So, I think by now we’ve all been there when it comes to toxic relationships. Whether it’s been a romantic relationship, a family member or a friendship with someone you know from work, school or your everyday life. Recently, I’ve just exited a toxic friendship, which I didn’t quite realise was toxic until the last few months or so. I thought this post would be great for people who find themselves in toxic friendships but don’t quite know how to handle them, whether they should stay and fix things or whether they should let the whole thing go.
-IF YOU CONTINOUSLY FEEL LIKE SHIT – THE FRIENDSHIP IS TOXIC-
Recently, I had an experience with someone that I’d been friends with for almost a year and half, we met through work and got quite close. There were warning signs in the beginning of the friendship, such as she would completely zone out when I would be talking to her or explain things to her (to the point where I would be like “hello? You still there?”) But I ignored my my gut feeling, gave her the benefit of the doubt and kept on with the friendship. The first year was really good, but the last six months have been confusing to say the least, apart from her hysterical outbursts whether it was laughing at a joke hysterically for nearly 45 minutes or crying at the smallest bit of information, her back handed comments, dismissiveness towards me, ability to undermine me at every turn and general disrespect towards me and my views made this friendship strenuous to say the least. I started to realise, that if you are continually coming away from a conversation, a phone call or a meet up with a certain someone and feeling shit about it every time – then the relationship is toxic and you should probably make a swift exit.
The last few months I’ve been trying my best to make the friendship work even though I wasn’t happy, I felt like it was a bad thing to keep cutting off toxic friends and I kept feeling guilty about it. When really truly, I’ve now realised that if someone isn’t for you, then they’re just not for you. Don’t hold onto toxic people because you fear how you’re gonna look as a person to other people if you let it all go or put a stop to it. Literally being friends with this person made me feel like I had a ball and chain wrapped around my ankle, I constantly felt deflated, put down and bad about myself. I knew trying to make this friendship work out wasn’t working out when I continuously felt bad after being in contact with her and nothing was changing. After ending things, I felt so relieved and I didn’t feel trapped anymore which is the most important thing. Knowing that I didn’t have to deal with rubbish remarks and digs gave me a sense of freedom that I hadn’t had in a while!
-WHEN TO TRY AND WHEN TO END THINGS-
After my experience with this particular friendship, I personally feel that if you are getting red flags from the beginning – then you should probably take note. Your gut feeling is so powerful, follow it as a lot of the time benefit of the doubt is overrated. There is no harm in giving one or maybe even two chances but you should definitely draw the line when bad or bullying behaviour be comes continuous. Sometimes, it may be best to sit your ‘friend’ down and tell them exactly what’s on your mind. At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is to love yourself and know your worth. If people around you can’t recognise your worth then they need to go and it’s as simple as that.