I love me some good old ratchet television! Every Monday you will catch me watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta, then on a Tuesday some form of Love and Hip Hop franchise. From Basketball Wives to Married to Medicine, to Bad Girls’ Club, I indulge in them all! I honestly cannot put my finger on why I find them so entertaining….actually I can, they all have money (of some sort) but will still be acting like a hot mess!
The premise of these shows is that they put women with completely different personalities together and set up situations, then the producers sit back and watch the drama unfold or sometimes explode! I can literally write a thesis about these reality shows and the different scenarios that occur and how they are dealt with. Today however I am going to focus on their friendship groups.
Some of the women on these shows have been (real) friends for years! They start of really close say during seasons 1 and 2, then by season three the cracks in their friendship begin to surface and by season four that friendship is dead, buried and resurrection is as alien to them as salad is to carnivores. For example (apologising in advance for the spoilers) in The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kandi Buruss and Phaedra Parks were really good friends. They did everything together, not just on the show but away from the show also…then something or the other happened and let’s just say the brown stuff hit the fan big time when Phaedra claimed that Kandi was sleeping with another female. However it wasn’t only Phaedra that was throwing shade, Kandi had her little tea to spill on Phaedra by confirming that Phaedra was in fact ‘seeing’ a man she named ‘Chocolate’. Chile (in a southern accent)….it is literally all going down in the ATL!
On a serious note, I often wonder why female friendship groups never last as long as male friendship groups. A boy in my school said to me the other day ‘Ma’am, boys aren’t complicated though, we just fight and move on!’ Why can’t women just air their differences and move on? Instead we (myself especially) harbour feelings of resentment and hurt which inevitably manifests itself into malice. Obviously this is not the case for all friendship groups, however I know a lot of people who were once friends that are no longer friends and literally hate each other!
I was in a friendship group once, like the real housewives scenario, we started of wonderfully. We would go out together, do alot together and just basically have a great time. I found myself confiding in these girls and actually considered them as sisters. However (as always) my expectations were too high. I also felt as though I didn’t set out the boundaries of our friendship and hence felt hurt by a lot of their actions and sometimes lack of. Towards the end of the friendship I felt as though they had battered my confidence, I felt as though they weren’t loyal to me as I was to them and felt as though I didn’t live up to their way of life and hence felt as an outsider. Although they made me feel the way that I did, I never addressed it. I did the Mabs thing and shut down, I withdrew. I never actually told them how their actions made me feel or the effect it had on my life at that time. In my head, for my mental wellbeing I had to flee from that friendship group and so I did. Although I still speak to the girls in that group the scars of their actions/ words are still very present today. In all honesty I don’t think that me telling them how I felt would have salvaged the friendship because they most likely would have denied their actions and not taken responsibility and finally I now know that our worlds are miles apart. I have come to realise that although they are lovely ladies we are just not compatible for a deep and meaningful friendship. Which is totally okay….now. It took me a long time to accept this.
I couldn’t write this post and not mention my six amazing girlfriends who have cried with me, laughed with me and most importantly prayed for me and my family. These girls are always there for me when I need them regardless of time, place and weather! Like seriously!! Some of the girls I have known since childhood and others I have known a lot less but I have never had to question their love and loyalty towards me. Also I can be myself around them…I can be weird, sensitive, throw shade, angry, funny and wonderfully and fabulously me!
This however does not mean that we don’t have disagreements, or we don’t argue, we do! God knows we do! However we sit down and we have conversations and come up with resolutions. I mean six, successful women with big personalities and different perspectives are bound to crash sometimes but it is not the way in which you fall but in the way you get up.
So to finish up, here are a few things I have learnt about Friendships:
Some are Seasonal
I have realised that some friendships are only for seasons, like Kandi and Phaedra or myself and the other group of girls. I’m pretty sure that Kandi and Phaedra learnt a lot about one another whilst they were friends and also learnt a lot about themselves. So when your friendships come to an end or you are not as close as you used to be…remember it’s a season and a lesson.
It’s okay to grieve
Give yourself time to grieve the friendship. Cry if you have to cry, eat all the chocolate in the world if you have to. Friendships are not that dissimilar to romantic relationships. Actually the only difference is that you are not sleeping with your friend. However you spend equally the same amount of time with your friends as you do your partner or spouse. Not only has time been invested but so have emotions. So when a good strong friendship comes to an end it’s similar to that of a death. So give yourself time to come to terms with your loss.
Moving forward in your next friendships learn to manage expectations. I find that the majority of misunderstandings and friendship break-ups are due to unmanaged expectations. I firmly believe that just like romantic relationships, friends should learn each other’s love languages. I feel it is important to love your friend the way in which he/she wants to be loved. I also feel that boundaries should be spoken about…what would you tolerate? What wouldn’t you tolerate? Many times in friendships we go through them without setting out clear boundaries. If uncomfortable conversations need to be had then so be it! At least then you will all know where you stand and will hopefully have a stronger and more sustainable friendship.
Be Happy, Be Bright, Be YOU!
Love Mabs x