The Danger of Slick Shade

First let’s take a moment to define shade. I cannot begin this article without paying homage to some of the most creative and expressive humans on the planet, none other than the gay black man. Black culture is emulated all around the world, we set the cool. And in my opinion, gay black men set the tone for many trends across black culture. The word shade derived from the gay community. Shade is characterized as a shadow of doubt thrown from one person to another. You can cast the shade or more commonly throw shade. Shade is the baby cousin of a read, which is a more direct and spirited criticism of another person. Many times shade is subtle and can go undetected which is why many times you will hear an ‘Oop’ following the shade to ensure an effective landing. Shade is fun and funny and a very common banter amongst friends and foes alike. It is usually light hearted with no real negative intention. However, shade in the hands of a petty and miserable person can become dangerous and downright hurtful. Shade is most dangerous in the hand of a friend.

If a friend is constantly minimizing you or your work, you may be experiencing slick shade. It's usually presented as a joke but the sting of truth and jealousy feels more like a jab. It's meant to make your question yourself or existence.  It's hurtful because it targets your deepest insecurities that only a friend would know. It may sound like 'how is your 'lil' business going or what have you done to your hair? It's very subtle but dangerous because it messes with your self esteem.

If you find yourself in a friendship where the shade is plentiful and the praise is few, do yourself a favor and let it go. This person is not rooting for you. More than likely they have stayed connected to you to watch your every move only to criticize you into shrinking. Many people are okay with you doing well as long as you aren't doing better than them. Taking up space requires you to cultivate relationships that support and uplift you. Set Boundaries and Find Peace.

A little banter is cool, but you know when the line has been crossed. Whoever you thought about while reading this post, that's who you need to let go. Stop ignoring it, stand up for yourself. Read them right back but after the read accept who that person is and move on to more positive interactions.