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

They hide in the most obvious places: in plain sight, right beneath your nose, in the people you think you trust the most. Toxic friends are like the poison apple in Snow White. You think that they are good for you with their shiny exterior and promises of “endless” possibilities, but once you take a bite, you’re caught in a downward spiral of backhanded compliments, constant belittlement, and loss of self-confidence. Though they might seem to be your closest allies, toxic friends constantly demean you in every aspect of your life to make them feel better about themselves. 

In reality, this seems like it should be a pretty well-known topic: that this isn’t how relationships work and that relationships are a two-way street. The love, support, and camaraderie between you and your friends are mutual. You should both reciprocate the feelings the other one feels and be there for them whenever they need you, right? When you have a toxic friend, this is not the case. Toxic friends suck up all of the good friend qualities you possess, such as listening to them whenever they talk and being there for them when they’re upset like a parasite feeding off of its oblivious host. You become drained from all the energy you are putting forward to keep the relationship together when they aren’t putting any effort in at all.

Toxic friends only want you for one reason: themselves. They don’t care if you’re busy doing something else or about your own emotional crises. All they care about is you being at their constant beck and call and that you will drop everything in an instant as soon as they need you in order to fix their problems, never caring enough to listen to yours. Toxic friendships are never something you know are there until you get to the point where you are about to break, resulting in the crumbling of the already unstable foundations of your friendship.

All toxic friendships reach their breaking point; it’s inevitable. When the “host” friend finally realizes that the “parasite” friend has been using them all this time and snaps, the parasitic friend is cut off from their main source of life, resulting in the downfall of the toxic relationship. Now free from the toxicity of their friendship, the host begins to thrive. They begin to redevelop their self-confidence through the knowledge they gained from their toxic friendship, finding new friends that support them as individuals and allow them to comfortably be themselves without the fear of being ridiculed at any possible moment. Right now, it might not seem like there’s a way out of your toxic friendship, but one day there will be. The cloud of toxicity has to end sometime and with it comes the light as you move on with your newfound knowledge to face your new life. If there is anything I learned from Snow White, there is always light and life after the darkness caused by a poison apple.


Alexandra Brooks

Virginia Tech '22

Alexandra is a senior at Virginia Tech studying Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Political Science. A 5'2-ish Canadian-American who will stop whatever she is doing to go pet a dog, Alexandra chooses to live everyday by the motto, "Just be yourself." When not stressing out over her major or writing for Her Campus, Alexandra can be found working out, reading, listening to music, and hanging out with her friends and family.
Camden Carpenter

Virginia Tech '21

Senior studying Smart and Sustainable Cities, with hopes to become a traveling urban developer. Attemping to embody "Carpe Diem" in her everyday life, both physically by getting a tattoo of the quote, and mentally by taking risks while trying to maximize each day's full potential.