My Experience With A Toxic Friendship

Growing up I didn’t have many friends, but I did have one person that I considered my best friend. Let’s call her “S” (Gossip Girl much since I am “V” ?) I met S when I was in middle school, a time where I was bullied a lot and didn’t know that kids could be so cruel when they found something in someone they didn’t like. We didn’t fully become close friends until high school and I was glad to have a good friend to start this new, all together exciting and scary chapter in my life with. We all know that it is less scarier to grow through obstacles and growing pains with great friends by your side.

I didn’t see it at the time, but S was someone who took a lot from me and gave very little back. She was and admits that she still is a cold, distant person. Yet it was hard to see that at the time because to me she was my best friend. We told each other everything, shared an obsession with Korean music, a love for anything Hello Kitty, created music and sang together, had our sleep overs every now and then, and we had so much in common with one another that we never ran out of topics to talk about. I hadn’t noticed that she never asked me to hang out, was never the first one to call or reach out to me, made any effort to visit me, and my most favorite memory of her, told me to just “get over it,” when a family member of mine passed away. I never noticed because by the end of high school, I saw “S” as a sister to me, family almost. And though she may have said the same, her actions told me differently.

One of those actions was that she knew I liked someone but she ended up being with him anyway in the end. And you guessed it, I forgave for this her too. For the next couple of years when she had moved away to a different state-which was probably a blessing in disguise to be honest, I still kept in touch with her almost every other day. It was only until we had gotten into an argument that I finally saw her true self, and that was a toxic friend. After 10 years of friendship or whatever that was, I finally let go of S and decided to live my life and focus on my own happiness without her negativity clouding my judgement. But it took a long time and a lot of mistakes for me to recognize the signs of a toxic friendship.

Some signs of a toxic friendship is that they can make you feel bad about yourself either through backhanded compliments or just straight out telling you what’s wrong with you. This can be about your weight, what you are wearing, and what you say. The conversations you may have is all about them and their drama and their lives, and when you try to insert your problems, they don’t want to hear about it or they get annoyed and revert the conversation back to themselves. Riding on this, they can also be self centered, where everything has to be about them and what makes them happy. And last, you might some how feel as if you can’t trust them because they may have exhibited actions where you feel like your trust can’t be given. It can be hard to spot these signs, but if you suspect you are in a toxic friendship, step away for a bit and re-evaluate how they have treated you and make a decision based on a list of pro’s and con’s. If there is more con’s than pro’s, you have to make a decision of whether you’d want this person to continue to be in your life.

As a child I buried myself in books and movies. I was simply fascinated by the friendships I’ve read about and watched. One of the most prominent friendships that possibly everyone might know is the amazing trio-Harry, Ron, and Hermione written up by J.K. Rowling. They had such a fantastic and beautiful bond that even evil itself couldn’t break apart. They would go to the greatest lengths for each other, and even though they had many disagreements and differences, they were able to overcome them all, defeat Voldemort, and bring peace to all of Hogwarts together. Then there’s my favorite show Supernatural, where Dean and Sam Winchester literally go to Hell, Heaven, and back for each other while fighting monsters, angels, demons, and the occasional devil. But in reality, just like love and good relationships, real friendships are hard to find. And even when you feel like you have found a close friend in someone, there is always a possibility they might hurt you to the point where either you can no longer afford to forgive them or find out the friendship wasn’t strong enough to withstand any obstacles in the first place. From this I’ve learned that most people like easy friendships, because the moment it gets uncomfortable, they are out the door in a second. I am glad that I met “S” because I became a much stronger person. I’ve learned to spot the signs of someone who wants the best for me versus someone who has other intentions. I’m more motivated to write about amazing, true friendships in my future books because we all deserve to believe that there is still good out there in this world.

As always,

Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Beautiful,

V