I struggled with this topic and questioned writing it just based on the fact I did not want friends that I currently have feeling a type of way. BUT I had to shoulder shrug it off and say what was needed based on two things 1.) if your MY friend then you know im not sugar-coating the world for you that s your mothers job and 2.) if you’re doing your job as MY friend then nothing I say moving forward should offend you ! Over the past few years accepting the fact that I was getting older and coming to terms with the statement “everyone is NOT your friend” has shed its light on me something so DEEP! I used to feel as though I owed my loyalty to “friends ” that I had encountered over the years for a few reasons.
- I had maintained these friendships for over 15+ years
- They knew ALL my dirty secrets (and vice versa)
- How could you turn your back on someone you have known so long
- And they were there in my hardest times !!
Then I had to ask myself ” are these really valid reasons to keep friendships im putting most of the effort into”? and the answer was absolutely NOT !! I had kept friendships going that had expired soooo many years ago. People who were there for my struggles and watched as my heart broke over past loves and then turned around as if they were my worst enemies and talk about me like dogs in the street ! All while i kept their secrets and never let a soul speak ill of them in my presence ! Then i looked at what were these friends really bringing to the table besides transferring the negative energy from their lives into mine and it turn it made me toxic as well. We sat around and talked about women who probably were the sweetest women and we had no idea because we were so busy tearing them down. These friends maintained terrible relationships with men who were id say NOT INTERESTED yet they stayed with them ! And i started to notice the men i encountered were no different ! I could literally feel their negativity putting a strain on me and how i felt emotionally and decided to make changes. i had to ask myself:
- what are they doing to help me be a better person, woman and friend
- what is going on in their lives that they are willing to change in order to be the best they cane
- and do they have the same amount of loyalty I have
- what direction do I want my life to go in and do they fit into that
- have I picked up the bad habits they have
When I finally realized these people were doing NOTHING for me on any level but giving me a bad reputation for things i had never in my life done; I had to separate myself. First I tried to change the subject when they began downgrading others, or continuously making excuses for the toxic relationships they chose to engage in. I tried not to engage in comments or postings that promoted negativity on either friends page and even went as far as un friending a few of them because anything they had to say was pure negativity. Even stopping myself from having conversations or “venting” to friends that only had negative things to say about the choices or things going on in my life when I was looking toward them for support. Sometimes it takes someone else in your life to point out the fact that you are holding on to toxic friends and need to part ways. I made my exist and realized that the people I called friends for so many years, shared laughs with, cried with , lost family and experienced divorces and loss of children with were all people who were there to watch my down fall. We have to be mindful in who we choose to associate ourselves with and pay attention to warning signs of toxic friends. A few things I picked up on AFTER the fact but now take the time to is
- Ensuring that my “friends” are not in a competition with me. More encouraging of my accomplishments and working together to help each other succeed.
- Giving unwarranted criticism toward things in your life that are important to you
- The effort yo put into visiting or phone conversations is imbalanced (not getting in return what you’re giving ) and the biggest one
- Your “friend” is always telling you things that you need to change about yourself but never recognizing her own habits of falling short at times.
When I start to feel these things from friends i address them and if there’s no change I reevaluate if they are someone who I need in my life. Then begin to move forward with what is best for ME ! In NO way am I making myself out to be the perfect friend but I see no point in meaningless attachments even if that means i’m the friend that someone else needs to cut off. I have seen so many people’s downfalls because of the company they keep! It’s time people start recognizing that , even those we love the most sometimes need to be loved from a distance.