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Knowing When to Reevaluate a Friendship (Insecure Edition)

Breaking up is hard to do: Here’s how to know when if it has come to that point.

By now you have seen much, if not all, of “Insecure,” Season 4. My bad if you don’t watch “Insecure” but rest assured much of what happens to the show’s core friendship, happens to A LOT of friendships and for whatever reason it’s NOW feeling safe to talk about it (thank you Issa Rae).

When we met Issa, homegirl was the epitome of the struggle. She struggled financially, to stay career focused and to make it work with her then boyfriend, Lawrence. For a moment, it seemed like the one thing Issa had going for her was her friendship with Molly and when I think back, we watched Molly hold Issa down often.

And then there is Molly…

We met Molly a high-powered lawyer living in an LA high rise. We absolutely delved into Molly’s relationship drama (and there’s PLENTY to unpack there) but in the interest of this post, Molly’s not struggling at basic adulthood here. And if she is, she’s not struggling quite like Issa.

Regardless of how you feel about Molly now, when we met the two friends, their relationship seemed to work like this: Issa struggles, Molly helps.  The give and take felt like Molly being the smart “mature” friend offering support to a struggling Issa (lots of fun on the way, of course). I think this worked for them for a while.

But in life, there is only one constant and that is constant change. It should come as no surprise that there was change for these girlfriends. I have sympathy for Issa because the changes we saw in her life were pretty much endless. I mean seriously, everything in Issa’s life now is pretty much an entirely different story from then. It’s a lot. But we can all relate to a time when nothing felt secure and everything was changing, right? There’s a lot of sacrifice and growth happening here. And, without getting into too much detail, Issa is finally on the upswing now.

It feels almost impossible to disassociate any of these characters from their relationship drama but (and again) in the interest of this post about friendship I must. Bear with me. If we take boy problems out of Molly’s life or we choose to look at all other aspects outside of men, I think we all can agree that Molly has her ish together. The only difference between Molly and Issa is that now, there is no difference. So now I have questions. What does it mean for these two to struggle now that Issa FINALLY has her ish together? Why does it feel like Molly isn’t happy for Issa? Is Molly a good friend to Issa? Is Issa a good friend to Molly? Really, what is going on?

Let me put it to you like this— your friends should want to see you succeed. Even if they found you when you were a fumbling hot mess, the expectation for that friendship should never be for you to remain a fumbling hot mess. Friendships are filled with highs and lows, successes, and major losses but it should never be contingent on one friend remaining in that toxic relationship, dead-end job and poor financial situation (I mean, Issa’s credit score was baaaad y’all)

Whatever you think is going on in Molly and Issa’s relationship right now, if I’ve said anything remotely truthful, the following signs are when it might be time to reevaluate a friendship:

  1. When they can’t be happy for you:
    Even when you feel like they are partly responsible for holding you down when things were ugly, a true friend loves you when you at the bottom and at the top. Taking it a step further, your friends wants and helps you make it to the top.
  2. They’re happiness is contingent upon your sadness:
    Nope. It just shouldn’t be. In fact, seeing you happy should provide hope to them for better days to come
  3. Everything is a competition:
    I’ll argue that one of the main reasons Molly and Issa were able to work up until now is because Molly knew where she stood. She knew she was more successful than Issa (at least on paper) and she took security in that. When things started changing, Molly’s self perception took a hit as well. Friendships can not exist when you and only you can be at the top.
  4. They’re over-judgmental:
    When you’re friends with someone, you’re both in this thing together. They can hold you to higher standards, but they’re not your mom. If it feels like your every move comes with an air of judgment, it’s time to reevaluate things.