Sometimes Walking Away from a Friendship Is the Only Solution

It is easy to believe you’ll always be close with someone. You may share the same hobbies and interests, which led to the friendship in the first place. Opposites attract and that is why the friendship works; however, people change as life goes on. You might find yourself fighting over little things or communications coming to a halt. It is better sometimes to look out for yourself and your well-being instead of sacrificing your happiness for someone else.

I have often been the person to dedicate and give 100% to making the friendship work. I mean, you never know what issues or obstacles the other person may be having. You aren’t always going to be close with every single person, so I just brush off whatever was going on. I have made excuses for peoples’ bad behavior that has hurt me just to keep their friendship. I didn’t want to lose them in my life, even if they weren’t what I needed. I wasn’t being fair to myself.

There are people I talk to here and there, but each time we talk, we pick up where we left off. We are able to joke around, talk about ourselves and listen to each other, and there is a genuine connection. Even if there a hundred miles between us, it is like I saw them yesterday. Also, an important factor of any relationship is being able to support someone even if you disagree. To me, that is what a friendship is.

Even last night, I was on the phone with one of my best friends, who is involved in the Disney College Program. We no longer see each other since we live in two different states, and the last time we talked fully was in February, but it was the best conversation I’ve had in a while. It was like we were back to our old shenanigans. It was also reassuring that no matter the distance, I know she’ll always have my back, as I will always have hers.

A friendship isn’t dropping someone because they no longer fit into your image. I was close with a girl in my sorority, who I really did believe was my best friend. We did everything together, always supported each other and it seemed like the perfect friendship. We even planned on living together. The one exception was with Instagram photos. She changed her mind the moment one of the seniors (someone who has more Instagram followers and has more money essentially) opened up the opportunity for her to move in without me. I felt like I was no longer pretty enough to be her friend.

She even went to the extent to get her new friend group to turn against me. They looked at my Instagram posts or took things I said out of context, spinning them into big fabrications of petty high school drama. She made me feel so anxious that there was something wrong with me, that I didn’t deserve friends because I believed I wasn’t good enough.

Looking back, I regret being her friend. I remember how she would explain that someone hurt her, trying to get me to turn against that person. And I believed her. I didn’t give people the benefit of the doubt until it was too late. She made up stories about acts of bullying these people carried out against her in an attempt to make them public enemy number one. I was oblivious at the time, but if I had known, I would have called her out on it. I wish I didn’t take her word and constantly defend such a low quality person.

Moving back home allowed me to see someone’s true colors. I was under the assumption that those who were close to me truly had my best interest, which has been proven far from the case, and is unfortunate. It is as if that once I moved, I was out of sight and out of mind. I became the person that was reaching out all the time, which isn’t fair. I should not be held responsible for trying to uphold the way our friendship used to be. Sure, we wish we could repaint someone’s true colors once they have been exposed to us, but that isn’t fair to you.

Recently, it seems like my sexuality has been the deciding factor whether someone wants to continue the friendship. It’s 2019, and yet, this is still an issue. I am not sure if it is fear of me falling for them, which is highly unlikely, or the fact they just don’t understand what it means to be queer. Specifically, I identify more closely with pansexual, which means for me, love has no gender. I look for the qualities in a person rather than their specific gender. Rather than taking the time to ask and learn, opening up their mind a little more, I am met with retaliation and hate.

A friend does not try to silence you from expressing your truth. I have experienced some challenges that I am learning to embrace, and one of the ways I’m coping with that is talking about my truth. Even after venting all my frustrations over the past six months, believing they were listening to me, they tried silencing me. Sometimes the truth hurts, and maybe they realize they were part of the problem.

I’ve lately taken the initiative to surround myself around people who have made an effort to be there. I am choosing to the celebrate the friendships where I am giving my 100% and receiving 100% back, not the 50% to which I was so accustomed. If I’m investing my time in something, I want to place the energy in positive aspects of my life. Nobody wants to constantly fuel negative energy.

When you realize something isn’t good for you, I believe you have tremendous courage. It is easy just to put up with the circumstances, but true strength is walking away towards something or someone better. You can’t change a person, but you can change yourself. It took me almost 20 years to come to realize that, and I wish I knew that sooner. I wish I knew it was okay to have a small group of great quality friends rather than a large group of low quality friends.