Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned After Ending a Toxic Friendship

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

Friends start as strangers and eventually become part of our lives as we create a special bond with them. They make us feel good about ourselves and can be a great support system as well. We tend to have the best memories with them over the years and hope to always remember the good times shared with them.

As time passes by, you notice that you start being very hard on yourself. You try to figure out what exactly is affecting your life negatively and you wouldn’t think for a second that it’s a friendship you have with someone. It starts to get challenging at this point because you ask yourself, “why would I want to lose my friend?”, but are they your friend if they constantly make you feel bad about yourself?

I had an experience with a toxic friendship and there were multiple times when I felt very bad about myself because I thought I wasn’t good enough. I was constantly brought down by this friendship and I didn’t realize how much of a negative impact they were on my life until I noticed I felt very good about myself when I was around other people. I saw how my mental health and confidence changed for the better once I branched out to find new friendships. Here are a few lessons I learned once I ended a toxic friendship I had in the past.


Importance of Secrets

I’ve always known how important secrets were, especially if they’re your own. In my case scenario, there was a time when I told these certain friends a very personal thing because I trusted them. I also confided in them simply because they were my friends but little did I know, they ended up sharing my secret with other people. Not only did this break my trust in them but I also realized, just because they’re your friend, doesn’t mean you have to tell them everything about you. That’s your choice if you wish to share your things with that person, and the other person has no right in telling other people your secret. It’s you

Listen to Your Instincts and Learn to Let Go

If you ever had an uncertain feeling in your stomach, more than likely, your instincts are trying to tell you something. There were a few times when I experienced this uncertainty while I was still in this toxic friendship but I wouldn’t listen to my instincts because I’d always doubt myself. I’d think about the good memories we all had together and how I couldn’t bear to let that go. However, I realized that you shouldn’t stay friends with someone who always makes you feel bad about yourself just because of good memories together. The good memories don’t make up for how negatively they’re treating you and you’ll also begin to learn to finally trust your instincts.

Real Meaning of Friendships

After I removed myself from the toxic friendship I had, I noticed how much I’ve changed once I began to create new friendships with other people. I quickly started to feel good about myself, my mental health grew much more positive and my confidence has finally gotten so much better. I’m very grateful for the new friendships I have now. They helped me improve myself for the better, always there to listen, enjoy spending time with me and always encourage me to do whatever makes me happy. I’m so happy they’re part of my life!


True Colors Show Over Time

I realized I was in a toxic friendship once things started getting out of hand. A small disagreement broke out between ourselves and I was very hurt by their actions because it was something I didn’t expect at all from them. A lesson I learned here was people’s true colors will eventually show during difficult times. You’ll notice how they’ll want to handle difficult situations and if they’re looking to resolve it or just create more drama. In my case, instead of them wanting to fix our friendship, they decided to create unnecessary drama and bring it online. This affected me because I’d never bring someone’s problems to social media and the fact that they quickly did that without thinking about how I’d feel about it, truly hurt me. I knew this friendship wasn’t good for my mental health anymore because all it did was just make me feel bad about myself and give me so much anxiety. After this argument, I saw their true colors and enough was enough.


Self Growth

Once I removed myself from the bad friendship, I learned to trust my instincts much more and started gaining my confidence over time. My mental health started improving and I stopped doubting myself as much as I did before. My new friendships helped me grow and improve myself as a person too. They helped me realize the importance of mental health and that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I remembered my worth, how valuable I am and I just deserved to be happy!

Although I’ve grown as a person, without this bad experience, I wouldn’t have known I was in a toxic friendship at all. Of course, I’ll always cherish the good memories we had in the past but that’s just in the past. I’m very grateful for my new friendships and the people that are in my life now. With their help, they showed me the true meaning of friendship and impacted my life in such a positive way!

Andrea is a Social Media and Public Relations undergraduate student at Montclair State University. Her passions include creating content, writing, graphic design, traveling, and spending time with her family. She hopes to work in the world of public relations, become an influencer, writer, editor, social media coordinator, and simply express her creativity through her work.