Not everyone can be your friend. This is a truth that takes many years to understand. “There’s plenty of people who don’t like me / But ten times more who love me / And I love myself”. These are lyrics from “Happy Face” by Destiny’s Child. The title makes the song sound completely juvenile, but there’s some nuggets of wisdom in there. Click here to listen to it in its entirety. It’s lyrically a very uplifting song (if you can get over the Beyonce pseudo-operatic ad-libbing).
Juggling a wide range of friends is extremely difficult. I am very proud to say that all of my Facebook friends (yes, all 417 of them) are people that I actually know. We all know I’m addicted to Facebook, but I don’t just accept anyone as a friend. That FB phrase “accept as friend” is pretty powerful. What you are doing is letting someone into your life in a public way.
I think that’s why it always bothers me when I hear friends tell me secondhand that someone is bothered by something I say or do on FB. I never just post anything online without thinking very, very carefully about it first. I don’t think many people really understand that. If I post it, then I really want you to know about it. And if you don’t like it, then you should be mature enough to express that to me.
But enough of that soapbox. What I tend to forget is that I have different levels of friends. I have lots of acquaintances and dozens of people that I really love hanging out with on a regular basis. (Ooo, shameless plug alert.) There are my Junior Woman’s Club gals, my karaoke buddies, friends from previous jobs, old classmates, City Year friends and my lovably geeky gang of friends I’ve known for about 11 years.
There are maybe a handful of people out of those groups that I know I can call on at any time and they will be available (either physically, emotionally or both) to help me in any way. I hope all of you have at least one person in your life who’s like that. I’m extremely blessed to have people I know I can count on, especially when I’m experiencing a difficult period of such magnitude, I can’t possibly handle it on my own. Last week was one of those times, and I don’t think I could have survived without them.
So here’s to you — buddies, acquaintances and friends. I appreciate having each and every one of you in my life.