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Cutting Out Toxic Friendships in 2018

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCSU chapter.

Most of us find it hard to admit when a close friendship has become toxic. We kid ourselves with nostalgic memories and are easily convinced that the relationship will eventually get better. But, we all need to swallow the hard truth that these relationships are not healthy. It is easy to see the warning signs when you look at the friendship objectively. It might be that this person never has time for you, or you feel as though you reach out to them more often than they try to make plans with you. If you feel like you are consistently giving more to maintain this relationship then it might be time to call time of death. In any friendship, there should be an even amount of effort being made. We all deserve to be surrounded by people that want to be around us, and no one should ever be made to feel like a burden. Another way your friendship could be toxic is if this person is constantly saying snide things about you then playing off their comments as though they’re jokes. And being drunk is not an excuse to be awful. By the point that you recognize these traits as being unhealthy, your lizard brain has probably already been trying to hint to you that it’s time to get out. People disregard their gut instincts because they believe that they’re simply reading too much into trivial things or they’re mistaken and this person they wholly trust would never intentionally hurt them. Unfortunately, that’s the wrong call. People are inherently selfish and out for their own best interest. So, you need to look out for yourself and begin cutting the cord before it gets dragged out too long, or your feelings get hurt more than they already have been. 

I would recommend planning a time when both of you can sit down and discuss your relationship like adults. Friendship breakups, much like real breakups take time and both parties will have feelings about the relationship’s termination. I would also highly suggest you avoid communicating this message over text. It is impossible to interpret someone’s tone over text and people have more time to compose their thoughts, which leads to hurt feelings and inevitable anger. Having a sit down conversation will be best to come to a resolution peacefully. It’s  during this interaction that I would recommend an exchange of clothes and other personal items that might have been exchanged during the course of your relationship. It’s a pain to go back and try to get your stuff back after the fact. Depending on how the breakup conversation goes, you can decide if you can end things amicably or you need to destroy all memory of their existence. Either way, I would suggest hiding their profile on Facebook and Instagram. That way, you’re not deleting them as a friend for forever, just until everything cools down and you can see their updates on life without anger or sadness. If you do think it’s best for you to delete them entirely, that’s okay too. It’s important to maintain your mental health during the aftermath and if you don’t thing you’ll ever be at a place you can view their social media, then please do what’s best for you. 

Following your decision to cut this person out of your life, treat it as though you’ve just broken up with a romantic partner. Plan fun activities with your other, hopefully less toxic, friends. Do things you like to do to better your mental health, like taking baths or wearing face-masks. Keep yourself active and don’t wallow in memories of the past, because those memories are clouded with nostalgia and they’re not a true representation of the relationship you just ended. While it might take some time to get used to this new hole in your social circle, it’ll be worth it in the end when you’re surrounded by friends that truly have your best interest at heart. As I stated previously, no one deserves to feel as though their closest friends merely tolerate them. You deserve happiness and people who love you no matter what you can give them. 2018 is a new year and we’re staring over with good friends and hope for a better future. 

Lindsey Poe is a Senior English Literature major, Spanish minor here at Georgia College. She loves coffee, Pinterest, peach rings, House M.D., and late night easy mac. In her free time she enjoys taking naps, reading, crafting, and stalking adoptable dogs online. You can follow her on Instagram @linzpoe.