Why I Do ‘Friendship Audits’ Every Year
It’s how I check in with myself to ensure the promise of friendship hasn’t been broken
I don’t like people.
I don’t like people the way I don’t like most things I can’t predict, understand, control, or completely do away with.
People, by and large, are unpredictable. Hard to understand. Not so easily controllable. And I suppose “doing away with them” is open-ended enough to include anything from polite pleasantries to a feature episode on “Unsolved Murders.”
The possibilities are endless.
I built the foundation of my life on not needing people. On not needing them the way I need oxygen or phone calls from my mama or french vanilla coffee with french vanilla creamer or the more seductive parts of a woman’s body.
I don’t want to need people. That’s a tad too vulnerable for my distrusting nature as it may require angling for their approval. Something that’s provided moments that could’ve led to catastrophic results. Instead, I like the idea of choosing them. It’s a philosophy borne of a simple concept: people are optional.
Every day, I have the option to nurture relationships or break them down to sell for parts. Dissolution can be as gentle a stage play fading to black or a violent push in front of a moving train.
It’s in that line of thinking I happened upon the idea of doing “friendship audits,” a byproduct of age and wisdom quite similar to forcing a toddler to eat green peas. Using the passage of time and emotional intelligence to evaluate my circle is, allegedly, good for me. That does not mean I always enjoy it.
A cursory Google investigation defines a friendship audit as when people survey their connections and curate them to fit into a specific paradigm. The catalyst for that paradigm shift can be any number of things: a new job, a new spouse, a new child, new sneakers, or maybe a new perception of the relationships and the fire in which they were forged.
I’m aware we’re currently in a social climate rife with “self-care” gurus as people “live their best lives” because “mental health is wealth,” and we’re feeling more empowered than ever to dismiss things that “no…