Toxic Relationships & Learning to Walk Away from Friends

Toxic Friends

Best Friends, Maybe..

We were the best of friends or so it seemed. You know the type. The friends who can talk all day and still not run out of things to talk about. We had so much in common that we were almost the same person. There was absolutely nothing that I wouldn’t have done for him. And then things changed. Something happened that turned everything upside down. In the blink of an eye, we went from being the best of friends to being perfect strangers.

The events that led to the breakdown are relevant, but they don’t belong here. That story is for another time and place. The only relevant bit is the part where we stopped speaking, stopped acknowledging each other’s presence at all. When you see each other daily, that’s a feat, but we managed it just fine. I would never admit that I missed those conversations and he simply didn’t care at all. No longer friends, he said awful things about me. Everything was, of course, my fault.

Months went by and I gradually got use to hearing the things he was saying about me. I got use to us not speaking or interacting on any level. It wasn’t something I needed or craved anymore. Our friendship was dead. So what? Then, one day, I opened up the door to conversation. I had heard something and needed to get it off my chest, so I asked about it just to clear the air. We became friends again after that, but it didn’t last long.

We talked quite a bit, but only when I initiated the conversation. There was no intentional interaction on his part without me interacting first. Even though he said I wasn’t, I could feel that I was bothering him, that he didn’t want me around.

No more fight

 

 

Learning to Walk Away

Flash forward just a short few months and you’ll find me where I’m at now.  I spend a great deal of my thinking because I have so much time to myself to do just that. The downside to that is that I sometimes stress about stress before it even exists to stress about. The upside, though, is that I give myself plenty of time to open my own eyes. Thanks to that, I’ve realized so many things about this so-called friendship and it was just enough to make me realize that it was time to walk away.

Let me tell you, if you are the only one making an effort to keep things going, it isn’t friendship. If you’re friends as long as you remember not to really interact with them in any way at all, you’re not friends. We weren’t friends. I was an irritation and he was just trying to shut me up. That’s something that I’m fully capable of seeing now. I’m able to walk away knowing that at least I made an effort, regardless of his behavior.

If you ask him, he’ll tell you that he’s a complete ass to me. He has no problem admitting that and it’s not something that he’s willing to stop doing. Being an ass to me is something that he’s exceedingly proud of. He still tells people the worst things about me. He’ll encourage me to talk to him, but complain when I do. If I just leave him alone completely, if he doesn’t have to really acknowledge my existence, we can be friends. We were never friends. Never.

I’ve never had a friend who was embarrassed to be seen with me. That’s not what friendship is. I’ve never had a friend who found so much comfort in treating me so poorly. The point where I learned to walk away is the point where I decided that I deserved better. I know my self-worth. Even if someone else doesn’t see it, I have to value myself enough to never accept being treated so poorly. It was time to stop fighting. His friendship was toxic and I needed to move on.

Disrespect

 

Set a Standard

You know yourself better than anyone and, in knowing yourself, you know what you’re worth. Set a standard for your own life. Know your worth and refuse to accept anything less. People can only treat you badly if you allow it, so don’t allow it. Do not ever allow someone to disrespect you without being put in their place. That’s something I’ve learned more lately than ever before.

Even without saying it, he knew how I felt. That’s why, for the life of me, I don’t understand how he could always be so cruel. It was a game to him and my heart was a doormat. Telling me one thing, but saying something entirely different to other people. He’s no better than a teenage girl in that regard. Actually, I know teenage girls who are more mature than that. It took realizing that I’d had enough to raise my standards and stop allowing it. I will never again make room in my life for that type of behavior.

I’m better than that. I will always deserve better than that. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who deserves complete disrespect from so-called friends, so do yourselves a favor and don’t accept that behavior from anyone. Ever.

 

With love,

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