Black Women: We all cannot be instant best friends

In my opinion, friendships grow in the same manner as other relationships. There is a courtship or getting to know you phase. There is the gradual “tell me more about yourself” or “I’m telling you more about myself” phases.

  • You share ideas.
  • You share mildly humorous short stories.
  • You share your food.
  • You share your time. You share your ambitions. And so on….

Overall, in whatever manner it occurs, trust must be earned. Respect must be earned.

For each and every person who decide to be friends, it takes time. One of the things I’ve noticed among SOME black women is that there is no in-between phase. In an environment such as school or work, from day one, I’ll be subjected to the most intimate – things that I really don’t care to know about – verbal dump.

The BFF Hotline

I’m thinking of starting a 900 number phone line so these chatterboxes can spend the $3-$5 per minute babbling on about their inconsequential lives.

Yes, I say inconsequential, because I don’t know them enough to care or consider whether their issues are worth being concerned about. So, they shouldn’t be offended when after backing up their verbal garbage truck and dumping on me, which I only allow after a couple of times, I get up and walk away to avoid their presence. Even if they follow me, I run away saying, “I’ve gotta do something right now, don’t have time.”

I really do have better things to do. In these environments, my time is money. I’m not one to provide a sympathetic ear until I know you. A relationship doesn’t begin unless you invite me to lunch and we use some of the off-time to talk. It doesn’t begin unless we share some hobbies and want to hang out somewhere at some time. But it doesn’t come with interrupting me at the job as often as a chatty pest may see fit. It doesn’t begin until these women show some consideration, a reasonable attitude, and address me in a proper manner.

Misdirection and Disaffection

I’m very polite, but some folks want to assume I’m a doormat. You know, everybody loves to bait a black woman to see her turn into a “She Hulk.” Not gonna happen with me.

And, I’m puzzled by the strange attitude I get from some black women.

They speak in such a odd way towards me. See, I’m not okay with that common tone of anger. I feel that if you have an issue with someone else, take it up with them.

A real friendship doesn’t begin with another woman doing all the talking, having a one-way “dialogue”.

Real conversations are about give and take. Some black women are too old to be told what’s common sense. If someone has a problem – yes, one can talk about it, but one has to listen to the other party speak too. It is give and take. Not take, take and take some more.

An Acquaintance Is The Door Leading to a Real Friendship, or Not

If a woman’s overall conduct isn’t ladylike, discrete or show some semblance of modesty, she shouldn’t be surprised when people refuse to listen to her. Dodge her company, or ignore her entirely….

When a black woman approaches another, assumptions should not be made.

  • All of our experiences are not the same.
  • All of our backgrounds are not the same.
  • Our culture isn’t just one.  There are multitudes of black culture.
  • All of us do not view political, religious and social issues about BLACK, WHITE or OTHER PEOPLE in the same way.
  • Not everybody is a hugging, kissing, and touchy-feeling kind of person.
  • Not everybody wants to hear the details of your intimate life. Ask if they want to hear it first.
  • Not everybody speaks in the loudest voice they have when speaking to other black women. And that belligerence, that “chip on the shoulder” is noticeable to everybody. That’s why you are having conflicts with people.
  • Not everybody wants to hear you complain about every other woman on the job. This isn’t junior high where you need to have “backup” in your “beef” with what’s-her-face.
  • Stop assuming. Ask first. Don’t assume that everybody “knows that.”
  • And don’t be friendly, only whenever you want something. People aren’t as stupid as you think.

If you cannot treat others with respect, don’t be surprised when that disrespect is returned in kind.

Life will go a lot smoother when you let go of the anger at other black women first. So, look in the mirror, smile at that black woman. Forgive her. Learn to like, love and respect that person in the mirror.

And that disposition towards other black women will change as well….


16 thoughts on “Black Women: We all cannot be instant best friends”


    More nonsense because a Black woman is free thinking and decided to say so. Le Sigh… Glad she wont be shamed into silence.

    GoldenAh: I don’t know if Nicki Minaj was serious or not, but she endorsed Romney and got her share of death threats. Ahhh, yes I remember way back in the early days of the Dem primary of Hillary vs Barack – hardly anybody black was going to vote for him.

    Now, he’s treated like the second coming of Jesus by some folks. Madness. Hopefully, the toxic fever will break soon.

  2. There is also a flip side to this equation, the person who only wants to hear from you when you are complaining. They have all the time in the world when you are upset about your man, or the job, or what your mom did or the neighbor with the barking dog. But when you are riding high, seems like they are less interested. Especially if their life is going well.

    Some Black women want to be special and feel like they can chide and laud over other Black women who didnt make the “right” decisions that they did. Once that has been flipped, they are less eager to hear your voice when you are proclaiming that you are in love, or you only have two more classes to complete your Master’s and your neighbor sold his dog on Ebay.

    In terms of a work context, you cant tell some of them that you got a promotion or you are moving on to another job with more money. Through the roof they go. Or they become jealous and attempt to sabotage.

    An individual Black woman is not a UN ambassador for all of Black womanhood. One does not represent for all. The quicker people realize that, the better.

    GoldenAh: OMG Mikey! You are dead-on with this. That’s the other side of the misery-loves-company crowd. If things are going well, you’ve been to exciting places, life is firing on all pistols, you cannot say a word to these people. They don’t want to hear it. They’re scornful of any expression of something that doesn’t fit “black miserable dogma.” That’s usually the final straw for me. I’m out of there. I don’t say more past, “Hi” and “Bye.” And if they come to talk, I’m running away.

    This inability to share joy is the prime indicator that that woman will never be a friend. Never. I cannot abide by that kind of jealousy. Maybe I’ll hope to get some more accomplishments under my belt. But I can be genuinely happy for other people. It doesn’t take anything away from me. I enjoy successful people.

    Great points, Mikey. Thanks for commenting. 😀

  3. Great article and AMEN all day long!

    I actually had to get someone together over this very subject when they let me know they didn’t appreciate me calling out other black women because of this “we all need to stick together” nonsense. Nonsense not too far away from the old, “All black people need to stick together NO MATTER WHAT!”

    Like draws like. And that’s just the way it goes. You can’t assume that other people have to associate you because you’re both black. Or even because you’re both black women. Especially if you are going to be rude and hostile towards them.

    That’s just another form of inappropriate ultra-familiar behavior that creeps me out. :S

    GoldenAh: There is a lot of guilt being deployed or tied into this as well. On my end, I put up with a lot, just to reassure myself that I’m being “fair” and “nice”. I don’t want to be a (total) snob. I figure, maybe that person means well, but doesn’t know how to act right.

    For years, I’ve dealt with this kind of nonsense where I’ve had my mind picked by black women who don’t even have the decency to say, “Thank you.” At their rudest, if I’m contemplating an answer, and not speaking right away, they’ll say I don’t know anything. Finally, when fed up with this crap, I’ll respond, “Does this mean you’ll leave me alone then? You can go bother someone else.” And the hostile rude person will claim she’s joking. Hey, I don’t know anything, but the questions never stop coming. Okay.

    I never treat people this way.

    So, even when I’m being milked as a resource, these chicks don’t have the basic decency or manners to be polite when asking for information. After a period of time, I refuse to provide any more help. I tell them to look it up themselves, or that I’m busy. And I’ll be frank, I only get this kind of behavior from certain particular black women. Yet, I still let it happen from time to time, because I need to adhere to a belief that not everyone is cut from the same cloth.

    As you’ve indicated Toni, this is over-familiarity run amok. Some black women really believe anything goes where other black women are concerned.

    Thanks for the great observations. 🙂

  4. I find a lot of these issues can be avoided just by people being better listeners and observers.People need to stop going into situations talking so much.You can learn how someone expects to be treated
    by watching them interact with others first.I’m a chatty person sometimes, but before I talk to random people on the job I find out things about them by observing them.
    I need to know if they will be receptive or not.I also give people space to be themselves.Don’t want to force the quiet people to speak or those who have formed a circle of friends to speak to me.

    I always ask people for feedback too.It’s a habit.I ask people in different subtle,little ways how they expect to be addressed and treated by me BEFORE I manage to offend anyone.Most people are very appreciative that I ask.When you intermingle with different people of many different backgrounds and cultures I think it’s very important to know what they consider respectful and what’s not.I also will apologize if I perceive my behavior or speech offends a person.

    People should probably learn to read body language also.If you’re running away as I speak, you obviously don’t want to speak to me and that should be respected.All the issues you have mentioned here, the offenses that some black women and other people commit, can be easily fixed is what I notice.I hope no one takes offense.

    GoldenAh: You’ve made some really excellent points, Truth P.

    I have an incredible sense of smell sometimes. I hate this ability. And some of the people I’m around like to stand too close. I like a good arms distance, if not more. The other day, I found myself backing away and moving from this person who has no sense of proper distance, and it’s bad enough she’s loud and smells awful.

    Yes, there is an art to conversation. Not everyone has the mindset, or is prepared, especially if they are preoccupied with their owns problems, to immediately jump into an in-depth discussion about someone else’s issues. One of the black women I work with used to act as if my being quiet had something to do with her. At her age, I figure she’d have enough sense to know that no one is thinking about her, and my silence has to do with being lost in my own thoughts. I even said as much, but the last thing I heard about her is that she still believes I’ve got her on my mind. Hahaha. Not.

    Really glad to hear from you, Truth P. Always profound and thought provoking as usual. 🙂

  5. Betty Chambers has spoken indeed! As a conservative, I get the “look” from many who assume that I am an Obama supporter and spout off about the white, racist GOP this and that. I find this as well when many assume tht I am with a bm and know all about their troubles on a personal level. I don’t. Doesn’t mean I am not sympathetic, but I can’t imagine myself in the mindset that many of these bw have. Not saying that it couldn’t be me, but my background simply does not allow it.

    As a coach, I have found much to my chagrin that many bw just want a girlfriend to whome they can gripe and complain when it comes to relationships. I shut them down pretty quickly. If they are coming to me, I assume that they want sound, proven advice on the changes they need to make in their lives. Many don’t. As I said, they want a girlfriend. Even being paid, there is only so many times or ways I can say the same things over and over. Many don’t want to change or even hear what they must do. Oh they pretend to listen, but when it comes down to reporting any changes they made, they hee haw and excuse their way out of why they didn’t do what they were supposed to do (similar to a homework assignment). I realize that they don’t want to. This type led me to write the Pillars of Salt” piece.

    Some of the bw are actually surprised that I can’t relate to their dilema and that I don’t share the mindset that holds them hostage to their community. I am trying to show them how to go forward from where they are. I need a little background in order to properly assess the situation, but only in the beginning, not every session thereafter. Again, these type want a girlfriend. I invite them to leave or they realize that I am not on the same page and they will halt communication on their own.

    I have no problems with that. The success stories make all the while but it is still frustrating to see this pattern and type of bw who suffer from this mindset.

    Great Post!

    GoldenAh: Hello Lorraine! 😀

    Oh, yeah, the political stuff. I hate it when people assume I’m very liberal, a “progressive” and a Democrat. Would be nice if they asked what we thought about a subject as opposed to assuming our perspectives, yes? I’ve voted for very conservative to very liberal politicians. I don’t agree with both sides on many subjects. I’ve changed my mind on a number of issues a few times.

    And the Obama stuff. That’s nuclear waste right there. Won’t touch it. Not worth the hassle.

    I am fascinated by people who have interesting lives. Aside from a few things that interest me (travel, writing, money, men!), my life is rather mundane. I love it that way. Hearing about stressful lives that could be solved with a couple of adjustments, freaks me out.

    You are so correct about people not wanting to change. Some black women absolutely love drama and highly emotional and damaging entanglements. Oftentimes, they’re not looking for a solution. And like you, after a while, I just have to shut them out. It’s their joy of being “stuck on stupid”. I cannot live like that.

    I’m also blessed to have a family full of wise people. I am very thankful for them. But if I’m seeking counsel from someone I consider an “expert” – I will listen, take notes and act on it.

    Thank you so much for that feedback, Lorraine. And you are free to link to any essay on your site that you see fit. Don’t hesitate to link back to your site. 😀

  6. I just realized that two of the BW that were always in my face about me not waving, having my hair like theirs etc. fit into what you just said. When I was at this job (though I got along with most and avoided these women) they got on my nerves.

    GoldenAh: Yeah, like you need their permission to be yourself. Some of these chicks haven’t left junior / high school in their thinking. They need to leave people be. Folks are gonna dress and look as they please. It’s none of their business.

    I used to get commentary about how I look (hair / clothing) from this walking hot mess at my job. The gall of some people. 😀

    Anyway, I wrote a few months back about someone at my job who wouldn’t stop pestering me. She was informed she had to leave me alone and relocated elsewhere. And she thought she could be slick by complaining about me first. Hilarious, really.

    Thank you for stopping by, BWMM.

  7. Oh my goodness, when you share a truth it is soooo good! it takes time to develop a friendship. Even Jesus did not call his disciples his friends until 3 1/2 years after he called them to walk with him and he said that it was because they had been with him through his difficulties. Some people are way to quick to call people friends. I have learned over the years it is not just wise.

    I think about jobs, they give you a 90 day probation for a reason. The interview may be impressive but those 90 days should prove should reveal the type of cloth they are made of. We can “hit it off” with someone right away, but it does not mean it will pan out. I think we as women could avoid alot of betrayal and heartache if we exercised more wisdom in who we have called friends. the fact you like the same shoes and other trivial matters does not mean we should be friends.

    Great article Betty, I will be passing this gem on!!

    GoldenAh: Thank you for the compliment. I like that Biblical inclusion too.

    I’ve made friends with people I couldn’t stand at first sight. It does take a while to learn what’s going on beneath the “face” shown in public.

    I make sure to listen carefully, so I can understand how a person thinks. If I find the reasoning, logical or analytical abilities suspect, I know I cannot talk to them for very long. And morality is a big one for me too. If someone is casual about stealing! or lying!! that alone is a big clue as to their overall moral character.

    Thanks for your input, BB Fortune.

  8. In many instances, we need to adjust our expectations. Some expect Black women to think, feel and/or act a certain way…When that particular BW fails to deliver, the other party then develops a massive shoulder chip. The best course of action is not to be overly familiar. Get to know the person…Build upon a “blank slate” and make a practice of placing assumptions aside…

    GoldenAh: Definitely agree! I think it’s part of expecting – at least in a black woman to black woman relationship – to be one of the few easy things in life. Everything else is rather complicated and difficult, so some of us think it’s something that doesn’t require the same kind of quality attentiveness they would give to other folks. Like we see how extra hard some black women work to please black men, but they give their female friends the short shrift. And what’s funny is how much we need one another when the chips are down. Our relationships with one another require the same amount of tender care as any other.

    So glad to hear from you, Cher!! 😀

  9. I love the TRUTH of this article. Too many Black women believe that because we share the same skin tone we all have the EXACT same life history. Even in a family filled with Black women, no two are a like. We all leave those environments with various versions of life.

    I am very intuitive and can sense when someone is fake or true. However, I try very hard to give people the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, my intuition never lies and I have to leave those type of Black women where they stand. When Black women began to realize they no longer have to pack the world onto their backs like mules, they will become truly free.

    GoldenAh: Awesome comment! Thank you for stopping by, Queen Of The Pen.

    Hope people check out your blog as well: Queen of the Pen Books

  10. I don’t hate BW nor am I angry. I’m much quicker to support a BW and give her the benefit of the doubt then I am a BM; but, at the same token I am very guarded about who I let into my circle for the very reasons mentioned above.

    GoldenAh: I hear you. I put up with a lot, only because I recognize, in some cases, why their behavior is so out of order. However, for my own well being, I will have to shut the “acquaintance door”, especially if they cannot even manage to be cordial like most decent human beings.

    I remember a discussion on Facebook as to why black women are not supportive of one another. It’s a complex issue. Some of us don’t fit. Some of us should really stay far apart and never associate. Some people mix like oil and water. It’ll never work out. It’s not a good or bad thing. It is what it is.

    Great to hear from you, Zabeth. 😀

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