Loneliness, Black Men, and Friendships: Part VII
Welcome back to the Black Male Friendship series! For those that are newto this series, it is my take on the current state of Black male friendships and how I think they should be improved. Today, we are going to talk about getting beyond superficial conversations that prevent real friendship from being fostered.
Imagine this conversation.
Brian: What’s up J, how you doin’ man
John: I’m good man, everything is cool this way. What’s up?
Brian: Nothing man, just chillin’
My example might seem weird or otherwise uninteresting. However, the problem I am high light is that often times, men don’t talk (especially over the phone) unless we have a very specific reason to do so. These reasons are often related to going out, something sports related, or a story related to a woman. Rarely do we call just to see how our brother is doing. This is problematic and many reading this may not think yourself guilty.
To that end, I think a thought experiment will be helpful. When was the last time you talked to one of your male friends for more than three minutes about a topic not pertaining to going out, sports, or women? My point exactly. In another post, I talk about ways we can all be better friends. I often say that when it comes to relationships of any sort, the best reason is just because. Guys really don’t do just because and our friendships are unable to reach their full potential.
Now that I think about it, the founding of The SuperSpade provides an interesting perspective on how men can reach a higher level of brotherhood. About twice a month, Garlin and I would call each other on a Saturday morning and open up our conversation just like the example I used earlier. Without any awkward prompting, we would go back and forth about topics included but not limited to politics, Black issues, relationships, family, mentoring, entrepreneurship, spirituality, etc. We would be on the phone for at least an hour and to this day, I appreciate his honesty, wisdom, and depth.
Before long, we realized that we should include more people in our dialogue. This was especially true for people working full time who often find it difficult to have intellectually stimulating conversation given the responsibilities of work and family. Hence, The SuperSpade was born and I bring up that story to acknowledge the immense power that comes when men are real with each other. So please guys, do some self evaluation and see if your actions are enabling or hindering true brotherhood from being established.
Stay up fam,