I’ve never had a hard time making friends. And until recently, I used to like to think of myself as a really good friend. It’s not that I discovered that I was a bad friend, but I realized there were some areas in my close relationships that I needed to work on. Some behaviors that I had adopted to avoid healing emotional wounds of the past. You know, the type of things that you don’t realize are a problem until they become a BIG problem. The sort of things that can end friendships. I am beginning a series of blog posts called “Lessons in Friendship” where I will share with you some of the things that I’ve learned (and am still learning) about friendship over the past 20 years.

This series is not intended to put people on blast or point the finger at any of my friends (go watch an episode of the Real Housewives if you’re looking for gossip). I am sharing nuggets of wisdom I’ve lived through. I have made my fair share of mistakes in friendship and god has granted me the time to reflect on my actions as well as learn how to better handle situations that arise in relationships. I welcome comments on the topics that will be discussed in these blog posts and I hope that these lessons will resonate with some people and perhaps inspire them to carefully navigate the delicacies of human relationship.

*I am not a therapist and I highly recommend therapy to help heal wounds and traumas you may be suffering from as the result of relationships. My work is for entertainment purposes. 



Ecclesiastes 4:10

“If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

Sometimes Your Friends Choose You, Sometimes You Have to Choose Your Friends

Are you trying to get chose or are you trying to be the chooser? I can remember a time where I chose my friends. I put myself out there and started a conversation with someone that appealed to me for some reason, and fate took its course. I was less guarded then. I was a child. And as children we tend to bond fairly easily over the smallest things; growing up in the same neighborhood, liking the same band, or sitting next to each other in class. There was never a hidden agenda behind those early childhood and teenage friendships. Things just clicked and unfolded and before you knew it, you had a best friend and you were inseparable. I miss those days. Life was more or less uncomplicated.

On many occasions, I am the chosen. I’m always taken aback at how quickly I become the keeper of secrets. My naturally introverted persona tends to magnetize outgoing, chatty, personalities. And I’m quickly swept up in someone’s web of personal drama wondering “how the heck did I get here?”  Someone decides that I look trustworthy enough to hold that secret ready to burst from their lips. I’m often very shocked that people are so open about their personal lives, thoughts, and feelings with complete strangers. I’ve never been one to divulge my personal secrets with strangers,  but maybe that’s because I oftentimes don’t have many. What I failed to realize is that these individuals often lack boundaries and that this character trait often times has negative effects on the lives of the recipient of their latest gossip, in this case me.

woman covering her mouth with her finger

So how do you keep yourself from someone’s instant friend? Well, I realize that I cannot control other people. But I’m guilty of listening for longer than I needed. I can vividly recall the last time I was the victim of a recent acquaintance’s overshare. I mean cringeworthy overshare. I was so shocked by this person’s candidness that I didn’t think to stop them. I was a total sponge. And afterwards, I felt very icky. It was in that moment that I needed to find a polite and professional way to communicate that I did not desire to know such intimate details of their personal life, and that they in no way should feel the need to share them with me.

You may be wondering why I couldn’t just tell them, “I don’t feel comfortable with the information that you are sharing with me.” These situations always catch me off guard and I have difficulty finding the right words to say until after the moment has passed. I enjoy making friends, and because I desire to have healthy friendships I took this as an opportunity to identify what I’d consider to be a red flag. And if you are wondering if I ever set that boundary. I did. This particular person continued to feel the need to vent to me about things I would deem inappropriate based on the setting that we were both in and I found ways to communicate that there was no reason for them to share particular details of their life with me.

cup of tea

“Tea leaves stains.”

In an era where everyone feels the need to share every detail about their lives, whether it be on social media or through their openness with relative strangers. I err on the side of caution. God once revealed to me that “Tea leaves stains.” in regards to what we share with other people. So you have some tea to spill? Can you really trust this person? Can something you’ve shared with someone come back to bite you in your future relationships, career, or in your marriage? These are things I consider before choosing what parts of my life to divulge with others. Trust is something to be earned over time. Now when I meet someone with loose lips, I can’t help but imagine who they might tell if I told them personal affects about my life.

While people often choose me to be their friend, the feeling is not always mutual. I’ve learned the hard way that just because someone has chosen me to be their new friend, the feelings don’t have to be mutual. I do feel that I owe them the dignity to plug their leaking vessel in the most graceful way possible. What do you think? Have you been on the recieving end of instant friendship? How did you handle it? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section.


sinking ship

Quick Take:

Nip oversharing in the butt with some tactful phrases.

“I don’t feel comfortable with the information that you are sharing with me.”

“No need to share the intimate details.”

“No thank you.”


What do you think? Have you been the victim of becoming someone’s instant friend? How did you deal? I’d love to read your comments below.