Call it petty. Call it silly. Call it whatever you wish. But I'm here to tell you that if you live long enough on this planet—and you're actually paying attention to what's happening both inside of and around you—you start to figure out what truly benefits you the most, whether other people "get it" or not. One of those things for me is, preferring my friends to not be friends with each other (if they weren't already friends beforehand).
Before we do somewhat of a deep dive into why I feel this way, let me just share two complementary points that helped to bring me to this resolve. One is that I'm an ambivert who leans more to the introverted side. So much, in fact, that the running joke in my friendships is, should I ever get married, the thought of sitting around in a room with all of my friends as we eat cake and open up lingerie boxes is completely nauseating to me. I'd much rather do one-on-ones with each person at one of our favorite spots. Second, there are two articles on friendship that I've already written for the site. One is "Always Remember That Friendships Have 'Levels' To Them"; the other is "According To Aristotle, We Need 'Utility', 'Pleasure' & 'Good' Friends". Because I have different kinds of friendships, different people bring forth a different type of energy. And so, when different-level-friends connect with other people in my world, I've come to realize that it can bring other unexpected issues into the dynamic; things that can become complicated, if not flat-out maddening.
If you can kinda-sorta see where I'm coming from, but you'd still like a little more of an explanation, just to be completely clear on where I'm coming from, sit tight. I'll break it down for you, as best I can, why my friends aren't friends with each other—and that's perfectly fine with me, chile.
Boundaries Are ALWAYS Good
I'm big on boundaries (check out "The Relationships In Your Life That Are Desperately In Need Of Boundaries"). Boundaries are simply limits. With that said, my not preferring my friends to be friends isn't a "rule". People are grown and can do whatever they wanna do. It is a limit for me, though, in the sense that I don't live my life in a way where my friends would become friends in the first place. I don't create settings for everyone to meet up. I don't recommend my friends get to know each other better. Honestly, I don't bring my friends up a ton to my other friends at all. Plus, because my friends know this is how I am, they aren't out here "hunting my other friends down" either (besides, that's just weird).
I must admit that, at first, some of the more sociable people in my life found this preference of mine to be strange, but actually many of my homies have started to incorporate this same "limit" themselves. Everyone has their own space in their other relationships which is cool. Sure, we may know about some of each other's friends on a surface level, but most of us are all good with the buck starting and stopping right there.
My Business Is Mine Alone to Tell
Yeah. Remember what I said about friendships having different levels? Back when I didn't draw firm boundaries in my relationships, I can't tell you how many times one of my friends would bring some detail of my life to me that I absolutely did not tell them. So, how did they find out? One of my other friends brought it up to them. I'm not talking about something nonconsequential like I made a run to the store either. Sometimes, it would be some really deep ish. In fairness (if you can call it that) to the "teller", it wasn't that they were being malicious or anything. More times than not, they were running off at the mouth thinking that, since I was friends with the other person, my friend already knew. 6 times out of 10, they couldn't be more wrong.
But now, since my friends aren't friends with each other, this isn't something that I have to worry about. Everyone finds out what I want them to know—if I want them to know it—on my own time. Besides, since friendships have levels, there are some people I go deep with while there are others that I choose to stay on the surface with, by design. When your friends aren't friends with each other, you get to make the decision of who is privy to info and who isn't—which should solely be your decision in the first place. Right?
I’m Not Perfect. My Friends Need to Vent to Their Own Folks, Tho.
Self-awareness is something that is very important to me. It's what helps me to see my flaws and issues; it's also what helps me to let my friends "show me myself" too. And because my friends and I typically hold nothing back when it comes to holding each other accountable, I know there are times when my friends may need to vent about my over-the-top candor or how I tend to be more black and white than grey. Maturity has taught me to be OK with that. At the same time, it's a lot easier when your friends vent (or rant) about you to people you don't even know (or aren't connected to) than someone who is your actual homie. Shoot, sometimes those same friends get on my nerves and I want to be able to express my feelings too. They don't care that I do it either because, just like I'm not emotionally invested or involved in who they are venting about me to, the same point applies over this way.
(By the way, I know that some of y'all are probably thinking, "A true friend wouldn't talk about you at all." That's not realistic. Or probable. Especially since you probably talk about your friends from time to time. Give them the space to do it. So long as it's not in your space.)
Should a Friendship End, I Don’t Want to Keep Hearing About That Person
This is a big one right here. I've got one friend who is still friends with me and another person who totally betrayed my trust. When you're in the third grade, you tend to take the position that if someone hurts you, all of your friends should stop being their friend. When you're grown, you get that, not only is that a very childish approach to relationships, it's not even fair. Still, it's been years since I ended things with said-friend and I still hearing about her, even though I couldn't care less. Why? Because we share a friend and I don't want to "police" my friend's topics of conversation. It's not her fault that her friend and I don't kick it anymore. Sometimes she's excited about something that happened in her friend's life. Sometimes she wants advice on how to handle a matter with the friend. Sometimes her friend comes up, simply because she's a part of the landscape of her life. But man, do I have moments where I am sick and tired of still hearing about that girl.
This is one more reason why I don't like my friends being friends. While I must say that my friend circle now is pretty darn healthy, beneficial and drama-free, even if it wasn't, it wouldn't matter. If I were to end things with one of my friends now, I wouldn't be hearing about them from any of my other friends.
While some of them know of each other or might even be connected via social media (due to business similarities, etc.), none of them are friends. And so, when I'm done, everything is done. There's no need for them to come up unless I bring them up because my other friends aren't invested in them in the way that I was. And I like it that way. I really do.
I’d Prefer the Universe Match People Up. Not Me.
This last point doesn't even come from my own personal experience. It comes from a friend of mine. Before I share her example that illustrates another reason why I don't like my friends being friends, let me just say that, because I live in this type of space, you can best believe that I respect it when it comes to others. Yes, there have been times when a friend has given me their blessing to connect with one of their friends for a particular business opportunity or I've ran into one of my friend's friends and we've had a cool chat. But I pretty much leave it at that. I don't keep phone numbers. I don't do social media so there's no need to connect there. I just leave it at "I appreciate you" and go on with my life. I've got my own friends, so I don't need to "woo" them in.
Here's another reason why I like living this way. One of my close girlfriends once had a close guy friend. She threw a party where her closest friends attended and another close girlfriend exchanged contact information with her guy friend. About three months later, my friend noticed that her girlfriend was bringing up her guy friend a lot. About three months after that, she also realized that she wasn't speaking as much with her guy friend. When she and the guy friend finally discussed it, he said that he felt like being friends with both of them was kind of awkward because he (now) knew so much about them both. And since their mutual girlfriend was more proactive in connecting with him, he (now) considered them to be closer.
Ain't that some ish? Yet, it happens. It happens when you're out here bringing friends together like a Coke commercial (LOL). As a result, now my friend isn't as close with either person because the guy friend has distanced himself and her girlfriend is cryptic AF about her friendship with the guy. None of this would've happened if my friend hadn't matched up her friends.
Listen, I know that this isn't the way everyone lives their life nor do I think that it should be. But I make no apologies for how much I like this particular standard. It has been nothing but relational smooth sailing for me, ever since I implemented it. And what about when my time comes to leave this earth? What then? Well, it's kind of another article for another time, but I'm the cremate-me-and-go-on-with-your-life kind of person, so there's no need for a kumbaya get together then either. Just remember me how I was. Your friend. Our relationship. As it was. On our own. Thank you much. No worries (literally). The end. Amen.
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