CHIBUZOR: Hello! Good morning! Good morning! Good morning!
Welcome to The SunRise Convo with Chibuzor and it's brought to you by The SunRise Youth Intervention Organisation. To know more about our work please visit our website: www.sunrisegospelzone.com to read articles, transcripts, interviews, and reports on our life changing projects.
Last week we concluded our discussion on 'Overcoming Rejection'. I want to thank many of you for your text messages, and several of you I met in person, thank you for your excellent reviews concerning the show. Thank you so much.
Today I have an interesting topic to talk about: Desexualizing Your Deep Need For Friendship. What does it mean to desexualize one's need for friendship? That's what we'll be looking at.
Joining me in the conversation is a public health professional and the brain behind Bongie Clothier, please make welcome Offiong Akpabio.
OFFIONG: Good morning listeners!
CHIBUZOR: So nice to have you join us, Offiong.
OFFIONG: Thank you, Chibuzor.
CHIBUZOR: And by the way, your dress looks ravishing.
OFFIONG: Thank you so much.
CHIBUZOR: This is from Bongie Clothier, is it?
OFFIONG: Oh yes.
CHIBUZOR: That's great. Chinedu, can you please take a picture so we can have a photo of the dress [Laughs].
Offiong, just like Joseph Blessed who was on the show several weeks back, was my classmate in the University. She's quite an interesting person.
What we have on the table right now is a very important topic: Desexualizing Your Deep Need For Friendship.
There is a deep need for friendship in every single person, and you will agree with me that good friends are the colors that make our lives beautiful. Everyone deserves to have good friends, both male and female friends. But many times when it comes to platonic male-female friendships is complicated understanding and respecting the boundaries.
People have deep need, maybe an ear to complain to, maybe to have a healthy competition that would keep them sharp and focused in life, or for financial support, optimism, criticism, stimulating conversations, humor, emotional support, and what-have-you.But when the sex element is incorporated into that friendship, lots of things change.
So Offiong I would like to ask you, as a person, what do people want in a friendship? People become friends and it's part of life. Generally why do people have friendships?
OFFIONG: Friendship is beautiful, to start with. Friendship affords you someone to talk to, like you earlier said. It gives you emotional support.
Now being friends with someone does not mean you tag along with everybody. You don't just tag along with everybody. There is something that attracts you to someone.
CHIBUZOR: Of course.
OFFIONG: Those things are, for example, self-respect. It gives you a bond with someone. To be friends with a person there must be similar interests. I cannot just be friends with anyone. There must be an element of interest that is similar to both of us. So friendship in itself affords us that safety. Someone we can talk to, someone we can rely on, someone whom we know has our back at the end of the day.
CHIBUZOR: Yeah...like the topic is: Desexualizing Your Deep Need For Friendship, I would like us to look at what it means for one to desexualize his need for friendship. We are looking at the need because there is a need in every single person to be friends with another person, but sadly we sexualize that need, particularly the male-female friendships. You see this young man, and then here is this young woman. She is beautiful, she is intelligent, and then he's like "Oh, see this young lady. She is beautiful and intelligent. Of course you would want to be closer to the person because you know there is something that person can bring to the table. Maybe because the person is cerebral, or maybe because she has a lot more to offer. And then, because he is not disciplined, he then begins to sexualize the friendship.
Why is it important that we desexualize our need for friendship, particularly the male-female friendships?
OFFIONG: It's important to desexualize your deep need for friendships because:
When once the element of sex is incorporated into a friendship, it changes the tune of that friendship entirely. Things get complicated, you lose your sense of focus, and you'll not be able to make decisions because you'll be biased, so it's important to desexualize your deep need for friendship because once you're able to do that, it makes you focused...
OFFIONG: It makes you see the bigger picture, it makes you to be able to take decisions which would have been difficult on a normal day if you had incorporated sex into the friendship.
Desexualizing relationships are very important, especially male-female relationships, because when it comes to a man and a woman there is this attraction that comes between the two of them. But then the ability to be able to respect the differences in gender, and also the difference in who you are, your person, and being able to make it clear that we can only be friends and nothing more, makes you a better person.
CHIBUZOR: Absolutely, absolutely.
You know, there are different types of friendships. There is one between a mentor and a mentee, there is one between contemporaries, there is one between an adult and a child. This affords an excellent exchange of ideas which further leads to personal development.
What happens when sex is infused into this kind of friendship? I just want us to look at the mentor and the mentee, maybe between a lecturer and a student, then between contemporaries particularly those at the workplace, and then we look at the friendship between an adult and a child, because you'll agree with me there are children who are very sharp, exuberant, talented and gifted, and you are like "Wow!" maybe because the child gives witty answers, and there are several of them like that.
What happens when sex is infused into this kind of friendships? We will start from the mentor and the mentee.
OFFIONG: Okay. When it comes to the Mentor-Mentee relationship, it is important that the mentor in his own way is able to imbibe certain characteristics or certain traits which he has to his mentee. Similarly the mentee also has a role to play in such relationship because in such relationship it's not just about the mentor infusing or imbibing attributes to the mentee, the mentee also has a way of infusing his own characteristics to his mentor.
Now in this kind of relationship when sex is introduced to it, like I said it gets complicated. The reason for that mentorship is.....
OFFIONG: Exactly. It becomes thwarted. And now the mentee will not be able to get benefits. The sole objective of that mentorship is destroyed, if I may say that. It's destroyed because the mentee cannot look up to the mentor again in the light of mentorship. Sex has been introduced, a form of respect is lost. If I may use the word 'see finish' used by the Yorubas, 'see finish' sets in here, and you think you know him so well that he doesn't demand your respect, you can't accord him the respect that he needed. And talking about the mentor, he sees the mentee in the light of 'I have seen you already, so what is there to discover about you?'
CHIBUZOR: Yeah...and you know sex is very distracting.
CHIBUZOR:...very, very distracting. You move from being a mentor to being a 'Sugar daddy' or a Cougar if you are a woman. And you look also at the case of contemporaries in the workplace, that is why in many work settings it is forbidden for coworkers to date, because there is usually this big distraction. You see him talking to another female coworker and then you begin to assume things in your head. Really crazy.
The horrible one is adult who is friends with a child infuses sex in the friendship. That's pedophilia. That's very horrible, and sad to say we've heard several stories of such in our society. It's very very damaging and today's show is meant to put light on why it is important for is to desexualize our need for friendship. You have a very honest need for friendship, but it has to be desexualized so you can benefit more from that friendship.
To join the conversation send in your questions and comments via text messages to the number: 08139691344.
Please do not call. Send text messages only. We will read them out and treat the questions accordingly.
Please enjoy this song by Anthony Evans. It's titled 'Meaningless'.
CHIBUZOR: Alright, thank you for joining us.
This is The SunRise Convo With Chibuzor and it's sponsored by The SunRise Youth Intervention Organisation. I am here in the studio with the beautiful Offiong Akpabio and we are discussing the topic: Desexualizing Your Deep Need For Friendship.
You could check our website sunrisegospelzone.com for the transcript by the middle of the week.
So Offiong let me ask you this: Have you ever found yourself in a friendship where the other person at one point in time overstepped his boundaries by trying to get sexual with you, and how did you handle the situation?
OFFIONG: That's tricky, Chibuzor. Yeah, definitely!
I have found myself in such a situation. It's life. We relate with people of the opposite sex and we expect it has to happen. But then with your expectation you have to have some sort of an armour that guides you.
Now, for me I had a friend and still have friends too that do not understand the boundaries when it comes to relating with the opposite sex. But then what really helped me in situations like that is, I have principles. These are deeply ingrained, I don't just assume them. They are guiding roles for me. Because if you look at such a situation, it's tricky. With this tricky situation you could be impaired when it comes to your vision. You have cognitive bias at this point. You are not thinking straight, emotions are running and firing.
CHIBUZOR: Firing full doze.
OFFIONG: Exactly. What helps you now is your principles. What helps you now is your values. It's not just having these values, it's going through with them too. I know of persons that have values, but then in the heat of the situation they let go. They forget their values. But then you don't blame them because you know that these ones have some values, but because of the situations that they find themselves in, they forget that they have these values.
For me my values that are deeply ingrained have really helped me in situations like that because even when you are almost getting yourself involved in such, these things keep popping up in your head, "You are not suppose to do this...You are not suppose to do this."
And it is not just something that comes in that moment, it is something that has been built within me in my spirit, in soul that once a situation like this happens this thing just pops up.
So it's really important that as individuals we have values and we have boundaries. The person may not actually respect you at that point, but trust me in the long run that individual will respect you for it.
CHIBUZOR: Definitely they will. For me I think the reason a lot of persons have problems with male-female friendships is sex. That's the major challenge. When friendship is being sexualized, a lot of attention is being shifted from the basic needs and put heavily on sex. You know, you've become really biased at this point. Two of you were working on something with the thought of "we want to accomplish this thing", and then sex comes in, and before you know it everything just dwindles.
But in a healthy platonic relationship where sex isn't involved, you put each other's focus on the other person's need for essential growth and development, maybe career wise or in any other area.
When we started this conversation, we said many people go into friendships for many real reasons. Maybe it's an ear to listen to or someone to criticize you. One thing about platonic relationships is that the other person can tell you the plain truth without coloring it with sentiments. For example he could say, " Abeg, your look is one kind-one kind", or "Look, this your presentation is not good."
But if it's the other way, you'll say coldly "Oh it's wonderful". You've become biased. You need someone to be upfront with you, to tell you the truth.
So let ask you, can you just be friends with someone you are attracted to? Is it possible to be friends with someone you have an attraction for?
[Laughs] Because there have been this issue of friend-zoning.
CHIBUZOR: Mmmmhmmmm. Can you be friends with someone whom you are attracted to. For example let me say looking at the married people, a married man and a married woman. And there happen to be this attraction because there are similarities that bring you both together, maybe you both went to the same school, or you both are in the same office, or you both have passion for the same thing, or you both are in the same church, is it possible to be friends with someone you have an attraction for?
I know this question is difficult, but Offiong please answer it.
OFFIONG: Very...very..very...difficult. Now are you directing the question to me?
CHIBUZOR: Yeah...I am directing it to you, but not personally. Generally, can someone just be friends with someone they are attracted to?
OFFIONG: I would say yes, yes, someone can be friends with someone they are attracted to [Laughs].
CHIBUZOR: Despite the attraction.
OFFIONG: Now, maturity has to set in here.
OFFIONG: Because it's difficult. A child cannot be friends with someone they are attracted to. You have to be matured in your mind, you have to be matured in your spirit, you have to be matured in your body. For me love is not just a feeling, it's not just attraction, it's a choice. I could love someone, and decide not to stay with the person because for me it's also a choice.
Above all, you can be attracted to someone and still be friends with the person. You have to be matured to make that choice that "It can't go beyond this boundary", this person is my friend. I need to be able to take the attraction away. It's difficult, but mehn you have to starve it, you have to starve it if you really want to have a healthy relationship.
CHIBUZOR: Yeah...Attraction only breaks a friendship if you allow it. That there is an attraction doesn't necessarily mean that you should involve sex in it. We know the damaging effect this can cause, like the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the '90s with President Bill Clinton. She was a White House intern, and Bill Clinton at the time was President, the highest figure in America. When a mentor-mentee relationship is compromised with sex, a whole lot of problems result. We see the damaging effect it had on the presidency of Bill Clinton. The effect was more damaging in Monica Lewinsky because even till this very day her name has been tainted with that.
So that there is an attraction does not mean that you should jump like a monkey.
[Laughter in the studio]
We are human beings. We have self-control.
Alright, to join the conversation the number still is 08139691344. I've had some of you try to call, please don't call. We don't take calls on this show. Just write your text and send it to us.
We'll take a short music break and we'll be right back.
CHIBUZOR: Alright, thank you for join us once again.
The topic of our discussion is: Desexualizing Your Deep Need For Friendship. We have some text messages here. This one says:
"I just met this guy, though we have sex like 3 times, but I want a nonsexual relationship. But I don't know how to go about it and I don't know how he will take it. Please I need your advice. Thank you."
So Offiong what should she do? The ‘deed’ has been done already, three times.
OFFIONG: Okay, the realization on you now, is a step to being free. I think what you should do is sit the person down and talk to the person. You have to redress, you have to talk about the relationship with him, what you want. If what you want is not mutual, then trust me there is nothing you're doing there because if you are not both heading in the same direction,then you really need to find your step. You need to redress and find your step.
So you need to talk to the person and tell the person what you want in the relationship, and if the person is not willing to go platonic with you, dear friend it will hurt, trust me, by then the best decision you will ever make is to move on.
CHIBUZOR: To move on! Absolutely.
Then we have another text message here, it's just a comment. It says:
"Platonic relationships have to be sex free in other to avoid breakups and regrets because that is selfishness. Also public awareness phenomenon has to be created on the differences between a platonic relationship and a romantic relationship."
This is from Dandy John Eke
Here is another.
"Thanks. Please what can one do when you almost had sex but didn't, and now you want to repair the friendship. Can things go back to the way it was?"
OFFIONG: Things can go back to the way it was inasmuch as you did not indulge in sexual intercourse. You can actually go back to the way it was and for you to go back....let me add this...for you to go back, the other partner is in tune with what you want, because if he isn't in tune with what you want, it will only become an emotional rollercoaster for you.
You will still have to go on and on and on over the same issues. There is no need flogging a dead horse. So for me you still need to talk to the person. Communication here is key. You need to talk to the person deeply to review the objectives of that friendship.
CHIBUZOR: God wasn't stupid when He said "Flee youthful lust. Flee fornication".
Some people think the Bible is old school, but all of these is for our own good. It's all for our own good. You have to ask yourself this question before engaging in any kind of friendship: Does momentary pleasure defeat long term rewarding and fulfilling relationship? Having self control and respecting the other person so much will help keep your friendship desexualized. Very, very important.
That's something we need to take proper note of when it comes to our friendships so that we can grow and become the man\the woman we were meant to be, because friendships make your life go forward. The major successes you're going to have in your life and going to be based on the friendships you keep.
We have a few announcements here:
Mbaise for Christ, calling on all believers from Mbaise community, Imo State, residing in Calabar, to their general meeting holding on 9th July at Number 30 Bassey Duke Street, Calabar.
Time is 2pm.
For enquiries call Chuks on 08030734147.
“Come let's join hands and bring our land, Mbaise, to Christ.”
The Royal Army Mission is holding a special event between the 6th and 9th of July 2017 (and that's 3 weeks from now).
It is tagged: Consecration To Another Level.
It's a 4-day event which will witness the profuse effusion of divine revelation from God's Word.
Some of the guest speakers include:
Rev. Thomas Esu
Rev. Imah Imah (of Treasure House Missions)
Pastor Iwa Ebeten (of Gospel Glory Ministries).
Date is July 6 - 9, 2017(so mark your calendars).
The event holds from Thursday to Saturday by 5:30pm.
The Grand finale holds on Sunday by 9am prompt.
Venue: The Royal Army Mission, 3 Saint Mary Street off Ekpo Abasi or off Howell, Calabar.
Host: Pastor(Mrs) Regina Wisdom
For event decorations, birthday and wedding cakes, call OluchiZagga on 08094482588.
For comfortable and affordable female footwears, contact Regiwise Shoes on 07034918123.
Ladies, those of you who love shoes, take note of that number.
My guest today is Offiong Akpabio. She is the brain behind Bongie Clothier. She is wearing one of her clothes here. If you are interested in her making a dress for your taste, contact her on 08131960170.
If you love the show and you would like to keep it on air, you adverts and sponsorship will make it possible. We would be glad to hear from you. Here is our number: 08065821693.
I would like us to say a short prayer for our listeners:
Father, thank you for today's show.
We've talked about 'Desexualizing our deep need for friendship'. Lord I pray that you'll help our listeners incorporate the message they've heard this morning, in Jesus name, Amen.
Offiong is going to be here next Saturday for the concluding part of the show. It's been a marvelous time with you and I hope you enjoyed our conversation.
I am Chibuzor Agomuoh and I love you for listening.