Updated: Mar 15, 2019
By Cina James
When I was struggling in dead beat relationships and living in a self destructive mess of a life, I had more friends then I could count.
However, when I decided to go on an unspoken journey to find myself, my so called friends dwindled down to an almost non-existent few.
At one point, I found myself wondering why my group of friends were dropping like flies. It was not them, it was me... and it was okay.
During my mess of my life, the friends I had at the time would sit on the phone for hours to cry with me and to talk about my horrible relationships, poor finances, fake friends, and the latest gossip.
It was what we called "being there for each other". Once the tables turned (as they always do), my relationships started to shift. I was no longer worrying about my messed-up man because I found a way to leave him.
I was no longer worrying about paying a bill because I was able to pay them up.
I was no longer worrying about the latest gossip because I was preoccupied with living my own life.
Eventually, the old friends I could talk to for hours didn't have time for a 10 minute conversation.
When things started going well for me, the "ride or die" friends I had started to feel more like associates; I barely knew them at all and they weren't there for me like I thought they would be.
We had nothing to talk about and nothing in common. We were much different than I could see during my mess. We were simply not on the same page mentally and spiritually.
As women, we tend to put more effort into finding a boyfriend or husband. When it comes to platonic friendships, we pretty much just let the cards fall where they may or pick friends based on superficial qualities.
If she can dress well, is pretty, dating a "baller", popular, has long hair or any other surface-level quality, she passes the "can she be my friend" test.
Then we end up surprised when she stabs us in the back and spreads our business all over town on Mad Day (when you fall out with someone and they proceed to tell all your secrets).
We can avoid this by being intentional on the people we allow in our lives to serve as friends. If you don't know it by now, the friends you have can help you grow or continue to encourage you to live your life in a mess; do realize that some of your friends are secretly enjoying the messiness in your life right now.
As you grow, make a conscious effort to surround yourself with people who are willing to grow as well and who are capable of actually loving you in the process.
How to Find REAL Friends
1. Stop looking at people from the surface level. So what if she's pretty! How does that help you? Can she keep a secret? Can she pray with you and pick you up when you're down? Get to know a person's character below the surface. Do they share the same morals and values as you? If not, why are you friends?
2. Trust your gut instinct. You should feel inspired, encouraged and uplifted after spending time with friends. After you hang up a phone call with your friend, take notice of how you feel. If you feel drained after the conversation, why are you friends with the person?
3. Know yourself. If you don't know what your own interests are and enjoy spending time with yourself, why would anyone want to spend time with you?
4. Be a good friend yourself. Nobody wants to be friends with a fake and phony individual. If you want a real good friend, be genuine in your interactions. If you don't like someone, don't pretend to be their friend. What sense does that make?
5. Be apart of something. Join a group or club. Volunteer doing things that you enjoy; you'll most likely meet people who enjoy doing the same things that you enjoy doing.
6. Pray for discernment. Ask God to show you the true nature of your friends in order for you to determine whether they are sincere and meant to be in your life.
7. Be open minded. Understand that you may find a friend in unlikely places. They may not be the same race or from the same background. If they're true, honest and real, why judge a person based on their color or culture?
How do you select your friends and has that process worked so far? Comment below on how you found real friends.
About the Author:
Cina is a passionate, multi-faceted entrepreneur and mentor that has worked and served women for over ten years. Her experience spans doing PR work for years, starting and running multiple internet businesses, running a speaker's bureau and her latest venture, opening and running a beauty services shop, Superior Beauty Services in the Atlanta area. Cina's reputation for mentorship precedes her with several mentee relationships under her wing. Cina is passionate about uniting young women and empowering them to be everything they can be in business and life! www.superiorbeautyservices.com