“My friends are completely different from me”
Digital entrepreneur Ashanti Bentil-dhue, 28, made a conscious effort to switch up her social circle. Here’s why...
“Growing up, my friends were all similar to me in terms of cultural background but not upbringing. We all met at school when we were 12, and we’d go shopping or to the cinema, but I never made a ‘best friend’. I kept hopping between different social circles – I just felt too different. When I moved away at 18, I picked a university far away from my family and [which] attracted mature students. I made a conscious effort to get involved in the community and knocked on my neighbours’ doors to try to make friends. The people I met were a world away from those I’d grown up with and they were completely different from me, too. But the relationships I forged during that time are still some of the closest I have today.
I’m much more selective about my social circle – I just don’t have time to waste on people who I don’t click with. I’m not bothered about mutual interests or aspirations, but it’s important to me that there’s a sense of ease between us. Over time, I’ve learnt that honesty, loyalty and kindness are much more important to me than a shared passion for entrepreneurship or travel. It’s easy to think that we’re just raised to behave a certain way or gravitate towards a certain type of person, but I’ve always found that challenging those norms can bring the most rewarding experiences – and people – into your life.”