I recently ended a very toxic relationship with a life-long friend of mine… deep breath.
It is hard to walk away from any relationship after so much time spent together. When it comes to friendships, I often feel a great sense of duty towards those I call friends, mainly because I do not throw that term around lightly and it takes a long time for friend status of deep meaning to be attained. That’s just how I roll.
Regardless, I ended it. The most shocking part about this relationship ending was not the end but perhaps the fact that I felt nothing during the process. I did not feel sad, or angry, resentful or depressed. I felt relieved? A sign to me that I should have walked away a long time ago.
But why didn’t I walk away? The signs were always there, all the signs that pointed to this person being a negative influence in my life. But I still stayed, duty bound to a relationship that took too much and gave so little in return.
Now that the clouds have parted and I feel free of that burdensome relationship I feel my heart is more open, less strained. I feel ready to receive new friendships in my life, it truly is a great feeling. Maybe if I sat and looked at just how toxic this person was to me in the first place I would have had the strength to walk away sooner. You live and you learn.
I have done the unfortunate legwork when it comes to this post.
I hope that if you identify with any of these warning signs then this may serve as the push you need to walk away from that relationship. Also read carefully, if you have some of these traits yourself, take accountability for them, be brave enough to grow and change, because like it or not everyone has been guilty of at least one of these actions in their life at some unfortunate point or another.
1. Their life is more important
When it comes to friendships and relationships there is a fine line between looking out for number one and placing your needs above those whom you care about. Each person’s life and time are as equally important to them as it is to you.
With that being said it is not fair or a sign of an equal healthy relationship to have the other person always placing their time, needs and life above yours. That is the line. Your life is important also. As a friend, it is a beautiful thing to care for another’s needs almost as much as your own. If you have a friend who is always talking about themselves with the exclusion of you, dismissing your feelings or needs, then this is a sign that they may be crossing that line. You’re important too! Do not feel selfish for wanting to assert that! Any relationship should be equal.
2. They stunt your growth
“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”
― Alice Walker
Do you feel smothered by your friend’s demands and expectations of you? Do you leave after your interactions with them feeling unmotivated and confused? That is no way to grow in life, or within a friendship. When a friendship that was once supportive turns into a smothering fire then there is no real shock that the fire is burning out.
If you feel judged, unsupported, and stunted by the company you keep and their potential negativity towards your own personal growth… then yes. You should drop those people right away.
3. They have jealousy or resentment towards you
“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend”
― Albert Camus
Jealousy is a very real ugly thing in this world. The saddest truth about jealousy is that it often plagues many friendships, especially in women. Superficial things like appearance, your clothes, the amount of money you make, the car you drive, your boyfriend, family, you name it. All can cause jealousy in friendships.
The signs? Well, they seem to be unable to be happy for you or others unless it benefits them in some way. This is a tricky trait to pick up on sometimes so it may take some insight, but unfortunately, there are a lot more people like this out there then I myself originally believed. One-upping, petty gossip, and indirect insults are all signs that a friend may be more jealous than it appears on the surface. The easy thing to ignore right? Well maybe for you, not for them. Jealousy turns into resentment very quickly, resentment into anger. All the right ingredients for a very ugly relationship or situation in the future.
If you have a friend who may be jealous of you, perhaps addressing that situation right away might be your best option. Rather than enable unhealthy habits and feelings.
4. They do not appreciate who you truly are
Every single person has an equal amount of awesomeness and shittiness within. A maturity is a tool we use to assess which traits we will act on. Being confident enough to accept those uncomfortable personality traits in another is difficult but a beautiful part of friendship.
When you open up to friends and share with them your innermost insecurities and they exploit those insecurities as a weakness ( this has legit happened to me ) then that is a HUGE warning sign. Your failures in life do not make you less of a person. Your flaws do not make you any less complex and amazingly unique, and if you have someone in your life who feels the need to constantly remind you of the hard times in your life in an attempt to box you in and bring you down then walk away. Actually, run.
5. They insult rather than address
Fights happen, friction happens. But never in any relationship should anyone ever belittle you as a person, drag your personality or feelings through the mud. If you are exposed to a person who commits themselves to personal attacks and slander when the more negative parts of life are involved then you need to remove those people from your life. That type of behavior is abusive and disrespectful.
You are a beautiful soul who is always deserving of love, attention, and happiness. Do not be afraid to end something because it is comfortable. Once you remove negative people from your life I promise more beautiful people with like minds, interests, and aspirations will enter.
You will grow and be happy as the newest best version of yourself. Cheers!