Don't be Friends with People You Hate
Ok hate is a strong word. I don’t actually hate anyone, but I’ve definitely met people I wouldn’t exactly send a search party for if they mysteriously vanished at sea.
For example, I recently met a girl at an event who, within seconds of us meeting, made a comment that rubbed me the wrong way. Not one for being in conflict with strangers, I took her comment with a grain of salt and laughed it off. We continued to ki ki and tell each other about ourselves and where we were from.
I was talking about my family when she rudely interjected another comment disguised as what she called “advice”. She said she was just being “honest” and “looking out” for me as if we were actual friends and hadn’t just met 10 minutes ago. I smiled and thanked her for the lil comment.. The conversation continued.
I soon realized that this girl would be an acquired taste. She said whatever was on her mind without any regard for how her words affected others. Despite her multiple jabs at me throughout the rest of the night, she gave me her number and said we should hang out some time. Little did she know I’d already mentally concluded that I never wanted to speak to her again or hang out…ever. I knew myself well enough to recognize that her offhand comments were a toxic character trait that would bother me throughout the duration of our future friendship.
I really did want to try and be her friend because we were both Nigerian, so how could I NOT like my fellow Naija sista??? But using this as an excuse to ignore the red flags would have meant pursuing a friendship out of obligation and not because we genuinely got along.
I’d had friends like her in undergrad, and I hated how I felt being around them. I was a pretty confident person before I met them, but their constant negativity took a toll on my self esteem and peace of mind. Needless to say, when I stopped being friends with these girls it was like a breath of fresh air. I decided from then on to be more conscious of the people I allowed into my life and called my friends.
The truth is, you can’t possibly be friends with everyone. Sometimes you’ll click with people. Sometimes you won’t. That’s life. And it’s ok. Not everyone deserves access to your time, space, or even phone number.
You should never feel obligated to force friendships with people you don’t genuinely get along with. Trust your intuition, and recognize the red flags. When someone shows you who they really are, believe them. If they make a bad first impression you don’t owe them an opportunity to make a second.
There are 7.4 billion people on Earth. Passing up on one potential friend won’t kill you. If God intends for you to have a relationship with a particular person, it’ll happen naturally. You won’t have to force it.
You can still network and meet new people, but always keep in mind what qualities you’re looking for in a friend, associate, significant other, or future business partner. Pursue peace and make genuine, intentional connections with the people you meet.
Don’t mindlessly collect friends. This isn’t Facebook.