In the past, I have done various social experiments. To name a few.
- 2006 - requiring friends and family to schedule time with me
- 2018 - recording and documenting my emotions and social interactions
- 2019 - the year of being my true self unfiltered on center direct and blunt
- 2021 - removal of all social applications and soft-deactivating Instagram and Facebook
📜 Guide to working with me
You may have heard of user manuals, how to work with me, or a guide to working with me. I first heard of this concept back in 2016 when I had a quite flexible job in remote work and was very culturally diverse, with offices in multiple cities on two continents.
A reality star, Cynthia Bailey is known for having an infamous friend contract with NeNe Leakes, which she later burns. Admittedly, asking someone to sign a paper to be a good friend is quite odd and maybe not healthy. However, I think the underlying concept is that Cynthia set boundaries and guidelines for respecting her with someone she felt didn't appreciate her or her boundaries.
💡Reclaiming My Life
My next social experiment makes me quite uncomfortable, and it feels a bit insane, but I am always willing to try what no one else will if it means a tad bit happier life! Similar to Cynthia, I've come to realize that from the age of 14+, I've always had people come into my life and see me as the orphan kid who needed their guidance and support. This later led to unhealthy friendships with people who appeared to be good friends but were using me to brag how they "helped someone in need."
Another one of my biggest friendship issues reigns from about 2015 through 2020. I never realized how being the only young, single, and only Black friend took a toll on me. 2018-2019, when I finally started being open with my white non-American friends about the racism many Black people and I face, not just in America. Still, everywhere, it caused strains on my relationships. I spent years explaining myself and convincing racism experiences are real. For my mental health, I'm not doing that anymore. Moving forward, I will provide a guide and point people to resources to do their work.
I'm still fleshing out the idea, but I think that similar to working with me Guides, I will create a guide to being in Naya's life. I love having diverse friends, but there is an art to keeping friendships of polar opposite cultures. I've had great success with my digital minimalism page on my website. It took over six months, but people finally respect my communication guidelines. I no longer have to explain myself. I simply send a link. I'm ready to do the same with my interactions and friendships. I will be sharing more in-depth how I plan to go about this without it being completely odd.