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Toxicity in friendships - the art of letting people go

When a friend becomes an enemy, it is similar to a fruit rotting. Unable to withhold the passing of time, it slowly starts rotting from the inside, until mold and flies show up on the outside, feasting and devouring every tiny bit that has once existed and turn it into a worthless, lifeless shell of something that was once special and beautiful.

As humans, we live and yearn for deep and heartfelt friendships. We crave connections with people, who seem to understand us better than we were ever able to. Resurrecting parts and pieces of our heart and soul, of which we had thought were long gone. Riveting and exciting friendships that make every time you spend with each other like you’re stepping into sunlight after staying in the shadow for a long time.

I used to feel incomplete in my life. I walked through life feeling like an incomplete puzzle, scattered mindlessly on a living room table, eventually being ignored and ultimately discarded. Not until I‘ve met her: she was like a missing puzzle piece, she liked the same things that I liked, she thought like me and was as confused about growing up like I was. We were what I used to think was the definition of a soulmate. After school was done, she and I lost a bunch of our friends and realized that sometimes you‘re just friends with people because you see them five times a week. These friendships had an expiry date and it‘s called „graduation“. For us, it was different. „You‘re my best friend“, she drunkenly slurred one night, „my best friend and more importantly: I will never leave you. Never, this thing here…“, she pointed at me and then herself, „will last. Forever.“ And I took her word for it.

She was what I have described as the greatest friend in existence of humanity, like a sunflower in a field full of roses. She was a hilarious person, always with a joke on her mind, pieced together with anxiety, insecurity, and parts which I only ever saw in myself. I used to think this is what soulmates are. And building up on this foundation we would have a great and normal friendship, which goes on forever and ever.

Sometimes things come differently than one had expected - you start spending so much time with another that any unkind trait they had is just them being… well, themselves. You start glancing over rude and snarky remarks and ease yourself with a quick “that’s just how they are!”. See, when you‘re friends with someone, who can be a total narcissist and toxic, you can ignore the red flags because you were wearing rose-colored glasses the entire time. There’s this great quote from the Netflix show “BoJack Horseman”, which reads: “You know, it's funny; when you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.” Friendships are supposed to be uplifting and fun, solid places of comfort, where there’s no room for any spitefulness, any bitterness or simply said: envy, jealousy and hate.

As our friendship blossomed and progressed, it became painfully obvious at some point that this was not just for fun. With time passing (and men coming in and out of our lives), this wonderful and deep friendship we had turned into an icy rivalry. A bitter fight inbetween us.

Naively I believed we were supporting and encouraging each other to become better versions of ourselves, only to discover that her true intentions were to tear me down at every opportunity. For what, I’ve wondered. There were no reasons, we had no falling out, but over the course of a few weeks she transformed into a nasty, horrible person. A monster lurking behind a facade of generosity and kindness, which finally shattered and unveiled the horrorfying person that was just waiting to come out and attack me at the right time.

I’ve ignored a lot of signs which should have showed me from the beginning on that sometimes it’s better to walk away from toxic people, instead of staying and just hurting yourself even more. The most obvious signs now make me wish that time travel was real, and I could go back in time and yell at myself. Now that I’m typing this out, I feel like the stupidest b**** in the entire world, and I should have left way earlier, but that’s the issue with toxic friendships. It feels like you’re bound to this person for eternity. This may be because I was dealing with a textbook narcissist, a toxic and terrible person.

Toxic friends don’t care if you’re doing well, unless they’re facing tough times themselves.

When I got a new job and I was super ecstatic about it, my friend immediately called me in tears and acccused me of rubbing it under her nose. I profusely apologized and asked her what I had done to understand the situation better. “You got a new job before I did” was the answer. It was my fault that I applied and looked for jobs, while she was hoping on a miracle, where somebody shows up with a new job at her doorstep one day. “It’s so unfair that it’s been that easy for you”, she moaned. And whilst I could have been happy about a new endeavour in my life, I felt bad. I felt so bad that I wasn’t even looking forward to starting this job, nor did I mention anything about it for quite some time.

Toxic friends don’t bother to understand why you’re struggling, or are never there when you need them.

When my grandmother fell ill and my family was preparing for her passing, I was mentally and emotionally at rock bottom. Seeking comfort and just an open ear, she said to me (and I wish I was kidding): “I cannot imagine one of my grandparents getting sick. I’m so happy that they’re both fine and healthy! Like it’s so good to have both grandparents still, I can’t imagine them dying. Wow, that must suck so hard, I don’t even wanna imagine that!” I wish I was kidding. This pattern turned out to repeat itself constantly. For example, when I shared the big and terrible news of my ulcerative colitis diagnosis, her response was “lol sucks to be u”.

Narcissists like her do not care about you, your life, or your well-being. They are never there for you and would never dare to ask how you were because that would mean diverting the attention away from themselves. She never wanted to hear about my life, or how I was doing. If there were moments when she listened, (or at least gave her best acting performance to pretend like she cared) she immediately pat herself on the back as “your one and only best friend” and how she was “the best friend out there”. That’s when things go south pretty quickly, and turn out to become pretty dangerous.

They need leverage and manipulate and keep score, so that one day when you've finally had enough, they can throw it back in your face and remind you: “Hey, remember that one time I helped you?! Would a terrible friend do this to you?!” And the answer is: yes. Yes, they would. And they did.

Last but not least, toxic friends are so versatile at being the greatest pretenders, and are just a wolf hiding in sheep’s clothing.

Due to her self-hatred and lack of interest in anything that didn’t have to do with herself, I turned into a meaner and nastier version myself. After meeting up with her, I felt drained as if I had just ran a marathon twice in a row. The realization that someone I trusted was actively working to undermine me filled me with a mix of hurt, betrayal, and disbelief. It was not a small incident to me, but a heart-wrenching revelation that shattered the facade of a deep friendship we had built.

Maturing in friendships is realizing that giving people the opportunity to dim the light in your heart is simply not worth it. No person should have the power to completely drain you, making you forget about how wonderful and amazing you truly are. As we grow older, we come to realize that settling for the bare minimum from somebody, who is unwilling to give you a piece of their time and energy, while demanding all of this from you, is just not worth it. You can do so much better than them, and trust me, you will.

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Comments (5)

Felicidades!! Muy lindo todo , gracias!!!🥰🤗❤️👏


May 15

Muchas gracias!! Que bonito !!!😇🥰


May 15



Jul 27, 2023

I was in tears even before playing the video! Recently started watching Bluey and to be honest I am saviouring every episode, making sure not to rush through them. Luce as a kid would have love it too! Without all the sometimes extreme drama cartoons such as "Candy", "Peline" and the anime series called in Spanish "La Ranita Demetan" displayed. I also remember feeling sad and stressed after watching some of them...But Bluey is so not like that. I am sure this is appreciated by kids and parents equally. Cheers to all healthy, innocent and non invasive copying mechanisms! And thanks for sharing this one! 😍

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