As we skip across the roadblocks of life, friends are there to give us a boost. In the gay community, finding great friends are a dime a dozen. I consider myself lucky in that regard, but it didn’t come easy.
I’ve come to realize that bad friends outnumber the good ones in more ways than we realize. Not only are there more of them, but we’re also more willing to invite them into our circles. Since so many of us are victims of unhealthy friendships, we’ve managed to make it a habit that’s hard to break.
There are way too many toxic personalities out there and it’s easy to soak them up like a sponge, leaving us confused about where our loyalty lies. Friends should never fill you with rage or disappointment and never are they meant to be accessories or tools, but rather a means to make us a better person. They give us incredible opportunities to learn about ourselves. They remind us where we’ve been and where we’re going to. They believe in us.
People come and go from our lives, but it’s the ones who stay that truly deserve to be there. When two people are existing on different frequencies, different planes, different directions, it’s only a matter of time before they both start to conflict, creating a crash and burn that leads to an explosion of regret and coulda woulda shouldas. It takes more than loyalty for a friendship to survive that. It requires commitment and a shared love to be able to move forward. As we get older we learn to filter out the bad eggs.
But in the gay community especially, there are unwritten rules to friendships we’ve manage to carry with us for the long haul. Jealousy, judgment, selfishness and a consistent lack of reciprocation have become an untamable beast within our culture – especially with young guys – that we’ve made it the infrastructure of most friendships. More often than not, it takes a rock-bottom situation for us to see the aftermath of our poor choices.
It’s never an easy thing to find a person who’s willing to look passed our faults and always have our backs. With so many people struggling to find their own well-being, caring for someone else’s seems like wasted time we ought to be spending on ourselves. The secret is this. Our well-being is easily influenced by those around us. Two friends with healthy attitudes towards the other’s feelings is only going to blossom into positive outcomes.
My mother always said if life was a giant slice of pie, gratitude should be the fork you eat it with. We go through our daily routine grabbing and taking and grabbing and taking, often times missing opportunities to see where it all came from. Unhealthy friendships blind us from gratitude. They keep us held down by made-up excuses as to why they deserve our trust – eventually our entire perception of the world becomes similar.
Toxic people don’t deserve what you are willing to offer. It’s important to know the difference between friends and acquaintances. Choose wisely, otherwise you might fall into a hole too deep to dig out of.