Why Toxic Friendships Don’t Work

Nobody ever tells you that sometimes the worst heartbreak you’ll face is when you end friendships.

We’ve all been there before, when you bare your soul to a person who you felt a deep connection to, and all of a sudden, their loyalty to you is called into question. You’re second guessing if this person really has your best interests at heart.

I’ve been there before. I’m one of those people who immediately falls in love. I don’t mean in love as in romantic love; I mean as in I love fostering deep connections with others. I quickly become close to people without ever stopping along the way to think about whether those friendships serve me any good purpose. I say this because often times, we attract those who are seeking something they cannot find in themselves, something true for relationships and friendships alike. People who are lacking in self-esteem, or self-worth, will look to others to confirm that either they have something to be proud of, or that they have something to envy.

You ever notice that you always have that one friend who leaves you kind of exhausted, almost drained after being around them? It’s as if they took the light away from the room, leaving you sitting in the dark. That’s a sign of a toxic friend; whether it be jealousy, or because they themselves are negative people, these ‘friends’ thrive off of gossip, negativity, anxiety, fear…you name it and they got it.

For jealousy, it doesn’t even need to be that you have a perfect life compared to them; it can simply be for reasons such as your attitude towards certain things, how others treat you compared to them, or even the fact that you are just simply you that is enough for them to envy you, and seek ways to dim your light.

We are never really taught how to look at friendships and decide that they do not work for us. We’re never told, ‘hey, that girl you care about a lot? She won’t be a good friend after a while. You will grow apart. Let it go.’ We’re never taught that it is our own responsibility to heal, to grow, not to place that emotional burden on our friends. People seem to think that all emotional trauma comes from relationships…and that’s just simply not true. Friends can be toxic, friends can hurt us in ways we didn’t think possible. Friends can betray us, can make us feel like we never really knew them all along.

Dealing with toxic friendships, and even with outgrowing people I had once cared about deeply, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s necessary to realize that your friends are not always meant to be in your life forever. You are not obligated to hold on to any type of friendship- really, any relationship- that leaves you stressed, stunted and hurt. You should never be holding on to someone that hurts you back.

Toxic friends will never cherish you, uplift you, motivate you. They will never comfort you, help you grow.

And yet, you should never keep yourself from getting to know others and forming friendships. The key is just learning to keep only the relationships with those that nurture you, because you cannot fully love yourself and open yourself to all the opportunities life has prepared you for if you hold onto those that harm your soul and dim your light.