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What It’s Like to Cut Off a Toxic Friend and Why It’s Therapeutic

Cutting off friends, to me at least, is a lot harder than ending relationships. But, since the new year is finally here, cutting off toxic people is a great start to 2018. With a cleaner slate, you have more room to make better friends – friends that make you happy.

Image courtesy of Odyssey

In late November, I cut off one of my best friends from my life. Our friendship started in January, and our bond had strengthened incredibly fast. We talked about everything, from the environment to our views on sex. After becoming so close during the last year, the last couple months of our friendship were slightly miserable for me. His overreactions and criticism made me feel as if I were being belittled. He guilt-tripped me often and was pretty emotionally draining. I felt like he didn’t care about me. I’m sure I was over-exaggerating, but honestly, invalidating my emotions was something that he did and I couldn’t do the same to myself.

I never thought I would have it in me to end it. When I did, I told him what I felt and he shared his feelings as well. He told me that he would respect my decision, even though it would make him very sad. He said that he’d miss and love me. I took his words with a grain of salt and said goodbye right away. I cried for three days.

For the following weeks after the cut, there was not a day in which he hadn’t crossed my mind. I shared almost everything with him; I had talked to him every day. I wanted to go back on my word, to tell him that I missed him, that I’m sorry I ended it so abruptly. I admit that I act on impulse often, and that is a flaw that I am not proud of. However, even though I wanted to act out on another impulse and call him, I listened to my brain and forced myself to keep my ground.

I’m writing this article many weeks later and it has been a cathartic experience. I started this while sitting on the bus going back home after finals. Relieving this kind of stress was exactly what I needed. I was able to get rid of all my pent up anger before I stepped foot in my house.

Ending my friendship with him was honestly one of the best decisions I made for my mental health. Yeah, it was incredibly hard to do it. It was a difficult decision, especially since we had shared a lot about each other, but I feel so good right now. Because I no longer talk to him daily, I noticed I have felt happier. It’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Now, my life is so much better without him. Sure, I cried for three days; I still miss him. But, I have been so happy that I cut him off. I don’t regret being his friend – our relationship was good for the most part – but I do regret not ending our relationship sooner.

Through my personal experience, I learned that self-preservation is more important than another person’s feelings. Learn what you want first. The world is in a constant flux and maybe one day, if you regret the decision, they’ll come back to you.

But there is only one lesson that I took away from this: always, always, always, put yourself first.

Diane Nguyen

Drexel '21

Diane Nguyen is a Drexel University senior from Boston, Massachusetts. As a Global Studies major and Criminal Justice and Chinese double-minor, she is interested in human rights, specifically immigration and environmental law. She also hopes to volunteer for the Peace Corps and be a part of a nonprofit organization that helps child sex trafficking victims recover from their trauma.
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