Black women value their friendship tremendously and for good reason. Our bond as sisters can often save us, be safe spaces for growth, vulnerability, and overall just a place to feel love. It is a truth that can be felt even when you look at Black films and shows, where subject matter is often centered around relationships between Black women. In short, we are what keeps each other going. But we can also feel trapped by our friendships, uneasy at what to do when we feel ourselves outgrowing a relationship, or wondering if as Gabrielle Union said, "Your day ones have been hating since day one."
Because there are many levels to friendship, it's essential to decide how to navigate your friend circle and access what friend works in what place in your life. Therapy has allowed me to realize that there are circles and layers to myself, and the same should go for my friend circles. And when discussing self-care, learning to decipher what a friend is, and how they differ from associates, can genuinely help you.
Consider these questions when assessing your friend circle:
Who do I feel safe around?
I've learned that with friendships how I go into them directly correlates with how I feel while hanging out with them. If anything in me says that I don't feel comfortable sharing things with you, or if it's not an environment where my full self can be present, then that tells me that I need to have a conversation with you, and if that isn't successful, then you need to be removed from my immediate friend circle altogether.
Who has proven to be considerate of me in my high and low moments?
It's easy to show up for your friends when they're successful and happy in their lives, but what about when they're battling depression, or grieving the loss of a loved one or a relationship? Realizing which friends can hold space for you and who you, in turn, can do the same for, regardless of your life and its pivotal moments, can show you who is there for the long haul. It can also makes celebrating wins with them even more special. Joy can be deeply felt when you feel cherished in your friendships, not just when things are good and the other person is directly benefitting from something you have to offer, but also when you're down and in need of taking off your superwoman cape.
How does this friendship navigate time where we don’t speak?
To determine if you're in a high-maintenance friendship or low-maintenance friendship, you need to ask yourself if this friend gets upset when you go days or weeks without speaking? Do they require you to be present for every moment of their lives? As Scottie Beam said on her newest podcast Okay, Now Listen, "There are several layers to your friend." Some friends can go months without talking to each other, see one another, chat and feel like nothing has changed. Whereas other friends might require weekly check-ins to play catch-up in order to feel connected. Establish what you're willing to give and what you expect to receive, make sure that they are in alignment, and take the relationship from there.
How do I feel when I leave this friend?
I ask myself much more now, and I keep this thought with me after I leave events, restaurants, etc. How do I feel? Did I walk away lighter and encouraged to spend more time with them? Do I feel grateful to have experienced their presence? Or, did I walk away feeling like maybe I shared things I regret or an overall feeling of having outgrown the friendship? The answer to those questions will tell you where to place this friendship in your life, if anywhere at all.
Because our friendships are often so much of where we learn how to exist in relationships, we can overlook moments where our boundaries are crossed, cross boundaries with others, or how we feel about our future goals and where our friendship aligns with that. It's never easy to find yourself having deep care and love for someone and not wanting to be around them as often as you have before.
If you find that the friendship is no longer serving you, it might be time to step away from the friendship altogether so that you can make room for the new relationships that will manifest once you make those hard decisions that will benefit you long-term.
Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.
Featured image by Shutterstock.
Dubbed one of the "21 Black Women Wellness Influencers You Should Follow" by Black + Well, Yasmine Jameelah continues to leave her digital footprint across platforms ranging from Forever 21 Plus, Vaseline, and R29 Unbothered discussing all things healing and body positivity. As a journalist, her writing can be found on sites such as Blavity, Blacklove.com, and xoNecole. Jameelah is also known for her work shattering unconventional stigmas surrounding wellness through her various mediums, including her company Transparent Black Girl. Find Yasmine @YasmineJameelah across all platforms.
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
'Power Book II: Ghost' Star LaToya Tonodeo Talks Breakout Role And Shooting Her Shot At 50 Cent For An Audition
Actress LaToya Tonodeo demonstrated the power of speaking up as she recently recalled how she secured her breakout role in Starz's Power Book II: Ghost.
The hit show, a spinoff of the original series Power, follows the journey of college student Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) as he tries to escape his father's tainted image while running a drug operation.
In Power Book II: Ghost, Tonodeo portrays the role of Diana Tejada, the daughter of former kingpin Lorenzo Tejada and Monet Tejada, played by Mary J. Blige.
The series debuted in 2020 and became an instant hit as viewers were glued to the screen weekly due to its captivating storylines. Power Book II: Ghost is currently in its third season and has been renewed for a fourth.
Although Tonodeo has been a part of the entertainment industry for over a decade by appearing in various television shows and films, the 26-year-old's star shined a lot brighter after landing a role in Power Book II: Ghost.
In an IG Live with xoNecole, Tonodeo opened up about how her dream opportunity came to fruition and the rumor that she boldly asked Power's executive producer, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, to participate in one of his projects.
LaToya On Previously Working With 50 Cent
In last month's discussion, Tonodeo revealed that before landing Power Book II: Ghost, she was already working alongside Jackson for his Sony/Crackle series The Oath.
In the show, the actress played the character Tara Byrd. Tonodeo shared that as the red carpet premiere for the first season of The Oath occurred in 2018, she missed her opportunity to connect with Jackson because she was working on another project. But as fate would have it, The Oath was renewed for a second season.
In 2019, as Tonodeo reprised her role in the show and attended the red carpet premiere for the second season, she briefly chatted with Jackson, who at the time acquired the rights to the BMF story.
"Well, what's crazy [is] I was already on a 50 Cent show. So at that premiere, it's called The Oath. It was the season two premiere of The Oath on Sony/ Crackle, and he was there," she said. "Season one, there was a premiere, and 50 Cent attended. I wasn't there because I was doing The Fosters, and I'm like, 'man.' When I got to go to the season two premiere, I saw him, and it was around the time when he got the rights for the BMF story."
The Bold Move That Helped 'Powerbook' Star LaToya Tonodeo Land the Role
LaToya On Asking 50 Cent To Audition For a Role And Landing 'Power Book II: Ghost'
Tonodeo explained that during her conversation with Jackson, she congratulated the mogul on obtaining the rights to the BMF story and expressed her interest in wanting to be a part of the project.
Tonodeo added that although she is unclear if Jackson remembered their encounter or "if it meant anything," when a Power Book II: Ghost role came along, she auditioned and landed the job.
"I was like, 'Oh my God, like I want to be a part of it.' But I don't know why I did it. I just walked over there, and I was like, 'Hey, congratulations on getting the rights. I would love to audition.' I don't know why I did that. I don't even know if it meant anything or if he remembers or not. I do know that I did my thing in the audition, so yeah, we are here now," she stated.
Either way, with that story, Tonodeo has displayed the perfect example of "closed mouths don't get fed."
Power Book II: Ghost is now streaming on Starz.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for STARZ