There is a quote that says, "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future." That quote truly embodies my thoughts and feelings on friendships. My friends are a very important part of my life. While I pride myself on being an unique individual, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge how my friends have played a vital role in who I am and who I aspire to be. One of my best friends is why I left an 11-year career in state government to enter into the clinical research industry. This decision proved to be one of the best decisions I have made to date. My friends motivate me, inspire me, pour into me, love on me, and I truly don't know what I would do without them. While they each entered my life at different times, they are all equally important to me. When and how I met them has absolutely no bearing on how impactful they have been in my life.
I'm pretty sure we've all heard the sentiment "no new friends" before. The motto was made popular back in 2013 after the release of the hit song "No New Friends" by DJ Khaled featuring Drake. While the song may have popularized the "no new friends" slogan, the concept of loyalty and "staying down with your day ones" is not new. While I think that loyalty is an admirable trait and I have surely done a two-step to the song, I don't agree with the "no new friends" concept. Here's why:
It encourages staying in toxic friendships.
Let's be honest, we've all had a toxic friendship, or perhaps we've even been the toxic friend. Whatever the case, can we agree that no one should have to deal with that? However, the "no new friends" narrative encourages just that. Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, we all need connection as human beings. If you aren't willing to meet new people and develop new friendships, you are more likely to stay in a place you don't belong out of sheer loneliness.
It encourages staying in friendships you’ve outgrown.
We are constantly evolving and changing and as a result we may outgrow friendships. It doesn't mean that anyone did anything wrong or that there was some sort of betrayal. It just means that you may have simply grown apart or that you don't have much in common anymore. Whatever the reason, it is OK to go your separate ways with someone you once called a friend and find your tribe.
You miss out on the chance to build friendship with some amazing people.
While I am blessed to still be friends with people I met over 20 years ago, I also have met some of my closest friends within the last five years or less. I honestly don't know what I would do without some of these friends and I am forever grateful for their presence in my life. These friends have prayed for me, seen me at my absolute worst, and dropped everything to be there in tough times. Had I followed the "no new friends'' mantra, I would have missed out on getting to know these gems.
It discourages having different groups of friends.
I have different groups of friends. I have friends that are from high school, from college, from work, married friends, single friends, church friends, Instagram friends, and the list goes on. While I'd like to think that if I got them all together in the same room, they would all get along, I still recognize that the likelihood that it will actually happen is slim because…life. If you subscribe to the "no new friends" way of life, you seriously rob yourself of having a diverse group of friends to do different things with.
While you may be closer to some friends than you are to others, or talk to some friends more often than you do others, it is OK to meet new people while still maintaining your friendships with your day ones. If you had to part ways with some of your day ones and have a completely new tribe now, that is OK too. Whatever it looks like, you have to do what is best for you. We only get one chance at this thing called life and you deserve to be surrounded with people that make you happy, new or old.
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