Before I say anything else, I want to say an absolutely enormous thank you for all of the lovely, (fine, I’ll admit it) tear-jerking comments left on my last post; your generosity, genuine care and unbreaking support astonishes me endlessly, and for that I am eternally grateful to you all. I am finally beginning to feel a bit better — not great, maybe not even good — but better. And better is better than not better… Confused?
Onto today’s topic of discussion: toxic friendships. (NO I AM NOT FULL OF DOOM AND GLOOM — SHUT IT YOU.)
As always, I can’t and won’t attempt to speak for anyone apart from myself, but I’m going to use logic to conclude that it is not just me who is one half of at least one toxic friendship.
Let me explain what I mean by that term — toxic friendship. To me, a toxic friendship is one that, overall, has a negative effect on you, whether that be physically, mentally or emotionally. Specifically though, my use of the term ‘toxic friendship’ defines a friendship of this type, but one which you are still a part of, for whatever reason.
I have several toxic friendships — the fact that I can recognise that, but can’t do the sensible thing and get my sorry arse out of them is overwhelmingly stupid to me too, don’t worry.
Maybe it’s a loneliness, or some fucked-up desire to invite someone to knock me down over and over again, watching me weaken as their blows toughen. For whatever reason, I find myself actively maintaining friendships that are making me feel … shit. I can’t sum it up in any better terms than that — these people make me feel like shit.
Anything I say, or do, or think — wrong. And it’s little things: they’ll correct my grammar one too many times, or refuse to ‘agree to disagree’ over something — they’re right, I’m wrong, end of story. I make a cup of tea — well, how inconsiderate of me, considering I’m on the phone to them, talking about how difficult their life is (not at all difficult), whilst they had the cheak to play their music loudly down my phone for 15 mins, not saying a word to me throughout.
Are they having a bad day? No worries — I’ll hear all about it, ready or not. Am I having a bad day? … Sorry, that doesn’t matter — they had to walk up the road in the rain today; that’s much more important than feeling like you just want to curl up and cry, of course. They are, always have been and always will be infinitely more important than I am, and that’s how they view our friendship.
So why don’t I do the sensible thing? Why don’t I reply to one of their texts, and say just how I feel — or not reply at all, for that matter? Why don’t I block their number, unfriend them on Facebook, and cut ties with them through all other means? Why don’t I call them, for once, and tell them how this glorious friendship is no more, how over years it has morphed into something different, alien, and very much unwanted?
Because I can’t. I should, I know, but I can’t. I have nowhere near enough confidence to do so, and besides — this ‘friendship gone bad’ was, in the old dyas, built on trust; they know too much about me. Far, far too much.
Does this look bitter? Angry?
I don’t care, honestly. I have to get this off my chest before it consumes me, and while I know they’ll never read this, I hope beyond hope that they do, just to give me the satisfaction of knowing they have. No other reason.
If you are in a friendship like this, don’t do what I do, and ignore it — get out. You are all worth so, so much more than people who won’t or don’t listen to you, and you all deserve to be treated properly, whoever you are. You all have a friend in me, I promise.