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Let’s Talk: Toxic Friendships

I’ve been meaning to address this topic, as I am very much experienced in it. I was just waiting for the right moment and vim, which I’ve found, so let’s get into it.

Hello my beautiful people! How are you doing this fine Monday morning? I hope this post finds you well.

I’ve been meaning to address this topic, as I am very much experienced in it. I was just waiting for the right moment and vim, which I’ve found, so let’s get into it.

Throughout my life, I’ve had toxic friends. Those that bully me, some that take advantage of my kindness and others that gaslight me into thinking I’m the bad guy.

I’ve always wondered why I got the bad guys, but as I’ve grown, I’ve realised that I needed to feel the negative pressures of life to become the diamond that I am. They do say that diamonds are formed under pressure, right? Tehehe.

‘If you never heal from what hurt you you’ll bleed on those who didn’t cut you’ ~ Unknown

Now, have you heard the saying ‘Hurt people, hurt people’?

I was that hurt person that hurt others, and I’m not afraid to admit it. After years and years of enduring bad friendships, I became extremely defensive and wary of those around me.

I didn’t want to experience such pain again, so before anyone hurt me, I hurt them first. It got to a point where people became wary of me because they feared stepping on my toes.

I was a good friend, but if I sensed tension, I would be the one to spew hate before I received it. I hurt very many people and though I was young and didn’t know any better, it was wrong.

“Our bad memories and our bad experiences are what make us who we are and what make us grow and allow us to learn, if we choose to see the lessons in those experiences.” ~ Elijah Wood

Though being a toxic friend was bad, I learned a lot. It allowed me to learn how to be a good friend. I experienced both sides of the spectrum, and was able to gather the positive qualities I needed, and get rid of the negative.

I’m not saying that I’m the best friend in the world, but I know what it means to be a good friend, and hopefully my friends can attest to that. I help when I can, I give the best advice I can and will always be a listening ear.

One purpose of this blog is to teach its readers valuable lessons in every post.Today’s lesson is how to identify toxic friendships.

Signs Of A Toxic Friendship

  1. You’re always fighting. You seem to have more bad moments than good, or they measure closely in occurrence.
  2. They get jealous when you hang out with other people, and are overly obsessive.
  3. They’re clingy and must be around you all day, every day. 24/7, 365. They completely disregard your personal space.
  4. You often experience feelings such as resentment, discomfort and dread when you’re around them.
  5. You’re always on the giving side, but never the receiving. You give advice, gifts, love and time, but it’s not reciprocated.
  6. Everything is your fault, even when you did nothing wrong. You must apologise for making them hurt your feelings.

Would you believe me if I said that through my high school years, I had a friend who had ALL these qualities? Our friendship was based on these 6 points.

I’ll get into that friendship when I discuss the topic of gaslighting. In this friendship, I was the bad guy, the villain, the evil one. What made things worse, is that everyone saw me as the aggressor, when I was actually the victim. That friendship still haunts me to date, and I haven’t fully healed from the torture I endured.

Yes, I said torture. Yes, it was that bad. Yes, I was in therapy for the entire duration of that friendship. Yes, I’m still facing the consequences of being seen as the bad guy. Yes I am scarred. Scarred for life…

Hopefully, I get the strength to write about that friendship one day, but that day is not today.

“After interpersonal trauma, you feel like there’s something fundamentally wrong with you that needs to be fixed before you’re worthy of love, kindness and friendship. The trauma leaves you blind to your inner strength, beauty and gifts” ~ Tanja Windegger

Thank God I got out of that friendship, and here are my tips on how to do so.

How To End a Toxic Friendship

  1. Distance yourself – Cut that friend off. Block them if you have to. Cut them off! If you can’t do it cold turkey, then limit your communication with them, from every day to every two days. You will feel guilty. You will feel like giving them another chance. You will feel like they don’t deserve it. In those moments of questioning your decisions, remember that you’re doing this for you and no one else. You deserve to be happy and free. You DON’T deserve to be berated, bullied or manipulated. You’re doing this for you!
  2. Talk about it – The power of speaking out is underrated. I advise you to seek therapy or talk to someone you trust. Someone who will listen and allow you to let everything out. Don’t keep your pain in. Let it out, and you’ll feel 10X lighter. Speaking about your pain also reduces the chances of you experiencing the same trauma again.
  3. Rediscover yourself – Toxic friendships often result in you losing yourself. Your entire existence has been taken over by another individual. Now that it’s just you, find out what you like, what you dislike, what makes you happy and what doesn’t. Go for lunch alone, go to the beach by yourself, take a drive around town. Get to know who you truly are. When you do that, you find value in yourself, and know that you deserve better.
  4. Make new friends – You’ll know the right moment to go out into the world and make better friends. You’re likely to be wary of people, as you fear getting hurt again, but give it a chance. Take it slowly by slowly and make one friend at a time. Making one good friend in two years is better than making 5 bad ones in 6 months…
  5. Listen to your gut – As you make new friends, listen to that inner voice. Your intuition is your best friend. If you feel iffy about someone, be aware and tread lightly.

Never forget to KNOW YOUR WORTH! Know that you deserve better. Know that you are worthy of love. Know that you are worthy of all the finer things in life.

If someone doesn’t see the light you radiate, they don’t deserve to bask in it…

Here’s to the friends that love you,

The friends that listen to you,

The friends that want the best for you,

The friends who call you out when you’re wrong,

And the friends that respect you.

Good friends help you to find important things when you have lost them… Your Smile, your hope and your courage. ~ Doe Zantamata

Thanks for reading!

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