Last week I was listening to the podcast, Beyond Brilliance. On the particular show that I was listening to, the host, Lisa Nicole Bell, had a conversation with former Blavity co-founder, Jonathan Jackson. The conversation was centered around friendships and relationships. Jackson had stated that we have to know who our 3 a.m. (dependable) friends are.
This then got me thinking---people really do take the whole friendship thing lightly. They'll call a homie a friend, when in reality, a homie probably won't be there for you at 3 a.m. when you're dire need. So first, let's break down the difference between the two.
A friend is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
A homie is an acquaintance from one's town or neighborhood, or a member of one's peer group or gang.
Now that we have the definitions of the two, let's break it down to what one will do for you.
A friend will and is someone who you can:
Lean on the shoulder and cry at a moment's notice. They'll wipe your tears.
Tell you the harsh truth, even it may hurt your feelings in the moment, but in the end it's because they want the best for you and want to see you succeed.
You can go for months even years without speaking or physically seeing them, but when you do get to speak and see each other again it is like time never missed a beat.
You can call them and talk to them at 3 a.m. if you're in dire need and they'll be there to assist.
Your family is their family.
You can travel with them and it's all good.
They may not be able to attend every celebration or event that you have, but if something detrimental happened to you, they'll be there with flying colors.
A homie is only good for:
A good time. Homies are the ones who you can party it up with and chill with every weekend.
A homie will not come to your rescue at 3 a.m. but they might except you to do the same, meaning things will ALWAYS be a one way street.
If they do a favor for you, they want one in return.
If you don't speak to them for weeks, they'll get upset.
You can travel with them, but it may not be the most pleasurable experience.
You may know their family or a family member of their's, but you can't call them your extended family. They're just your homie's family.
They WILL be at every turn up because they like a good time, but they probably will not be there at your death bed or if something detrimental happened to you.
You can't talk to them about anything too serious because they'll either be half-listening or make the conversation about them somehow--DO NOT VENT TO HOMIES!
So, I hope the air is clear and that we will all start drawing some boundaries. Too many people treat friends as homies, and homies as friends. Know the difference and your life will be so much easier. This goes for both male-female, male-male, and female-female friendships.
Fellas, that homegirl may not be your friend and ladies, that homeboy may not be your friend, draw those boundaries.
Naomi K. Bonman is the founder and editorial director of Purposely Awakened, a digital media agency for millennial activist and change agents of color. A digital media maven at heart, Naomi is also a journalist, screenwriter and digital content creator. Originally from Southern California, Naomi received her B.A. in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism from Clark Atlanta University and her Masters of Public Administration from Keller School of Management of DeVry University.