There’s something about the new years that always makes us contemplative. It’s like compartmentalizing your life into days and months gives us more clarity. People often use that to think about new goals and new plans. But I think it should be equally used to think about all the old things we have to let go of.
One of those, as painful as it might be, are friendships. Of course, I’m not talking about just any old friendships or the friends you simply fall out of touch with. The kind of ‘friends’ we should be saying goodbye to are the toxic ones.
These toxic friendships are usually described as one person always taking and never giving. That person might be demanding too much of your time and attention but is never free to help you out with your own problems. Or maybe they get mad when you have to put your family, studies, or any other priorities before them. Maybe they even get mad because you have other friends or they get jealous that you’re able to have fun without them.
Toxic friendships happen so often that it’s difficult to distill a vast experience into a few sentences. These examples only show a number of instances but there are so many other ways friends can be toxic. But the constant element in any toxic relationship is when it becomes more harmful for you to stay.
If it’s at the point that the friendship begins to tear away at you, and makes you less than you are, then this is when you have to make your exit. I know there are people reading this and thinking that these aren’t reasons to end friendships. That being a friend means staying through the tough times and helping them through their bad patches. That it means giving second chances.
Understand that when I say a friend is toxic it usually means they’ve already failed their second, third, and fourth chances. That they don’t listen or try to change — because everything is always about them. And sometimes, things have to be about you.
Dropping these kinds of friends is about putting yourself first. It’s realizing that you deserve better than a friend who makes you go through hoops for them but can’t even bother to think about your feelings. It’s knowing that if you give too much of yourself away, you’ll be left with nothing for yourself.
It might be hard because people will judge you. Or it might be painful because most of these friendships have history behind them. But I think that this is one of those times we deserve to be just a little bit selfish.
Do you have any stories about toxic friendships of your own? Share them with us in the comments!