Careful who you call friends – Giovanni’s Take

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By Giovanni Charles

In this day and age we really need to be mindful of who we call our friends. It is highly unlikely for us to meet someone and immediately determine whether they’re to be considered a ‘real’ or a ‘fake’ friend. It is true that you may meet a person and think that he/she would make a good friend in an instant but only time will tell. When we make such theories, most times it’s based upon a judgement of the personality that the person delivered at a certain place or time but obviously as things change, people change. So put that ‘judgement’ on hold for a while.

Think about a person you have just met in a workspace. That’s where most people wear their professional mask. They speak fluently and respectably and approach issues and you like that, so you begin to see them as a person who’d make a good friend.After work, however, the mask  comes off, the fluency goes away and you are greeted by a rowdy personality. This is what I call the street mask. You now realize that this is not the type of person that you want to associate with.

The characteristics of individuals under certain rules and regulations will surely change when they are no longer under these restrictions. So which mask do you base your judgment upon?

Now if I was in such a situation I would refer to this person as real. Real enough to reveal the true colours but given that the ‘street’ personality is not the type that I would want to associate myself with, I would only maintain my affiliation with that person in the work place.

But why is this important anyways? You need to assess people firstly before calling them a friend. Now I’m not saying that you go all detective on the person, but you should take things slowly to ensure that both the professional and street masks go with you. The word ‘friend’ is a strong one.

But sometimes we do find ourselves being friends with persons whose personalities completely differ from ours. This is why I don’t believe in the phrase “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” Does this mean because one has friends who are party freaks that makes them a party freak too? Or because one has friends who are into a certain genre of music that you are not into, people should assume that you are into it as well?

Instead of assuming, find out. We are not all cut from the same fabric but that doesn’t mean denim and chiffon don’t mix well.

All in all, as long as you are comfortable being who you are around someone and you get a mutual feel, then it is safe to call that person a friend.

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