Salacious headline, right? Just hear me out though. Here’s the goal:
I wish you the discernment to understand who deserves to sit with you and who doesn’t. Although it sounds super sisterly to be all “everyone can sit with us,” having been burned in that regard more than enough times, I’ve had to let that go. Especially in entrepreneurship. I can’t do superficial bonds. I’m either all in or absolutely not in at all. I needed to discern who aligns themselves with me because they love me vs who wants to move in on my audience or pilfer my gifts. It's like the wild west out here. So allow me a moment to share my recommendations for navigating friendships in this season of smoke and mirrors( and most importantly, how to begin tapping into your discernment. We all have discernment, just different levels of denial.
More often than not, people reach out and say "I'd love to be friends with y'all. I love y'all's friendship!" and so on. I appreciate the LOVE. I appreciate that it makes people feel good. I am intentional about my tribe being my brand ambassadors and super models so they're visible everywhere that I am. However there's much more to it than what you see online. As we get into this, understand that I’m sharing from a place of knowledge-sharing, not damage. It is my healthy processing of my damage that allows me to speak to honestly about the matter.
Nikki’s not for everyone and everyone isn't for Nikki. The milestone moment for me was when I truly accepted this reality without shame or insecurity. I used to waste a lot of time hurting myself so that people could say "Nikki is so nice. I love working with her brand!" I really tied my value to those statements. But that frequently left me robbed of my energy and in several cases, my intellectual property. The reality check for me was when I had to realize that if I'm the one crying about people doing the same thing to me over and over, I AM THE PROBLEM. There’s something off about how I am moving in the world.
PARADIGM SHIFT. So I shifted. And it wasn't hard. I put my energy into the bonds that understand my shortcomings, bring blind spots to my attention and respect me through my processing periods.
Things can get pretty confusing in the age of social media. Think about the unwritten motivations of performing friendship online like:
1. If it isn't posted, it didn't happen. We sometimes lose our sacred moments being focused on taking the perfectly curated picture to commemorate our experiences. Of course, it’s okay to take pictures but you know what I mean about spending 15 minutes curating a picture of your spa day or making decisions throughout the spa day based on how it will be received online. The pictures should be the cherry on top of the experience, not the focal point.
2. Posting pictures with people you KNOW you hate. Some of y'all need to stop.
3. Up in the comments with over the top acknowledgement of milestones like birthdays and so on from people that you aren't genuinely connected to but feel like you should be.
Authenticity is valuable and rare in this online world of smoke and mirrors. You have the power to reject the smoke and mirrors in your orbit by remaining authentic and holding yourself accountable when that urge to perform hits. It's important to focus on building and nurturing bonds one can truly count on. Not for clout and not transactional. Not for internet pictures.
These bonds require work, transparency and honest conversations. You have to be mature enough to hear things you don't necessarily want to hear at any given time and have the self-awareness to know when it's your EGO vs something to truly be offended by. I’m protective of my tribe because I respect what it requires of me. I have to show up, be self-aware and be my highest self. As a standard, no low energy BS allowed for longer than 10 mins or so.
If you're still here, you may be prompted to evaluate your own relationships.
So here's some criteria to help you out. Take a moment, clear your thoughts and really sit with these questions. There are no wrong answers, only opportunities to shift.
- How do I show up?
- How do I feel about myself when I am in these circles?
- Am I writing stories about how I feel or is this my actual experience? (Good or bad, it’s something you need to have a handle on).
- Do I happen to take more than I give or give more than I take? BONUS: If either is true, what could I do within in order to achieve balance?
- Do I show up for them and how? BONUS: What could I improve?
- Do I feel comfortable expressing my needs here or do I wait to be seen?
- What am I pretending not to know about my interpersonal relationships?
- If I asked my tribe(s) how I make them feel, would I want to hear the answer?
- When I post, what is my motivation? BONUS: Is my caption genuine?
- How do I process envy?
Possibly heavy “stuff” in these answers. But the best self work comes from the heavy stuff. Trust. We can’t grow surrounded by the easy stuff. Well, at least I can’t. So what do you think? Am I off base here? Are there any questions that you want to add?
Thank you for the questions that challenge one’s way of being in a friendship!!!
The article was soooo insightful & I really enjoyed reading it!