Have you ever had a friendship that was toxic? It happened to me a number of years ago and I still think about it. I’m proud that I had the courage to end it, but I miss the friendship. I didn’t really realize it at the time, but in retrospect I can see how difficult this friendship really was. Although it was hard, I learned a lot about myself through it all. Friendships come and go sometimes, especially when you are young, but when it happens as an adult, I think that if you take the time to think about it, as painful as it might be, there is much self-knowledge to gain.
I know that I present only my side, but it always felt as if there were a heavy burden on me. Everything that I said and did was over analyzed. ‘Why did you say that?’ ‘You should have said this’ and on and on. It was just too hard. I tend to be somewhat of a ‘peacemaker’ and so I went along and tried to adapt and ‘say the right thing’. The interesting thing is that I didn’t even recognize it at the time. It took years to slowly become aware that I was being smothered and it was then that I began to distance myself.
I probably could have handled it differently and been more confrontational but that isn’t my nature. I simply tend to walk away. Years later I can honestly say that I miss the friendship but not the toxicity. I feel good about the fact that I did something about it. It has been really revelational. I now have a clearer idea about who I am and what I give and don’t give in friendships (and relationships).
It’s a grown-up thing, I suppose.
I tend to walk away. So do I Andie. And since I accommodate a lot, it can take me a long time before I realize how toxic, life-taking instead of life-giving, a relationship can be.
Yes, one misses the relationship, the friendship, but another part of ourselves yells YES at the top of its lungs.
Thanks for the comment Claire, it makes me feel better. I always question myself about this but in truth, it was the right thing to do.
I did walk away from one, and it’s funny how afterwards, when I looked back on it, I saw how really one-sided the friendship was. Most of the interaction, and talk, happened to suit only the friend. But still, we do learn from them, life never ceases to teach us a lesson or two!
You’re so right Joanne. It was a one-sided friendship. Ya, I suppose we still have many life lessons to learn.
Oh I do not have the time to even begin… I do have to say that I thank you for this post. Relationship is a gift and should not be toxic. However, sometimes they are.
Thanks Fran, it was tough but it felt better to actually write about it.
I tend to walk away myself Andie. I’m not a feather ruffler by nature, and find distancing myself from an unpleasant situation to be the easiest way to handle things.
I think Claire was right when she suggested that even though part of us misses the friendship, the other part of us yells YES!
I’m the same way Daily, never want to ruffle feathers. I do yell ‘yes’ because it was the right thing to do, tough as it was.
Andie – walking away from any relationship that has become toxic is the greatest gift you can give to yourself. You have to trust your instincts and never second-guess it.
We all know when someone in our life has become toxic; letting go of them is no easy task and yet it is amazing how much free-er and happier our lives feel when it’s behind us.
Yup – been there, done that.
You truly speak as one who has been through it Kris. It still stings when I see this person, but you are so right, we must trust our instincts – even if it took a long time for me to recognize them.
You know, I don’t think I’ve had a toxic friendship — or maybe I have been blind to them? I don’t know…a good question for sure…and one that will prompt me to think about my friendships and what they give and take.
At any rate, I would think it would be incredibly hard to end any friendship…I get a pit in my stomach just thinking about it. So I admire yours strength and courage, Andie!
Thanks Michelle. I pray that all of your friendships are life-giving. This was a first for me and so it was tough – but a period of growth.
Andie, I heard a preacher say recently that whatever doesn’t add value to your life you should walk away from. I think that real friendships add value to your life. Sadly, I’ve also been in the position where I had to walk away from a friendship that I also still miss.
Wonderful wisdom from that preacher Bernadine, thanks, and I will keep that in mind. Adding value to our lives – a great gift.
I oh so can relate. Appreciate this post very much. Thank you for your kind words also on my blog. Mean a whole lot!!!!
Andie, I am sorry to read about what you been through. I too was in a toxic friendship with a flatmate from hell a few years ago. To cut the story short, I made a brave decision to walk away when her toxicity got too much to bear with. Want you to know that you are not alone and you made a wise choice ending it when that person chooses to be toxic for life.