Artwork by Debra Cartwright.

The Life of Black Girls at PWIs

Part VI: Faux Friends vs Real Friends

by Anijah Boyd

Don’t Believe The Hype

A lot of people are going to claim they’re your real friends but don’t exhibit that behavior. They want to be your friend because of the hype behind being associated with you… Not because you actually have shit in common like struggles & music taste. It’s crazy because people will claim themselves close to me and hype up being friends with me without knowing any of the stories that made me who I am. Do you know my dad stories? Do you know my favorite colors? Do you know who my favorite rapper is? (I’ll give it to you if you know one of the top two since I switch a lot… Some real shit if you know both though) Do you know why I write? Do you know who I want to be? Do you know the two ideal 2 places I want to live? Do you know why I collect records? If you couldn’t answer a lot of those questions, you should reconsider who you are to me, especially if you want to be more… For whatever reason. Hopefully they’re the right ones.

Faux Friends

Artwork by Debra Cartwright.

Very easy to point out because they try too hard… Or don’t try enough, faux friends claim you heavily for the public eye but do little for you behind closed doors. Faux friends for some reason can’t steer away from your enemies. They can’t sit in silence with you because it’s awkward. Your mom can’t remember their name because she doesn’t want to. They don’t let the friendship happen naturally. Most of the time, these friends came from situations. Maybe you all like to party together and became friends by default but never got to know each other or maybe your best friend was friends with this person so you felt obligated to be their friend and gave them an immediate title just because of the circumstances. You didn’t build a bond. You just said you had one and attempted to build off of that only to realize you don’t even like each other that much but the public already knows so you have to keep up the shenanigans… Don’t do it for us… We know too.

Side note: I can tell ya’ll right now, my mom is extremely blunt. Guess it runs in the family. If she doesn’t remember your name she CHOSE not to because she can tell by how often you come up, you’re temporary. I’ve said everyone’s names to my mother. Don’t ask me who she remembers, your feelings will get hurt. If you’re trying to figure out if she remembers you, she doesn’t. My mom asks about the same people when I call her every time because the same people have remained consistent enough for her to care about their well-being. That’s my Shameka for ya. There are exceptions of course. I have friends that I’m on the path of being closer with that are naturally and are taking their time and not forcing me. Best examples of those are Tori & Brittany. (Just because Chy is your friend doesn’t mean I have to be and vice versa). Anyway, faux friends, do you say you’re going to do something and don’t? Does your negativity stop people from wanting to be in your life? Do you barely do anything for the well-being of someone but are quick to claim their friendship? Do you share the vulnerability they shared with you alone with your other friends when it’s clear these defining moments should remain personal? Are you absent most of the time physically and emotionally? Congrats, you’re as fake as a swap meet Michael Kors purse.

Real Friends

Are effortless. Have ya’ll noticed you don’t know anything about me and Chy except that we’re close? Most of the significant things we share have nothing to do with any of you and there is a reason for that. You don’t deserve to know how vulnerable our friendship is especially if you don’t get those parts of us separately. There is nothing you can compare because you don’t know the reality… So don’t compare. Everyone else actually claimed us to be best friends before we did. There was a moment last year where we were both like “damn maybe you really are my bitch after all” but still never really hung on to the best friend title and still don’t market it that way... That’s my bitch & my person. It happened with time. Sitting at the DC and DC Store for hours from breakfast to lunch and lunch to dinner every day actually learning about one another. The time is what makes a good friendship. No, someone is not just automatically your greatest friend because you “just knew.” It doesn’t happen in a couple months. It doesn’t happen in a few weeks as much as you all hate believe. It’s a build. Without the build, your foundation is not strong and the friendship is easily lost over a nigga, a dispute, or a little silence. Similarities also matter. Vibing to the same music is a big one for me. If we can sit and listen to Isaiah Rashad and Mick Jenkins together… You really have my heart forever. If you understand my

“That’s nasty, dawg. That’s creepy, dawg,”

reference and do the voice while saying it… I’ll get emotional because that’s some real shit. There’s these extremely defining moments that have happened with all of my closest friends and our relationships are still growing and will never stop growing. As close as me and Chy are, our bond is still solidifying itself. Trisden and I had our two most defining moments within the past month. You don’t get to a point of climax and stay there forever. It’s constant learning and even unlearning. So… Real Friends. Do you support effortlessly? Do you listen? Do you keep your promises? Are you truthful even when it hurts? Do you know your friends well (what they’ve been through and their minds)? Do your friends cry to you and you keep it between the two of you? If so, you are forever valued and even if you’re being a real friend to a faux friend, I applaud you. A lot of ya’ll are going to say this real friend section applies to you when I promise you, it does not. You’re a faux friend to somebody, always. Not everyone gets your full effort all the time. The questions then becomes are you being a real friend to the right people? Are you being a faux friend to a real friend because you’re too focused on some people that don’t care as much as you do? Recognize this and you’ll be able to outgrow the behavior. Friendships are defined by a few moments. If in those moments, you show your ass that defines what the friendship really is and it takes even more effort to fix that when you could’ve just chosen to be a better friend. It’s common sense. You’re choosing to ignore right and wrong. And if you just don’t have friends… Sweetheart, you have a lot of internal growing to do because it’s not the people around you, it’s you.