Today I’m going to be talking about toxic friendships: how to spot them and how to deal with them.
For three years I had a friend who I thought for at least the first year and a half she was great. To be honest in that time I think the friendship was real and healthy. I don’t regret it at all. However, it was the next year and a half of our friendship that I look back on and wish I did something about earlier than I did. I definitely regret that part. So, I’m going to tell you the signs I saw that started making me question how much I was actually benefitting from this friendship. For the sake of this story I’m going to call this girl Sarah.
It all started when Sarah started hanging out with this new group of friends. It wasn’t that fact that she had made new friends and I felt jealous or anything, it was how Sarah started to change (and not for the better) once she started seeing them. That was when the friendship started becoming very one sided. For a friendship to work it is very important that both sides benefit equally from it, it just simply won’t work otherwise. Heres a list of some of the things that changed in my friendship with Sarah. I know some things might sound ridiculous, but all together they amount to a lot.
- We only saw each other when it suited her to see me. We started to go to each others house much less and whenever we did see each other it was always at Sarah’s house as she always said she was “busy” when I asked her to come over.
- She always had to be and look better than me. Whenever she posted a photo of us two on social media, it was always the photo where she looked a lot nicer even if she still looked good in the other photos she could have posted. It was around this time she started becoming very boy obsessed which i think was the main reason for this.
- I felt she would judge me. I began to have to think about what to say to her in worry she would judge or ignore me. I used to just say whatever came to mind and we would have a laugh no matter how random or silly it was.
- She stopped listening to me. If I ever began talking about something that she wasn’t interested in. She wouldn’t even humour me and pretend to have an interest or just listen anyway. She would just straight out say ‘I literally don’t care’ or ‘Hm yeh ok….’ and then move on to what she wanted to talk about.
- On the rare occasion she didn’t get her own way she was very quick to get pissed off if I ever did anything slightly wrong and would take an stupid amount of time to get over it because she for one time didn’t get her own way. But the amount of things she did that I let go because it wasn’t worth arguing about is crazy. She always had to win.
- I began to enjoy time at school more when she wasn’t with me. I felt less on edge and could be myself more.
- She was always on the look out for someone else to talk to. If we were walking around school having a chat and she saw someone ‘better’ to talk to. She would leave mid conversation without saying anything and just cut me off and leave.
- I no longer felt confident around her. She didn’t make me feel good about myself ever. She was always giving me ‘makeovers’ and trying to change me. I was a much more extroverted person before we were friends and I lost a lot of confidence in that time.
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. I was like this for at least one and a half years and even when it was at it worst we still gave ourselves the title of ‘BFF’s’. Number 8 is definitely the thing that upsets me most about the whole toxic friendship. I think I would be a much better person (in terms of loving myself) today if I hadn’t been slowly losing my confidence for three years all because of some stupid friendship.
You might ask why I didn’t do something about stopping this friendship earlier. But the thing is, Sarah was going through some tough problems at the time and I would have been the worst friend in the world if I wasn’t there to support her through it. For the last 6 months, the friendship was really hanging by a thread. But there was finally an argument that finished the whole thing. I’m now a much happier person and have much more friends who i have a lot more in common with and I love them all. I couldn’t ask for better friends now!
So if your reading this and realising the same sort of things that I started to notice. If I were you I would bring up the courage and stop the friend ship or ‘break up’ with them. Even if it leads to an argument where you two ignore each other for a while like mine and Sarah’s did. Trust me you will be a much better person because of it. Don’t wait as long as I did to do it. Its time you thought about yourself than just thinking of them.