A best friend is someone you’re not only going to love all your life, they are also your biggest critic and strongest supporter. They are your late-night mentors, daylight umbrellas, and midday co-conspirators. You feel secure with them, but more importantly being vulnerable never felt as comfortable as it does when you’re with them. Best friends calm your deepest fears and tickle all your funny bones. – Sanah Rizvi
The social fabric of any society depends on the quality of the friendship culture. Urbanisation has stretched our socialization and so has it deepened the norm in individualism. Rarely do we find people engaging in estates especially in middle class and high-end residences and if they do it’s exchanging brief pleasantries and that’s it. It’s important to appreciate that human beings were designed to be social creatures. It’s highly beneficial to their wholesome health and stability. In fact, solid friendships aid in the making of better lifestyle choices, maintaining strong mental health, triggering self-assurance, self-worth, and happiness, majorly helping in reducing stress impacts, health problems and contributing immensely in one’s personal growth.
According to Dr.Bitange Ndemo an Associate Professor at University of Nairobi and former ICT Permanent Secretary, – “The Kenyan culture is such that people attach value to friendship, but their friends value them for their money or influence.” He goes on to add that, there is a strong convergence on the nature of relationships with people when one’s fortunes tend to deteriorate. This is documented in one of his popular articles titled – The day I left office my phone literally stopped ringing.
That said, do you know we have a million and one types of friendships and not all of them are beneficial. It’s important to decipher the rules of engagements and whether your interests are protected. As a matter of principle, you should never allow friends to choose you, rather it should be you who choose them. This is because friends occupy the very core space of our lives hence the need to ensure that privilege stands not to be abused.
The very common attributes of true friends include people who point out your mistakes truthfully. However, not many so-called friends grow the guts to confront you with brutal honesty. Many practice a lot of ‘Public Relations’ with you and later confide to skin you alive with their other ‘friends’. True friends tell when you are being unreasonable and yet stand with you even when they never agree with you. They help you succeed and unequivocally celebrate your success and draw immense of lessons from your failures too.
Here are some types of friendships;
These are buddies that literally coined your formative world. You happened to be village mates or nursery school pals and have watched your life stem up at a cross range. They have been there at your every stage of life, from the darkest corner of circumstances to your glowing season of achievements. They sort of could write a better story of you than any other friend since they have crossed roads with a substantial period of your past and present.
These are friends you can’t avoid having and don’t amount to much. They are friends of your current circumstances. The moment you change towns or graduate to another stage of life your friendship sinks. They fall away never to be heard again. They could be anything from deskmates, schoolmates, estate mates, church mates and office colleagues.
Friends for validation
It’s weird but it happens. You know of people who literally force friendships just to be associated with you. It could be because of your career, influence, wealth or personality. You could be the most sort after government officer or seem to have it all working out for you – moneywise, success, careerwise and zeal of cutting deals. These friends place themselves in your life purely for selfish gains.
Friends for convenience
These are friends you always call to bail you out. More often than not, you text them to borrow cash than to find out how they are faring. Since you have these class thing to maintain and protect, you can never solicit cash from buddies in your lane since they will judge and tarnish your name hence the need to have ‘Friends for Convenience’ purpose whom you lose nothing by engaging them for quick fixes.
Best Friends – Forever
Mostly from the opposite gender – they are there to detoxify your emotional baggage and harbor all your secrets and naughty laughters about your latest catch or issues in your relationships. These are friends you keep it ‘real’ to. You share an interesting history which rather creates a soft landing for all your vulnerabilities.
They are worse than enemies. They happen to know so much about you and have a way of rubbishing off all your small efforts and achievements by simply ‘blue-ticking’ them. They make you look bad at least most of the times and seem to cherish when your life is at a grand halt. They have this demeanor of proving to you they are doing better, from things they claim to own, to making you understand they rub shoulders with whos who in town. In other words, they breathe a larger than life lifestyle that only exists in their mind.
These are friends that are there to milk out all your hard earned money. They are never there when you camp at peoples’ offices to pitch proposals but somehow pop out when you have it nice and dry. The only ideas they seem to worry about is making it to Rhino Charge somewhere in the dusty deserts of Samburu, or traveling to a beach party in Nyali if not savoring to the latest joint in town or moon-walking god knows where. They are such a bad influence if tolerated for long. They are broke on ideas that would help you guys make money but when it comes to spending, they light up.
You are conjoined by a definitive story of life. You’ve waded over tough times together and been there at each other’s life milestones be it camping with you in the maternity corridors when your wife labored, at respective dowry ceremonies, weddings, graduations, or at your career highlights. These are folks you can trust with anything. They are ever available when life hiccups come calling. They are simply a call away from anything life may present. These are chaps who cover up for you. They are your right-hand men/women. They could also be former schoolmates whom you’ve not met for half a million years but keep tabs with all your progressive life landmarks.
These are friends that were born by social media. They exist virtually and are powered by data bundles. You met along the streets of social platforms and seem to share some common interests. You may never meet but hasn’t the world been made such a global village courtesy of technology!