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

Garfield Hylton
Published in
4 min readSep 29, 2021


Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash

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…



Garfield Hylton
Writer for

Medium Creator Fellow. Award-winning TV news journalist. Freelance writer. Mad question asker.