When Toxic Friendships Take Over Our Lives

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As an adult, it’s hard enough as it is, to make friends, but it’s even harder when you have to let go of that one friend you’ve always had by your side. You are so used to them being around that they’re practically your shadow and you can’t imagine yourself without them. Sometimes, their smooth talking blinds you, making it unable for you to make rational decisions. No matter how many times someone warns you about such people, you really don’t see one coming and practically taking over your life. The one thing you probably won’t forgive yourself for is, ignoring all the red flags in this dynamic.

No one likes to admit it when a relationship runs its course. It might be easy to let go in a relationship where you haven’t invested emotionally. But when you do, there are tears. There’s a lot of apologizing from both sides, which makes it even harder. You think to yourself, maybe there’s still hope, maybe they can change. But they don’t. You still choose to continue with that friendship just because they’ve been there for so long; you wouldn’t know what to do without them. It is easy for some people to move on and not feel a thing, in any kind of relationship. But the rest find themselves on a rocky road.

Even though labels in any relationship are pointless, but when you call someone your “best friend” or they call you so, it’s like a tacit agreement to accept whatever that entails. Some people miss that memo. They don’t know any better than getting through every day by freeloading and unnecessary flattery. But when you actually need them, they are the first ones to make some kind of excuse and leave. This is where you should know that the balance is not there. That person is only sticking because they want something you have.

Have they ever bad mouthed someone in front of you? There are high chances that they do the same thing behind your back. You can’t change what’s an inherent part of their character. If you confide in them, you never know when they might use it against you. They are quite smart that way. The moment they feel threatened, they will get defensive and use that information to save themselves. They are quite passive aggressive too. Not only will they avoid confronting you, time and again, they will try and confuse you with that kind of behaviour even if you’ve made up your mind about something. They are quite skilled at it so it becomes very hard to decipher.

Such toxic people will always leave you feeling like a nobody and you begin to question yourself, which you never did before. In the beginning of such a friendship, you feel sheltered and protected from the world, it’s like a safe haven. But when everything breaks down, the truth comes out and it sets you free. It hurts but it feels like someone lifted a huge weight off of your shoulders. The only regret about being friends with such people is that they did not deserve to know you that way. It feels like you’ve given away a part of yourself to someone, which you won’t ever get back, somehow making you a bit emptier.

“If there is a particular person in your life that is repeatedly choosing not to honor you and is causing you more sadness or pain than they are joy – it might be time to release that friendship back to God and trust that it is not where you belong.” 

~Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

Healthy friendships don’t make you feel that way. They are effortless and they don’t feel forced. Even when the best of friends are not together all the time, they find a way to remain connected, picking up from where they left off. We are usually defined by the people we choose to be friends with, so, choose wisely!

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Sumedha is a professional writer but her academic and professional pursuits don’t get in the way of her embracing the true fan girl that she is. Whether its books, movies or celebrities, she always finds something to swoon over.

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