When Friendships Become Toxic

Have you ever stopped being friends with someone and felt relief? Have you ever been absolutely exhausted trying to maintain a friendship? Have you ever felt obligated to maintain a friendship? These friendships, are toxic.

6 years ago when I moved to Alberta, I didn’t have any friends. The first friends I made were two girls I worked with. Out of the two, I connected with one more than the other, but she moved away after only a few months because her position was temporary. The other one and I maintained a friendship for 6 years, but recently went about what Gwyneth Paltrow calls a “conscious uncoupling”. See, in those 6 years of friendship, I’m not even sure I liked her very much. She was incredibly spoiled, entitled, condescending. She always talked like she was better than everyone. If you didn’t do things her way, you were doing it wrong; especially when it came to being a mother. But since she was my first friend here and one of my only friends in Alberta, I felt obligated to maintain this friendship. Things came to an end when her privilege and entitlement left her blind to her wrong doings and I couldn’t bite my tongue anymore. No anger, no bad blood; I felt relief. I had finally let go of a toxic friendship.

I no longer have the energy for hate.

You aren’t going to like every person you cross paths with in life; but when you let go of hatred, you will feel so much lighter. Don’t let someone else’s negative energy ruin your day.

At this point in my life, I have so few close friends, and I’m not interested in maintaining friendships that are tearing me down. As I get older, I don’t have the time or the energy for those toxic friendships. Are you worried to tell them they aren’t the maid of honor at your wedding because they’ll be mad? Toxic. Do they tell you who you can and can’t be friends with? Toxic. Do they cause you stress? Toxic. Do they make you feel bad about yourself? Toxic. Do they make you feel undervalued? Unwelcome? Toxic. Do they make you question their loyalty? Toxic. Do they create barriers than interfere with other relationships? Toxic.

This is how you Marie Kondo your friends list. Is it exhausting? Is it stressful? Is it built on obligation? Do they spark more frustration than joy? Thank them for their service and let go.

Just writing this, I feel so much lighter. I will no longer put energy into relationships with people who value me less than I value them.


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