The time has finally come.
The definition of friendship, according to the philosopher Immanuel Kant is, “the union of two persons through equal mutual love and respect”. Indeed, friendship is the reciprocal balance of love for one another and respect for each other.
Toxic friendships are the opposite.
Disguised as caring and loving, they hurt you and bring you down, manipulating you into thinking they are your friend. They are like fetters locked on your ankles, dragging you down emotionally.
A name might have even popped into your head as you read the words “toxic friendship”. Whether you know they are there or not, it is time that you recognize their wrongdoing and break the chain binding you together.
This summer, I ended a 13-year friendship because I finally had enough of this so-called friend taking advantage of my feelings while emotionally manipulating me.
This is something I didn’t realize until this year. After patterns of distrustful behavior and disregarding my feelings, I took my happiness into my own hands and ended our friendship, finally unlocking my own fetters. Because a friend isn’t someone who disrespects you and is unsympathetic towards what’s important to you.
Fortunately, I realized he was the only bad friend that I truly had. I’m so grateful to be surrounded by strong, genuine friendships. Going back to him made me realize that I shouldn’t settle for less, and neither should you.
A friend told me about her story with toxic friendships, and I found similarities in our experience. We both encountered betrayal and disrespect, which were factors, for the both of us, that were unacceptable in a friendship.
Furthermore, one who is selfish, uncaring or who doesn’t make an effort for you, does not deserve a place in your busy life. The people around you will affect how you live, by helping you make decisions or influence what you do. Those people need to be the right kind and influence you positively. If these types of people, who disrespect you and bring you down, are present in your friend group, you might need to expand your social network by finding other people to spend your time with.
My parents have always told me, you don’t choose your family, but you do choose your friends. Ending a friendship is brave and takes courage, and you should be proud of yourself for removing this unhealthy relationship from your life. Take charge of your own happiness and do what’s right for you.
Friends are supposed to lift each other up and support you to bring out your better self. Life is filled with meeting people, so don’t let others who bring you down, into it.