All Articles Tagged "friendship"

Get Em’ Bae: Should Your Man Fight Your Battles With Your Friends?

February 8th, 2015 - By Toya Sharee
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boyfriend fight your battles

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So by now if you’re familiar with my taste in TV, you know my guilty pleasure are the ladies featured on Lifetime’s Little Women: LA. The reality show is no different than Basketball Wives or Love and Hip Hop as a group of twenty and thirty-somethings navigate dating, friendship and motherhood with all the added challenges that being a dwarf can bring. Once you get past the height requirement you’ll find the same catty arguments, competitive relationships, and drink throwing that you’ll find on any VH-1 line up.

(**Warning: Spoiler Alert) Last week’s show featured cast mates Terra and Christy going head to head after Terra suspects Christy created unnecessary drama by revealing to friend Traci that Terra is pregnant. Traci has been trying desperately to get pregnant, and Christy who is known for pitting the friends against one another in the past defends her action saying that she wanted to prepare Traci for Terra’s big news since she felt she might feel resentful or jealous that she failed to get pregnant first. Terra ends up calling out Traci for being shady in a big blow up by a friendly bonfire, where Christy’s husband’s Todd runs to her defense. When Traci’s husband Erik’s suggest that Todd let the ladies hash it out on their own, Todd insists that a real man defends his woman, even if it is to her own friends.

Hmm…I can’t completely disagree with where Todd is coming from, but I must admit it’s always made me look at a man funny when he’s involved in drama and cat fights. As stereotypical as it may be, I’m used to men solving their problems with a few cuss words and clowning each other’s sex lives before having a beer over a game of 2K and forgetting why they were mad in the first place. When a guy gets overly involved in the “he said, she said” my respect for him instantly drops down a few notches.

I guess at the end of the day it’s less about what gender you are and more about maturity. Someone has to be the voice of reason and as much as I want my husband to have my back in situations where I feel I may be surrounded by snakes, I also need him to sit me down and be blunt about when I’m being a b**ch.  It’s important for couples to know their place in the partners’ relationships. Some situations don’t require your input and are best left worked out among those directly involved. There are three sides to every story: the person you love’s version, the other person’s point of view and the truth and it’s natural to side with the person you sleep next to every night. But just because you love them, doesn’t mean that they’re right. At the end of the day as much as I may not want my husband to be hurt, he’s a grown ass man and to some extent, can fight his own battles.

You also have to be ready to accept all the things you may not want to hear when everyone has kissed and made up. It’s all good when your better half is on the front line with you because you’ve decided you collectively hate your girl Tamika, but what about when you and Tamika decide to squash it and your man still remembers how upset she made you and all the times HE had to wipe away your tears? You can’t expect other people to forgive those who have caused you pain, just because you’ve decided you’re over it.

My husband is truly my right hand and I most definitely want him to back me up when it counts, but the truth is I know my friends best and it’s unfair to allow him to bully them when the beef is clearly between me and them. When you allow your man to fight your battles, boundaries get crossed that aren’t easy to come back from and he may start to believe he has license to disrespect your friends. It can leave you in an awkward position in the middle exploring where your loyalties lie. You don’t want to create an environment where your man is comfortable talking to your friends however he feels like. At the end of the day how your partner treats those you chose to have in your life says as much about the respect he has for you, as what he has for your friends.

Does your man get involved in you and your friends’ affairs?

Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a  passion for helping  young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health.  She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about  everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.

Serious Question: Can You Be Friends With Someone Who’s Jealous Of Your Life?

February 4th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Friends With Someone Jealous

Source: BET

During last night’s premiere of season 2 of “Being Mary Jane” we saw MJ picked up right where she left off at the end of season 1: wilin’ out. I truly didn’t think Mary Jane could get any worse than lying on the floor attempting to artificially inseminate herself with a turkey baster (after showing up at the home of the non-complicit sperm donor drunk),  yet low and behold she outdid herself last night in a very different way.

I can speak for myself (and likely a few of you too) when I say alcohol has been known to make one express their deepest, most inappropriate feelings at the worst of times. If you have friends who love you enough to see past the drunken stupor they’ll likely forgive you, depending on what comes out of your mouth once Jack and Henny go in. But there’s something to be said for the people who tolerate emotional drunkeness on a daily basis when a friend wants something they can’t have and takes that out on them, repeatedly.

We saw that last night with the introduction of Mary Jane’s friend Valerie who, to the naked eye, seemingly has it all — good looks, a great job, a happy marriage, and 2.1 kids. It’s understandable how an equally attractive, career savvy woman in the same age bracket would feel some type of way about not being a wife and mother as well, but is being in your feelings over not having a relationship worth losing a friendship? Or better yet, is Mary Jane the kind of friend that’s worth keeping around?

Jealousy is an awkward emotion to be the object of. While some might liken it to flattery, just as jealousy is a terrible quality to have in a mate, it can also wreak havoc on friendships — as we saw last night. Mary Jane could’ve gotten a pass for her drunkenly insecure tirade about Valerie being kept on a leash by her husband, but it’s the half-a$$ed apology that came a day later when she essentially acted as though Valerie should apologize for having the life she wants that sent me over the edge. Though Valerie stood her ground and told Mary Jane if she wanted something similar she needed to go out and get it for herself, that advice seemed to go in one of MJ’s ears and out the other as just a day later she showed up at Valerie’s home expecting her to be her emotional crutch after dogging her out twice in one week. Where they do that at?

It’s not surprising Valerie’s husband Chris had it up to here with Mary Jane’s antics at that point. While I agree with the Twitter commentary on MJ being obsessed, I’d also add she was being selfish, expecting everyone else to share the burden of her singleness without regard for their own problems or thinking about how she got into this mess with David to begin with –and not even acknowledging the fact that she spent months pining after a married man after they reconnected. Can you say missed opportunity?

And the thing is, anyone with a group of two or more friends would be sympathetic to these things, as I doubt there’s a single woman on the planet who hasn’t wasted more than her fair share of time on the wrong man or even questioned why her and not them when it comes to their romantic life. But when you alienate the very people who can have your back in such a time of desperation as what MJ showed last night, it won’t be long before you find yourself without a man or any friends.  Thirty minutes into the show, I personally was exhausted at the thought of tolerating a person like that, let alone calling them a friend and I’m curious whether Valerie is going to eventually hit her breaking point and cut MJ off or nurse her back to sane mental health. What do you think? Could you be friends with Mary Jane if you were in Valerie’s shoes?

PS: If you missed last night’s show, the full episode is below.

Signs You Need To Break Up With A Friend

January 29th, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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When you typically think about relationships, it’s natural for your mind to go to romantic ones.  However, those only encompass a small percentage of the relationships in our lives.

Similar to your romantic relationships, you will hit highs and lows in friendships.  Some friendships blossom and are lifelong.  Others end, leaving hurt feelings resentment; but ultimately, less stress in your life.

To those with toxic friendships that are draining, here are some signs that you might want to “break-up” with your friend.

How Cynthia Bailey Taught Us The Importance Of Speaking Up Now

December 26th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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The Importance Of Speaking Up Now

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As many of you have been, I’ve been watching “Real Housewives of Atlanta” this season and have witnessed Cynthia plant trees and develop clouds that are throwing shade like no one’s business.  There’s a lot of discussion about this “new Cynthia,” but honestly, she’s not new.  The Cynthia that you’re seeing now is the result of holding in too much stuff.

Just like when you add baking soda and vinegar, or lye to your hand, suppressed emotions can cause an extreme reaction that might even be painful to you and others.  This is what I think is going on with Cynthia.

Like I’ve said before, I don’t know Cynthia and Nene personally.  All I know is what I’ve seen on the multiple seasons, and with that information we see how Cynthia’s main story line so far is about her broken friendship with Nene.  Every time she sits down to talk to someone, she’s discussing how Nene has wronged her in the past, was rude to her if she didn’t agree with her, and how Nene’s mean spirited behavior ultimately drove her away.

Some people think that Cynthia is doing this to ensure her spot on RHOA, but I don’t think so.  I think that these are the thoughts, feelings and opinions that Cynthia has felt for a very long time, but didn’t utter them because she held out hope for the friendship.

We’ve all seen how Nene can sometimes loud-talk her way into winning an argument, and we’ve seen how Cynthia can quiet herself down to keep the peace.  Those two things together can allow the quieter person to feel resentment.  There’s a feeling of how one person always feel free to express their displeasure with things in life, but you can’t.

This is why you need to SPEAK UP when things happen!  A lot of times people think that they are just keeping the peace, when in actuality they are just keeping themselves and their feelings in bondage.  After a while, just like when you shake up a canned/bottled soda, things can explode.

So if the friendship is finally over, why is Cynthia still talking about it?  Because Cynthia has had years of repressed animosity.  Cynthia has probably felt like she was walking on egg shells during her friendship with Nene, while Nene could sashay freely all over the friendship.  The words that we’re hearing now are the words that Cynthia probably rehearsed to say, but never did.  These were the talking points that she would go over in her head as she went on being fabulous, but the moment she saw Nene, and Nene smiled at her, she probably thought:  “Well, was it really that serious?  She probably didn’t mean for it to come off how it did, and maybe I’m being too sensitive?”  So she swallowed her words and decided that the next time she would speak up, but she never did.

How do I know this?  I don’t, but I do know that this is what I used to do.  I would try to not rock the boat with best friends and family members.  However, I usually ended up feeling like I was in a one-sided union.  These people had the freedom to express whatever they wanted to about me, my life, or the things that annoyed them, while I felt like I had to quiet myself down to keep the peace.  Then, when the relationship finally went sour, that’s when it was like vomit, unpleasant to witness and hard to be around.

Then I would proceed to finally let all of the frustrations that I had against that person out and it took a very long time too.

It wasn’t until I started just addressing things when they happened in college that my relationships got better.  There wasn’t that underlining feeling of resentment, and when someone made me angry, I was only angry at that isolated incident, instead of a stream of situations that had happened.

So to you, dear readers, it’s going to be hard if this is something that you struggle with.  Believe me, even though I’m more vocal with expressing things, I still find myself struggling with trying to express my displeasure with the more sensitive people in my life.  However, I know that it would be better to express how I feel, have them mad at me now, than me going completely off and ending a meaningful relationship.

Friendships are like bridges, it could take months to build, but one swift blow can tear it down.  If it’s a relationship that you cherish, you owe it to your friend/family and even yourself to speak your mind.  It’s not right for you to have to silence yourself for other people.

Also, when the shoe is on the other foot and someone wants to express their displeasure with you, remember to be open to the criticism, because it could be what could save your friendship.

 

Kendra Koger has been speaking up and tweeting @kkoger

What To Do When You Hate Your Friend’s Boyfriend

November 16th, 2014 - By Julia Austin
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Friend's Boyfriend

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Having your best friend date someone you can’t stand is a very sticky situation. You want to support your friend, but what does support even mean in that instance? Does it mean being nice to her new boyfriend? Or does it mean telling your friend you think the guy is bad news? Here’s how to deal when you find yourself thinking, “I hate my friend’s boyfriend!” every single day.

Losing Friends? The Problem Might Be How You Apologize

October 23rd, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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You’re hardheaded, she’s hardheaded and it’s why you got along — but when you fall out it feels like it’s going to be forever. If the friendship’s worth saving working on how you apologize could be enough to patch things up.

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

It’s The Way You Say It

Sometimes it’s hard to brush the salt off of an apology before you hand it over — especially if you’re still sort of mad. Take a page from Aaliyah’s book and write her a four-page letter. Sometimes it’s easier to get around your emotions when you put it on paper.

10 Lessons We Learned In Junior High…And Then Again Later In Life

October 21st, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Before I was a writer by profession, I was a writer by choice. My mother bought me a diary at seven years old and I still keep one today. Reading my old diaries is fas-cin-a-ting. But the stuff didn’t really start getting juicy (and hilarious and embarrassing) until around middle school. Reading my 7th grade diary today, it was clear that I was learning some very crucial life lessons. Very crucial. And while I thought I’d mastered them in middle school, life has a way of retesting you. Here are the lessons I (and most of us) learned in middle school and learned again in our twenties…or later.

Straight From His Mouth: Should You Be Worried About His Female Friends?

October 14th, 2014 - By Dr. J
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Source: Corbis

Source: Corbis

My relationship with my best friend is a bit unorthodox. After all, she’s a woman and that can tend to make the women I date a bit uncomfortable. It’s something that I’ve had to work through for years and it’s definitely not something I haven’t overcome before. In fact, the women I date soon find out that the overwhelming majority of my friends are females and they have to make peace with that — or not. I don’t know how this happened but I can only guess that being raised by a single mother, a grandmother, and single aunts placed me in several circumstances where I was surrounded by women. My second guess would be that after joining a black Greek lettered organization, my need for making male friends outside of the organization was reduced.

Whatever the case may be as far as the development of my inner circle, women who find themselves in relationships with men who have close female friends — without knowing all the details — get suspicious. I’m not a woman and I can’t speak for all of you but let’s say “women’s intuition” really exists and is a supernatural power that all women possess to be able to sniff out a woman after her man. Let’s say that men are inherently naïve when it comes to their female friends and while they may think the relationship is platonic, the girl friend is secretly waiting for the right time to pounce. Even if that’s all well (or not) and true, it’s important not to worry about something that isn’t happening. I’m not saying you should turn a blind eye, I’m just saying, you shouldn’t worry about things that haven’t happened. The only way that situation will play itself out is with the woman looking jealous or insecure: Two traits that are shortly followed by unattractiveness and eventual breakup.

I can tell you from firsthand experience that at a certain point in life and your relationship with your female friends, the relationship reaches a platonic level that cannot be overcome. At that point, it’s really off-putting when you’re accused of wanting to be with them or it’s suggested that they want to be with you. It’s not that I don’t find my female friends to be beautiful or great people, it’s just that I’m not attracted to them. Trust me, I’m typically the last one to know when a mutual male friend of mine is trying to get at them but I always understand why once I find out.

Here’s another reason you probably want to exercise chill when it comes to his female friends; they’re probably closer to him than you are from the onset. Over time you may become closer to him than they are, but that relationship and closeness takes time. If you go into the dating/relationship phase suspicious of the women in his life right away, they’ll have his ear more than you. Also, understand that a man rarely will choose the unknown over the known. Meaning, he has his friends and they’ve likely been there for him for a long time. He’s not going to throw all that away for a relationship with a woman that may not work out in the long run.

Lastly, it’s really on the guy to be concerned about his friendships with women outside of his romantic relationship. Every guy handles it different but it’s his cross to bear. He may see them less, talk to them less or even pull away from them. Or, he may not change a thing at all. It’s important that he dictate that relationship instead of his significant other. For me, it’s important that I maintain my relationship with my best friend but I’m also very quick to inform my significant other of her presence and role in my life. It’s been years that I’ve had this best friend and I go to her for a lot; that’s not going to change overnight. Any woman I date should know this and let it be my concern, not hers.

15 Signs You’re Actually Dating Your Best Friend

September 1st, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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You’re never really single as long as your BFF is around. You go on dates, know you’re soul mates who are in it to the very end, and deep down you know that while relationships are great, sometimes BFFs are better.

Dating Your Best Friend

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It Was Love At First Sight

From the very first time you hung out, you knew you were going to have a roll dog for life.

Cynthia Hopes To Make Amends With NeNe: ‘We Had A Rough Patch’

August 11th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

Tis the season for reality TV besties to kiss and make up? A few weeks ago, we told you that former “Basketball Wives” star Evelyn Lozada expressed a desire to patch things up with friend-turned-foe, Jennifer Williams. Now, it seems that Cynthia Bailey is also ready to bury the hatchet and move forward with ex-friend, NeNe Leakes.

“It’s a friendship,” Cynthia told the QC Scene. “We had a rough patch and I’m really looking forward to moving forward with her. I will always have love for NeNe regardless of whether we’re besties or not.”

As for whether or not a reconciliation will actually happen, Cynthia encouraged fans to tune in for the new season to find out.

“You just have to watch the show to see how the dynamics of our relationship, friendship has changed and evolved,” she said.

Nene recently spoke to us about her friendship with Cynthia and has this to say:

“Cynthia I honestly had a real friendship with her. I don’t know where all this is coming from. But it was sorted out on season 7 for all of your guys to see. But I must say I feel like I’m a great friend to everybody who’s really been a friend in my life.”

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not a reconciliation will actually occur, as NeNe has stated in recent months that she and the model-turned-reality-star’s friendship is a dead issue.

“I think that’s a done deal for me. I think that our friendship was great,” she told Us Weekly. “I feel like I was a great friend to her, I honestly think she was a great friend for me, I just think that our friendship has come to an end. It’s run its course.”

Do you think Cynthia and NeNe should give their friendship another try?