Disclaimer: I love all my friends and associates and y’all know I’m a realist.
“I just wanna be your favorite.” - Jeremiah
I saw an interesting tweet on IG where the girl said “Friend favoritism is definitely real, that’s why I stay by myself.” The term favoritism can be defined as the practice of giving unfair preferential treatment to one person or group at the expense of another. From the tweet and comments I understand why she said favoritism is a thing and according to the definition she wasn’t wrong. Some friends purposely exclude other friends from different activities and some friends become fake or phony when their other friends are around. Both examples are valid but let’s first address red flags and some things to consider when it comes to establishing a friendship.
First off everybody’s definition of a friend is different and your definition of a friend will likely change as you get older. My circle of friends has drastically changed from the college days to now simply because I outgrew those people. Yes, outgrowing people is a thing and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. My previous circle stopped pursuing a higher education and spent too much time in drama. Being away from that environment and focusing on other things made us drift apart. It’s cool that they didn’t want to be in school but the reality is our mindsets were different and participating in those friendships no longer benefited me. As you go through life and experience different things you should anticipate that the dynamics of some friendships will change which brings to my second point.
What is your friendship based on? The foundation of certain friendships wasn’t built to last long term. Befriending somebody because they’re pretty vs. becoming friends because y’all are studying the same major is two different things. One friendship is shallow and won’t last the minute looks change and the other friendship has substance. Ask yourself what was this friendship built on.
Another factor is how old were you when you developed some of these friendships? I read a post that explained you’ll lose and gain a lot of friends, and most friendships don’t survive past your early 20’s. I definitely agree with this statement because the 20’s are challenging, people change, real shit exposes fake people, and who you are at 20/21 isn’t who you’re going to be in your late 20’s or early 30’s.
Also, keep in mind that some people come into your life for a season not a lifetime. I really struggled with this concept during my early 20’s. I felt like everybody who was in my life would be here forever and letting go of people, especially friends would make me cry. I read a quote that changed my perspective on friendships and just relationships in general. Lauren London said “We’re not allowed to possess people. We are only allowed to experience them. It’s a gift not a right.” Learn to enjoy your time and experience with a person and accept when your experience with them is over.
Third, if you're experiencing hate, fakeness, and anything other than love and positive vibes that’s not your friend sis. A lot of bitches are lowkey haters, they’ll befriend or keep you as a friend to only be shady or use the information you share with them against you.
Fourth, there’s a difference between best friends, friends, and associates. Categorize your friends correctly. Some people treat everybody like a bestie and everybody isn’t a bestie material. Some people are cool and just an associate. How you handle a friendship with your bff isn’t going to mirror the relationship you have with an associate. We’ll discuss the levels of friendship for a different post.
Lastly, after a certain age it’s a red flag to befriend somebody who vocalizes that they don’t have or never had any real friends. Unless this person just moved to a new city I don’t understand being 25+ and confidently saying I don’t have any friends. Every time I’ve tried to befriend a female who’s never had any friends it’s never ended well. Some people don't know how to be a friend and unless you're in the business of “building a friend” I’d avoid those types of bitches.
Now let’s get into the favoritism aspect of friendships.
Here’s two real truths about favoritism or being labeled a favorite.1) Favoritism happens everywhere whether it’s a friendship, family, job, etc. Personally, not being somebody’s favorite doesn’t bother me because 9 times out of 10 they’re not one of my favorites either (shoulder shrug). 2) Some bonds and vibes are stronger than others, hence where the term favorite came from. The word favorite literally means preferred before all others of the same kind or particularly well liked by someone. Stop tripping over the terminology and accept the role you have in that person’s life or leave the friendship, it’s that simple.
Personally, I believe in favorites and yes I have my favorite friends. However my favorites are based on two things, which is whether or not you're getting on my nerves and if you can relate to me and my current circumstances at that time.
Yes, my friends get on my nerves and there’s been times that I take a timeout from them. I get that some people feel like real friends never fall out or real friends don’t get tired of each other but I get annoyed easily and my friends know that. I’m notorious for taking an unannounced break from a friend (some people disagree) and when I can deal with them again I’ll reach out to them. People are a lot and truthfully some friends can be a lot too.
When I was going through heartbreak I was closer to one of my bff who was going through the same thing. When I was hustling to get out of credit card debit my friends who had credit cards understood more than other friends. When I’m in my feelings I depend on certain friends more because they understand in a way that other friends may not. When it comes to writing I gravitate towards the friends who write or read urban books. Friends that don’t read or understand that writing is a creative process wouldn’t be helpful when I’m ready to say fuck this blogging shit. Basically I gravitate, communicate, and attempt to see whichever friend is the most understanding at the time. & yes some of my friends are all purpose friends meaning no matter what’s going on at the time they’ll understand. Once again knowing how to categorize your friends will stop you from having unrealistic expectations from a friend.
Honestly, I don’t think anybody intentionally seeks out to make somebody their favorite, it just happens over time. I get that not being a favorite can be hurtful but you need to address your friend or come to terms with the reality of the friendship. For example, some shit has happened between me and one of my bff and we made the decision to remain friends and work through our issues. However over time we’ve both gravitated towards our other bffs more, and the reality is shit happens and people change. Overcoming your 20’s is rough and learning to navigate and build healthy friendships is challenging but it’s doable.
If you love your friends, tell them.
If y'all aren’t as close anymore or the vibes don’t hit the same, talk to them.
If you don’t feel like a favorite or you feel like you're not being included in their life, talk to them.
A lot of situations are misunderstandings and uncommunicated feelings.
To wrap it up, some people felt like this tweet was childish and gave high school vibes and to a point that’s true. But I also understand that some people struggle with feeling important and some people value friendship more than others. Finding a loyal and dependable tribe is hard but it’s not impossible. I’m thankful for my crew and I’m finally at that age in life where I can say that the friends I have now will be here forever.
“It’s all about who’s going to be at your Sunday BBQ kicking it on your back porch in ten years.”