Change Your Friends: Its allowed.

Kumbaya Moments

Most properly brought up people (not everyone just most) are wired to be Loyal. From childhood you are conditioned to stick by your siblings or cousins (your first friends) even when you fight each other, you parents make you apologise to each other,  hug and make up and eat together….. and all that kumbaya stuff.

So before we even understand why, we are programmed to defend and support people close to us especially family. I do not have brothers but one thing I have always admired about boys is how fiercely they fight for and protect their family especially their sisters and mothers, these protective instincts are further transferred to their wives and daughters. It can be really beautiful to see and observe.

That being said, loyalty to friends and family is a beautiful thing and if you and your “people” grow up and mature together please enjoy it its a rare gift. I love my family and as far as I am concerned I am blindly loyal to family in public. Emphasis on blindly (I choose not to see even when I know)

Y’all have to break up

However! However!! However!!! there’s a proverb that says “20 children cannot play together for 20 years” a time will come in your life when you will need to decide to change either for the better or for worse depending on your level of wisdom. Not everyone of your friends is still around by the time you get to that point in your life and so sometimes its not always a decision you make its one that is made for you.

      Goodbye Former Friend

So, in your lifes’ journey, the first batch to quit the clique of “friends” simply disappear. With these friends, you do not even need to try they just kind of fall of the radar for all sorts of reasons. It could be distance, it could be that they repeated a class in school, maybe they moved up or down the social ladder, got married early or that they simply died. It could also be that they had an “aha” moment as Oprah would say, made a decision to cut off certain friends, moved up ahead of you in life and left you behind (Yes you may be the friend that was left behind at some point). I must say it is not so comfortable to discover that you were left behind but what you do with that information is dependent on the quality of your person.

Then the next group of friends you loose are those with whom you are kinda moving at the same pace but have differing ideologies or principles. These differences occur for all sorts of reasons such as  faith/religion, political ideals, personalities, and even social status. So you find yourselves clashing a lot and arguing(unhealthily) quite often with neither of you agreeing to back down. With these friends after a while, you subtly (verbally or non-verbally) agree to disagree and simply grow apart; no beef, no accusations, no quarrels. You may or may not remain on speaking terms depending on how the separation plays out, but being at the same level of exposure with similar yet different heads paces, you both just understand that your friendship is not healthy so you both just let it go.

The friendships that confuse us

N/B: Friendships can be weird and I may never be able to explain why a Nun and a Sex worker would be good friends or why an Imam and a priest have been buddys for over 50 years but these “abnormalities” happen and its beautiful and that is life. However for the purpose of these blog I’m just gonna stick with the regular and “normal” everyday friendships.


The friends that may be easy to let go of are the ones that are bad for you. Like for instance,the childhood friend that becomes a cultist or drug addict or thief or fraudster.  It’s easy to let go of this type because first of all, your lives have probably already taken parallel paths and more likely that not, you stop moving in the same circles. With these ones you can simply decide to cut-off and stick to it.

                         The Slay Queens

Now comes the hard part. Letting go of friends that are not good for you even though they are not bad people. Like I said earlier, we are programmed to be loyal and even more so when that loyalty is reciprocated. These are the friends that love you and you love them but they are not healthy for you in you growth journey. The ones that you partied with, slayed with, went on road trips with, broke all the rules with when you were supposed to read for an exam , the ones that you sat and lazed about with instead of job searching. The friends who you gossiped with and wit whom you blamed everybody even “Trump” but yourselves for wrong decisions you made.

These friends are who you used to be and who you no longer wish to be. A very lucky person may have friends who feel “if you’re changing then I am too ‘coz we gonna die on the line together” and that’s a wonderful thing to hustle up the ladder of life together. But experience shows that it is not always so.

Therefore this batch of friends are hard to leave because they are your comfort zone and their opinions mean a lot to you because they know you. They take it personal when you start making decisions that differ from what you both did before. The fact that you are consciously making changes to your life means there is something wrong with their own life and they cannot understand why what you had before is not good enough. Some of them may be happy for you and wish you well but more times than not, they will pick offence and categorize your decision with high sounding names like “social climber”,”wanna be”, “snub”….. etc.

The new you will be hurt very much by these events but will grow from it and in your resolve to make your life better you will forge ahead and you will persist. This is usually the point of no return because the pull from/of/for the familiar is very strong and this is the point at which a weak person breaks down but a strong person will turn their pull to a spring board and turn the criticism received to fuel for motivation.

Some of us have gotten to this point several times and failed but I guess its ok to keep trying so long as you do not give up. It can get lonely from here onward but it is a necessary evil if I do say so myself.

You will find yourself admiring and gravitating towards people that think like you or at least those that think like you want and aspire to think. And after a constant back and forth between you negative critics(old friends) and your encouragers (you and your new acquaintances) you will decide consciously to change your friends.

It’s hard and painful, the guilt in indescribable. It will feel like you’re breaking a sacred rule or something of the sort but after a while you will understand the need to keep negative people out of your friend zone and leave them as acquaintances. So, in whatever way you choose to be better, whether a better Christian, Entrepreneur, Student, Employee or whatever it is, it’s ok to change your Friends. Eventually  you will like your decision and be grateful for it and inspite of the occasional guilt, you’ll learn to live with it.


  • Shakira Latrice Art




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