t really be in your corner, right?
- They love me no matter what: I never have to worry about whether my friends love me or not, because it shows in their actions. The people that mean the most to me have never tried to change me or make me be something I’m not. I’ve also never had to move mountains to keep them or make them like me. The friendships I have are completely organic and they are not forced. That’s how I know I truly have people around me who love me just for me, and not for what I can be or do for them.
Too often, I find that African American women are in such competition with each other, that we don’t take the time to truly support and love one another. We adapt this jealous and insecure mentality and get so consumed with that, that we don’t take the time to uplift and use the things we admire in other women to strive to get to that level, or use that to fuel your own dreams. I can’t even count how many times I have gotten on social media and seen people dragging other Black women through the dirt, for no apparent reason (prime example, Gabby Douglas! Hello!). We are our own worst enemies and also our biggest cheerleaders; when you’re on top, you have and entire community of strong Black women behind you, but when you make a mistake, that same community will turn on you with a quickness and the overall verbal slugfest will ensue!
Black women, we have to do better by each other; if not for anyone else, but for ourselves. If no one else is going to protect us, why can’t we do better at protecting each other? Now, at a time like this, we need to do more empowering and uplifting of each other than anything; because as you can see, there aren’t many others who are going to support us.
If you haven’t already, take a good look at your circle of friends and decide who’s for you or against you. Do they fall under these 3 points I made, of do you have other ways that you decide who’s in your inner circle? Let me know!
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