I don’t trust people who are friends with everybody. Might sound judgemental, but I hold the belief that one who’s friends with everyone can’t be loyal to a particular person or group of people. As humans, we have our individual values, standards, personal code of conduct, and principles regarding how we live our lives and the kind of people we would like to associate with. Now, there’s no way every single person we come across can fit into our idea of who a close friend should be.
In an age where social media has a huge influence on our lives, there’s some subtle, and sometimes blatant competition playing out every day. In the midst of the “chaos,” there are people who have reasoned that they need to position themselves to be in everyone’s good books. They need to be liked, they need to be perceived as good, they have a yearning to be loved by all and sundry, and this drives them to actively pursue a close association borne out of not-too-genuine intentions.
I am not in any way suggesting it’s bad or disadvantageous to be friendly and at peace with others. I am also well aware that there are people who naturally possess the ability to get along with people from all walks of life, people of divergent characteristics and varying eccentricities. These people have a unique way of interacting with those whom others generally perceive to be difficult or weird. They are high spirited and have the right attitude and thick skin to deal with any form of negativity. I am not referring to this category of people.
I am discussing those who have absolutely no alliances. No definite allegiance to anyone or group of people. And I am not advocating belonging to cliques here, one doesn’t have to be in a clique to have an unwavering devotion to one or two people. It’s some kind of unwritten life rule. In the same way we are fiercely loyal to our immediate family or blood relations, we all should have one or more people who represent our ride-or-die friends. Everyone should have their inner circle people; those whom they owe unflinching loyalty come what may.
Unfortunately, the friend to all has no capacity to inspire this level of trust. In their quest to be perceived as the big-hearted one anyone can relate to, they are everywhere, forming bonds with everyone, and being let in on confidential information that should be reserved for a person’s inner caucus.
They earn everyone’s trust with their contrived sweet nature and natural ability to get along with all kinds of people. They are quick to bond with different classes in the society and have perfected the art of mingling in any crowd, and beyond loose conversations are able to gain the trust of the average person. However, they are sorely lacking in the one thing that makes close relationships different from casual ones – loyalty.
It’s practically impossible to bond with too many people.
Intimate friendships demand time, plenty of effort, patience and the willingness to accept and trust the other party with information you would never think of sharing with anyone you didn’t have implicit trust in.
True friendship requires that you not divulge secrets that were shared when the going was good even though you just had a fallout or disagreement with the other party. You know a person is your friend when you realize that their place in your life should never be sacrificed on the altar of pettiness, and so, it never even crosses your mind to snitch on them.
The friend to all has no scruples about revealing information that may be hurtful to the one they consider friend. Their loyalty is spread too thin among the many people they are close to, which makes it difficult for them to be dedicated to any particular person. The friend to all may be liked by many because they are seen as approachable and down to earth, but more often than not, they are a time bomb waiting to explode.
I admire people who are friendly and can relate with just about anybody. However, I am wary of the same personality that makes them loved – that duplicity of character that makes it dangerous to trust them.
One feels safer with friends who aren’t chummy with the entire world. Friends who don’t go out of their way to make enemies for themselves, but at the same time, are comfortable in their skin, and do not have the urge or feel the need to be liked by every Tola, Chidi and Bello.
I like knowing I hold a special position in the heart of my tiny circle of friends, that I am not just another insignificant name on their long list of pals. One that can be thrown under the bus if push comes to shove.
I don’t trust people who are friends with the entire universe for one singular reason – like Buhari, they belong to everybody, and they belong to nobody.