Dealing with Toxic Friendships: Accepting, Forgiving, and Moving On

“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” ~Sri Chinmoy

I used to have a friend who wasn’t good for me. She would put me down at every opportunity. If she saw me laughing and smiling, she would say something to bring me down. If she saw I was making progress, she would try to hold me back.

Sometimes, I’d hear about things she’d said behind my back. Or discover that she had been poisoning other people’s opinions about me. Even worse, I would find that she would tell others about my personal problems—things I’d discussed privately with her.

Obviously, I knew she wasn’t good for me. For a long time, I actually believed in her putdowns and thought there must be something wrong with me. But I tried very hard to rationalize her behavior because I cared about her.

I thought perhaps she hurt other people to lift her own spirits. Maybe she was just miserable and a lost soul herself. No matter what the reasons, I tried on many occasions to talk to her but her defenses would come up and she’d get angry.

In the end, I grew tired of her negativity, realized she was never going to change, shut her out of my life completely, and moved on.

Months, even years later, mutual friends mentioned her name, my heart would jump and I’d relive the pain.

All the old questions such as “Why was she so angry toward me?” and “What did I do wrong?” would re-emerge and I would torture myself.

For a long time I was extremely bitter and angry about what had happened. I used to fantasize about all the things I would say to her face when I next bumped into her. I'd imagine how great it would feel to really speak my mind.

But then I saw the light. I realized that my former friend was suffering—just like we all are. I realized that she was unhappy.

It doesn’t matter how or why she was a bad friend. It matters that she wasn’t happy. It matters that I forgive. And it matters that I move on.

I also realized that if I continued to have negative feelings toward her, I would be poisoning myself and prolonging the suffering. I would be making myself unhappy when there really was no need to do it.

Today, I have forgiven my old friend. I am no longer angry or bitter toward her. I don’t take it personally when I still hear negative things she has said to mutual acquaintances. I don’t mind that she is still angry.

I only hope that she finds a way to make her life as positive and as amazing as possible. Don’t we wish that for all our friends?

Sadly, this issue of toxic friendships isn’t uncommon. I bet we all have people in our lives who leave us feeling miserable and drained of energy.

I also think that when we hang around with these characters, we hold ourselves back and increase our odds of becoming negative.

So what do we do? Do we abandon people if they’re bad for us? Or do we stick around to help them out?

The answer lies with the person in question. Only they can make the decision to become happy. It’s literally his or her choice, and no one else can force it.

In the meantime, all we can do is forgive them for their bad behavior and make ourselves happy by surrounding ourselves with positive people.

When we choose to associate with positive people, we tend to become happier and brighter and enjoy better lives.

But doesn’t this mean we give up on those negative friends? Surely, if we are to live a compassionate and kind-hearted life, shouldn’t we be there for them?

Maybe, if they acknowledge their bad behavior, apologize, and make an effort to change. Ultimately, we only want to let people in our lives if they’re prepared to be good friends.

In my case, I chose to move on. I have deliberately created a life that is full of interesting and positive people. My current friends are genuinely happy to see me happy.

They don’t get jealous if I’m successful; they encourage me. They don’t say horrible things about me behind my back; they say kind, loving things. They understand I’m not perfect and forgive me for my flaws. They make me laugh, and they enjoy seeing me happy.

This is what true friendship should be about.

If you choose to still hang around with bad friends, you can take comfort in the fact that they do make excellent teachers.

As the Dalai Lama said, “In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” And Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

If you’re not ready to let go of an old friend who is bad for you, work hard to be there for them. Be patient and kind. Try to understand where they’re coming from.

If it becomes draining and their behaviors continue, it might be time to let go and move on. You wouldn’t wish to make any of your friends unhappy, so why harm yourself? Sometimes it’s better to understand that letting go is the only way.

When I think of my old friend, I hope that she is happy. Letting her go didn’t mean that I don’t care. It just means I want to be happy myself. That’s why it’s so important to forgive, love, and move on when you have to: We all deserve to be happy. We have the power to make it happen.

Photo by  h.koppdelaney

About Katy Cowan

Katy Cowan is an author, journalist, and marketing professional based in the UK. She runs her own digital agency in Manchester and during her spare time she loves to help other creatives via her creative industries magazine Creative Boom.

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  • This touches me at my core. I recently had to let go of an unhealthy and toxic relationship. I felt as if I was losing myself and possibly normalizing bad behavior. I tried to reconcile our differences so many times that was met with resistance, stubbornness and the silent treatment. I decided to choose me, my happiness, forgive him and myself to be free. I still have a place for him in my heart and I wonder how things could be if we could’ve found balance and compromise, but I cannot be the only one making the effort.

    Great post! I realize sometimes its necessary to remove toxic, irreparable and negative relationships from your life to make room for inspiring and positive ones.

  • Flowers

    Katy, thank you for sharing this ~ it is sooo hard to let someone go that you care deeply for but that brings a steady dose of negativity and pain. Almost six months ago, I finally made this type of decision and it still saddens me because this friend’s name is also brought up often in work and friendship circles. I fluctuate between wishing him well and really wanting the best for him and other times hold anger for the horrific behavior that I was close to by choosing to be a friend. In the end, letting go was the best decision and I only hope that he knows somewhere in the airwaves out there that I do hope he can find happiness and find a way to treat those around him with more compassion.

  • Joanne

    Agree that personal growth does not always include the negative, or gossip lovers. When you make room for others, who knows what treasures the future will hold ?

  • Thanks Flowers. I hope your friend is happy too. None of us are perfect. One thing to bear in mind – which I’m sure you do – people can change for the better so I always try and take people at face value, i.e. without assuming they’ll be the same person as last time. Sometimes people who were once toxic can surprise you. 😀

  • Philippa

    What an excellent article Katy – I could relate to every single word of it. I think the bit I liked best was the fact that letting a bad friend go doesn’t mean we don’t care, it just means we’ve decided to put our own happiness first. That, ultimately, is why I have moved on from certain toxic friendships over the years. Hard lessons that hurt deeply, but I am grateful for them now. I must admit I still bristle when I hear things through mutual acquaintances but, like you, I can only hope these people are happy and have found peace in their lives. Thanks again for such an excellent article 🙂

  • Sometimes, it’s not about us – it’s about them. You shouldn’t take it personally if the other person is behaving badly. Sometimes it’s best to walk away and leave them to it… even though you want to stay and help – it’s sometimes the best way to deal with things. There’s only so much you can do, and there’s only so much you can take.

  • Joe

    Yes, thank you for sharing. I started letting go of toxic relationships years ago & it was probably one of the best things I could ever do in my life. I sent this link to my friend because he has been struggling with an extremely toxic relationship for years.

  • Mae

    Reading this made me realize I was a toxic friend to someone dear once. I never understood why she drifted away from me. Too bad I can’t repair the damage.
    Thank you for the enlightenment!

  • My pleasure Philippa. You know, it’s never too late. You could always try to rekindle that friendship…

  • Thanks again – I think it’s the ultimate adult lesson… realising that you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, and you certainly don’t have to hang around with people who make you miserable. I suppose one thing I missed was the fear of being able to make new friends… That’s one of the reasons why many of us hang onto bad friends. When in actual fact, it’s easy to make room for new friends. One should always be trying to meet new people as we change as people and our interests change too.

  • I hope it helps your friend Joe. I definitely think we all change our circle of friends as we learn this lesson. Today, I have such a diverse and interesting happy bunch of friends, from all age groups and backgrounds. I would say I’m lucky but I actually just made room for them and started doing more of the things I love – which led to meeting new people.

  • I felt so guilty letting this particular friend go, but it happened naturally in the end. There was no confrontation. No hurt or upset. She was too busy, I was too busy – and by the time she noticed, we’d both moved on. It’s sometimes far kinder to let things happen that way.

  • Jenny D

    This is a great post. I recently let go of who I considered my best girlfriend. The relationship was toxic for me, but in a different way. After years of supporting her through some very bad situations due to her pretty poor decision making, she suddenly without warning turned her back on me and I have no idea why. Through the years I would listen to her complain and watch her hurt herself. It was very draining on my end, but I cared about her and stood by her through everything, when no one else was there. I was there for her when she was contemplating ending her life. I helped, supported, and accompanied her to her divorce lawyer to help her leave her abusive husband. I was there for every tear she shed when a man she loved treated her like dirt and left her. I was the only friend of hers to go to her father’s funeral. She’s had a tough life, but she also puts herself in such bad situations where she is bound to get hurt. Over and over I would listen….always hearing the same thing over and over again. Over and over again I would try and help her make healthy choices. It would hurt me to watch her do these things to herself, but I never turned my back on her. She recently cut all ties with me, out of the blue. I’ve tried to get her to talk to me without success, so I have stopped and have let her go. I’ve had to deal with toxic people before, but it’s easy to let them go when they mean nothing to you. This was different for me. This was my best friend. It hurts that she won’t give our friendship the respect that I would give it by at least giving an explanation. Thanks for listening xoxo

  • haha.. i so know the feeling of upset when you hear through the grapevine of their nasty comments.
    i have a similar situation with a family member.. not only have i finally made the choice to let her go, but in doing that i had to also make the choice to avoid most family functions. i would like to see more articles about issues like this inside of families… because when their toxic manipulations and lies affect family relationships it is so very painful and that much more difficult to forgive.

  • GG

    I’d like to know….What do you do when you have a relationship like this with a family member.

  • mungry_soldier

    Thank you for the great article. I’ve recently wrestled with the same situation, but in this case feel like I was the other party. It’s terrible when you have to act in ways to bring someone down below your level, but at the time it felt like a temporary fix. I felt like I didn’t have to change or worse, because feelings were involved, felt justified in managing emotions I wasn’t honest about. It’s tough being cut off but a necessary one in that I have to accept myself. Of course both parties weren’t innocent so I’m doing my best to understand things and move on. We are who we attract and who we want to be is who we are attracted to. Ergo, the fault we see in our friends and companions is the fault we see in ourselves.

  • me too!

  • wow.. my best friend of 35 years recently stopped talking to me with no explanation… i heard through the grapevine it was because she was hurt that I didn’t let her travel 850 miles for my fathers funeral.. it was a complicated situation i deserve to be able to explain to her but she wont let me.

  • Thanks Mungry_Soldier. It’s great that you’re trying to figure out what went wrong but don’t dwell on it. Be brutally honest with yourself, admit your mistakes and then make sure you learn from them. That way, the next time you make some new friends you won’t repeat them. Don’t be hard on yourself either – we’ve all been ‘the other party’. Trust me.

  • Kristina

    Reading this has really hit me. I have someone in my life that I continue to dwell on – will we ever really be friends again? Every time I see her, she just tortures me with giving me the silent treatment and then when we talk, she continually tells me how I ruined our friendship and seemingly pulls reasons out of a hat for what I did (things that I don’t remember happening, but I’ll let her see it how she wants.) This just truly opens my eyes that I have to forgive her, I understand that she is unhappy with herself and her life and that she chooses me and other friends to attack, to get this anger and aggression out on.

    Thank you for helping me realize it’s time to let go and move on. I have to chose me and get away from the negativity polluting my life.

  • That’s a very difficult one. If it’s family, then you’re stuck with them. So you might as well do your best to make it work. ‘Kill them with kindness’ as my Nana used to say. Be patient and always keep in mind that their bad behaviour isn’t anything personal. Always ask yourself ‘why are they behaving this way?’ – it’ll help you to understand their motivations and better deal with them. If none of that works, limit the time you spend with them and keep things very neutral and nice when you’re with them. Stick to small talk and if the conversation is turning nasty, just change the subject, make your excuses and leave. If you want to confront the family member, simply say to them the next time they’re cruel ‘It really hurts my feelings when you say things like that…’ Or something along those lines. Hope that helps. Katy

  • That’s a shame. I wouldn’t avoid family functions. I would try hard to be kind and patient with the other person. No matter how badly they behave. I know it’s not easy but sometimes we have to do things we don’t like. It’s surprising how much a friendly face, smile and laid-back attitude can deal with difficult family members.

  • Sorry to hear that Jenny. There is nothing worse than losing a best girlfriend. It cuts your heart in two and is very painful – not something many people talk about but it does happen. I think perhaps your friend might be suffering from pride or embarrassment, i.e. you know too much about her past mistakes and maybe she associates those mistakes with you and wants to simply move as far away from her past as possible. In which case, it’s not personal. She’s trying to move on from harder times and unfortunately – because you know all about those times – she has cut you off as well. I might be completely wrong but this is just a guess. Always here to listen, x

  • Jenny D

    I never even thought of looking at it this way. It’s nice to see another perspective. It’s making me cry…..thank you for your thoughts.

  • Hi Kristina – you’re not being a bad person for choosing to walk away. I would just become ‘busy’ as that’s a kinder way to let someone go. There’s no point in informing the other person that ‘things are over’. Just become ‘unavailable’ and the friendship will naturally die out.

    It’s funny – I almost have a sub-conscious set of guidelines for new friends these days. If I get a whiff of negativity or any hint that they might be ‘hard work’, I don’t let the friendship develop. But if I find the other person interesting to talk to, if they make me laugh or if they do something I also like to do – like cycling for example – then I’m open to being their friend.

    For me, friendships these days tend to happen naturally. I don’t force anything, I just see where things go. I don’t need friends as such. They’re just a happy bonus. As a result, my diary is always full, I’m always doing interesting things and I’m always laughing. I can’t tell you the last time I dealt with a toxic person because I can’t remember! 😀

  • Lilla

    Actually I disagree, I think it is kinder to be honest (kindly while not blaming and taking full emotional responsibility for the fact that no-one can make you “feel” anything). It is a funny thing that occurs in female friendships that often end unspoken, unlike sexual relationships where there tends to be more communication. The lack of honesty, which is really often an effort to avoid an uncomfortable or potentially painful conversation, can really hurt and push “rejection” buttons! I have been both at different times of my life (haven’t we all, if we are honest?). I certainly recognise how different I am in relationships and friendships now! It took a long time to get to that point.

  • Just remember – don’t torture yourself with the old questions like ‘what did I do wrong?’ You probably didn’t do anything wrong. You sound like a wonderful friend. It’s her problem, and nothing to do with you. So don’t be hurt – let’s just hope she’s ok and works things out x

  • I think it completely depends on the situation and friendship. In my case, it was far kinder to just let it naturally come to an end. After all, what would I achieve by confronting her and saying ‘I don’t want to be your friend anymore!’ It’s not as easy as that. And she wasn’t exactly the easiest person to deal with.

    The thing is… if she came to me and asked me why haven’t you called? I would be very kind and simply say ‘Because life just gets in the way and I’ve been so busy with work’. I truly would.
    I don’t think it’s avoidance or a lack of honesty. I think you have to ask what you’d achieve by talking about the reasons for moving on. You’d just cause more upset in the end. I’d rather my former friend just assumed I’d become busy and that we’d moved on.

  • Jenny D

    Sorry to hear that Julie. I feel conflicted on whether or not to leave a door open for her. It’s not as if she was ever mean or demeaning to me like others are talking about. She was always a huge support for me as I was for her. I just don’t know what I did. So, I have walked away from trying to get her to talk to me, but if she does reach out the next time she’s going through something……….do I go back to all that negativity and watching her hurt herself, or do i make this clean cut for good? I hope you get your explanation and some resolve. maybe there is a much bigger issue going on with your friend. xo

  • Well I think this is an entirely different situation. This is where someone has ‘dumped’ you without giving you the chance to patch things up. And it does sound unreasonable. What a shame that she hasn’t given you the chance to talk about it. It’s silly when this happens.

    In my case, I put up with five years of toxic friendship where I was constantly being mistreated, put down and made to feel miserable. I clung onto that friendship because I cared about the other person and we did share some good times.

    I suppose I had to let go because it was for my own good. In my case, I didn’t need to explain why we’d drifted apart. I guess it just naturally happened.

  • I would always leave the door open. But I would move on by forgiving your friend and accepting that she’s doing her own thing right now. I wouldn’t take it personally. I would just focus on making yourself happy by making some new friends and taking up some new interests. Be open to meeting new people and start to ask yourself this… ‘Who am I and what do I want from my friendships?’ Because you know what, we all change over time – it’s a natural thing to change and move on from certain friendships. It just happens. Once you’ve figured out who you are and what you want from friendships, you’ll suddenly find yourself surrounded by lots of nice, happy people.

    Most of all – you should never force anything. If a friendship or relationship isn’t working, then stop trying to force it to work. In this case, your friend has her mind elsewhere right now. She might become a friend again in future – if that naturally happens. But for now, just let whatever naturally happens, happen. x

  • Jenny D

    Thank you, this really helps give me direction. Since this has happened I’ve already met 2 new friends who are very upbeat with sunny personalities, with good heads on their shoulders! I’ve also been spending more time with old friends. Thank you. <3

  • Sometimes, all it takes is for someone else to say ‘Hey.. it’s ok – this is quite normal, you’ve done nothing wrong, go be happy!’ And everything sorts itself out doesn’t it! This is why I love communities like these! 😀 My pleasure. Take care 🙂

  • dfree

    Katy, this was a great column. Especially the comments and answer about family members. And one other difficult dimension is “breaking up” with someone who was a friend or was becoming one. That question of “what happened” can leave the other person at an uncomfortable loss or hurt. How do you easily and blamelessly disengage from the relationship? Any thoughts

  • KRistin

    Amazing how things happen at just the right time : ) After reading this I felt such a sense of calm come over me. A very welcoming feeling after a whirlwind of emotions today. Grateful.

  • P.W

    I’ve got a close friend that I’ve known for 15 years, we grew up together & she’s always been self centred and selfish but I expected her to grow out of it as she grew up, I feel disappointed in her as she’s treated people badly recently, I don’t feel like she cares when she asks how a situation I’m in is, she just wants the gossip. I want to distance myself completely but I know she will bad mouth me to people who’s opinions matter & say I’ve gone weird. I do also feel bad after being friends for so long, seems a shame to end that now, I just don’t know the best way to handle it? x

  • cattstina

    i can relate my ex boyfriend who i was madly in love with was toxic to my soul as well as the few people in his life. I realize they would call me names talk behind my back, so bad for my whole being. I let them go and hope they can learn to love themselves and not feed into that drama. co- dependency and putting one down. Great artical

  • Tracy

    I agree with Lilla. Wouldn’t it be more honest to simply tell her that she is not giving you what you need from a friendship? I frequently get the too busy with work/life/etc answer from friends. Should I assume that these friends are really trying to distance themselves but won’t tell me so or should I assume they are telling me the truth and they are just busy? How would I know the difference? Not everyone is self-aware enough to know the effect of their behavior on others. If you truly want your friend to move on and be happy, shouldn’t you be honest with her so she can learn? Maybe she won’t take the lesson to heart, but shouldn’t you at least give her that chance?

  • Totally understand your reasons for wanting to hang on – you feel as though you’ve ‘put in’ all those years and it would be a shame to waste all that effort. Or.. you could look at it from a different perspective, i.e. do you want to waste anymore precious time on someone who treats you badly?

    Also – you say that you worry she’ll badmouth you if you distance yourself. This shows you’re worried about what other people think. It’s very difficult but you have to stop caring. Don’t – by all means – turn into someone who’s catty or nasty. Just be really civil with this friend but don’t make the effort anymore. Don’t call her, don’t email, don’t tweet. Just take a step back. And if she contacts you – be nice, be genuinely nice. Say ‘Hey.. how you doing? What’ve you been up to?’ Forget all the past and just treat her on face value. If she asks where you’ve been or complains she hasn’t seen you for a while, say ‘I know, I’ve been so rubbish – sorry but life has been really busy lately.’ And leave it at that. Turn her into a friendly acquaintance – someone who isn’t really a friend but someone you can still be friendly with.

    Remember, you can move away from friends amicably. You don’t have to fall out with anyone or be mean. Just gently and kindly let them go. One day, you’ll wonder what the fuss was about. x

  • Hi dfree – it’s quite simple. Just stop making an effort. This doesn’t make you heartless or nasty. You simply take a step back. If a relationship is meant to happen, it’ll happen naturally anyway, i.e. you’ll want to pick up the phone and speak to that person because it feels natural and the right thing to do. If you’re having to force yourself to call that person, it’s probably because they’re not right for you… Or it’s a pretty good indication that something isn’t right.

    I wonder… we know what suits us when it comes to clothes. So why do we feel so bad about changing our social circles? People are like clothes. We try them on, some suit us… some don’t. Some are classics that’ll stay with us forever. Others might be like a gorgeous old pair of jeans that we hardly ever wear but sometimes they’ll come out of the back of the wardrobe for a night on the town. Or there are those dodgy clothes that once looked good on us but just don’t fit or feel right anymore.

    It’s nothing to feel bad about. People move on. And there is only so much room for a certain number of friends in one’s life. So make sure you fill it with people who make you think, laugh and smile. People who are just positive and happy to be around.

    If there is someone in your life that you’ve outgrown, it’s time to make room for people who improve your life.

  • Thanks – I hope you’re ok and get sorted 🙂

  • I’ve been there. It’s not nice. You wonder what you did wrong. How you could’ve done things differently. If you should change as a person. Then you realise that it’s their problem, not yours. For all the negative people we come across, they always teach us a valuable lesson. And they always lead to a happier social circle as we learn to avoid certain characters and instead fill our lives with the type of people we really want to be, and be with.

  • Lilla

    I think the thing is we have been conditioned from children to lie to others, because we have learnt that being honest means hurting other people. We all do it. But actually, the opposite is true. I find I usually can sense if someone is not being upfront and I really value the honesty. I’m practising being more honest myself with the people in my life now. Little things – like not giving an excuse if I don’t want to go to something but rather just saying, thanks but it is not my thing.

  • I think it’s important to consider the situation you’re in and do what you think is right. I can only offer my own thoughts on what happened to me and I truly believe, in this case, it was far kinder to let things go. I’ve since bumped into said friend and I’ve been genuinely happy to see her, always say hello and ask how she’s doing… It’s kind of like turning a friend into an acquaintance. That’s how you’ve got to look at it. It’s just gently letting go and moving on. It’s not dumping someone as such – it’s just taking a step back from making an effort.

    I would never take it personally if other friends told me they were busy or we stopped hanging around. I wouldn’t demand an explanation – that’s just not my style. I would just assume the relationship had naturally come to an end or things had changed. I wouldn’t think more deeply than that to be honest. But then I’m pretty laid-back about these things.

    I think you would enjoy The Four Agreements. It’s a great book – just look it up on Amazon. Thanks 🙂

  • Sometimes being honest can cause more hurt and upset than if you simply let things slide. It could cause bad feeling with said friend, especially if there’s a group surrounding that friend and you want to remain part of that circle. It can just make things worse and reflect badly on you.

    Being diplomatic is a good way of looking at things. Because essentially, do you really want to say to someone ‘I don’t like you anymore because…’ and then list all the reasons. It can only back-fire.

    Sometimes what we think is morally right has to be overlooked. For instance, it might seem positive to be honest but it won’t necessarily result in a positive outcome.

  • P.W

    That completely makes sense, thank you x

  • razz

    What about when the friend is in your friendship group. This is a problem my mum has. The friendship is very toxic, but my mum must see this woman regularly as the whole group gets together and the woman’s husband is my dad’s best friend. She puts up with it, and acts nicely but as soon as she is home complains about her. I don’t like seeing her unhappy or stressed, but can’t exactly tell her to just avoid her..

  • Maria

    I let go of a relationship just like the one you described…it was tough letting go, but I knew that the friendship was quite toxic to my whole being. I have moved one and forgiven her. But there are those times when she is mentioned and the memories rush back like a movie reel. It will take time to truly forgive her completely.

  • Spring!

    Dear Katy, Do you know me ?? or Did I share things about me ?? These thoughts were running in my mind while reading this amazing article… Felt like as if it was me who is writing this..I went through the same and not even once ..many times! and Nature plus God helped me and I always win with a positive attitude while moving on. I give my best to the relations I have and somehow deep within there is a voice – If they don’t value you ..Move On! Not worth to stay …There are so many good and special frens who know your worth and value your happiness :). But Katy…what if few of them gave you unconditional love and is now angry ..not ready to listen even after begging and crying. Reason… that I didn’t share about my personal stuffs. I have asked forgiveness from God cause they were hurt 🙁 cause of me..but I always pray for their happiness. Anways.God bless you Katy ! Thank you so much for making me feel better

  • Jasmine

    This has happened to me so many times. So many times I was there with a friend, or a love, through the worst of times. But then they associated me with those times, and put me behind them as if I was part of the bad- instead of seeing me as a bit of good that helped them get through it. It hurts. I find peace in knowing that I was with them through the hard times because I cared, and even if I would have known that they would only abandon me when things got better, I wouldn’t have acted any differently. It sucks though, it really really sucks. It’s not fair. I even wonder if I was used, like a life-raft that just happened to be floating by. But I’ve been through hard times myself, I know how the aftermath can be confusing to navigate, even when things get better. It’s really hard not to take personally though.

  • maddy

    What a lovely write up ……sometimes it is not very easy to walk away ….and still we need to let go …and then these articles help ..

  • I love all of your post! This one really summarized my friendships for the last 3 years. When I was with these friends, I would just get so stressed out. I never knew what kind of drama to expect. What lies they would tell or what mess I would have to clean up. I started to cut out all the negative people out of my life one by one. Those who did not deserve my friendship any longer. I told myself, I deserve better. I don’t need many friends, just a few true ones.

  • This is difficult and very common. The thing is – you’re not going to like everyone, and everyone isn’t going to like you. So it’s a case of acceptance, i.e. accepting the other person and striving to find the good in that person. There is absolutely, without question, good in everyone. It’s not easy to dispel negative feelings towards people we don’t like but it’s a good practice of tolerance and kindness, I guess. Your mum should just work on her own reaction to this person, control it and turn it into something positive. Not easy, I know. But it might help.

  • Yes, it’s difficult isn’t it. It’s because we’re hurt and sometimes miss that friendship, and we wonder where it went so wrong. I think it’s important to remember that people aren’t perfect and that things sometimes don’t work out. It is hard to forgive when someone has done so many wrongs towards us. But one day, you will wake up and genuinely forgive – time is a great healer.

  • I think friends should be people who care about you, who make you laugh, who are just easy-going and who don’t place any demands on you. Friends are people you can go without seeing for six months and then pick up where you left off with ease. Friends should be fun.

  • It’s just a case of striving to have a life without ‘drama’. If bananas, for example, make you feel sick – you won’t eat them will you! So why hang around with people who cause bad feeling? It’s always better to surround yourself with people who make you feel great.

  • Shatondra Yauch

    I had a best friend for 16 years that I had to let go three years ago. We had been friends since I was 8 years old, would talk about in High School how we’d end up in a nursing home together watching football. When I found out all the horrible things she had said about me behind my back to our friends and my fiance, even though she made fun of my hobbies, I forgave her, even tried to continue the friendship. But it was about what I could do for her rather than anything else and she admits that with no remorse. I just find it hard to believe. When I got married, I turned around, almost expecting her to be standing behind me as one of my brides maids but she wasn’t there. I feel like I was a bad friend even three years later but my husband assures me I wasn’t. This piece I consider the start of me finally accepting the decision that I made. Thank you.

  • ekanost

    A really great post. This part particularly hit home for me : But doesn’t this mean we give up on those negative friends? Surely, if we are to live a compassionate and kind-hearted life, shouldn’t we be there for them?
    I struggle with the idea of “giving up” on people I care about. But ultimately, if these individuals are causing us pain, we can still care about them and wish them well without allowing them to permeate our lives with negativity. I’ve found that there are different levels of toxic, so there are some friends who I only share certain parts of my life with, the parts where I know they can’t hurt me.

  • Tracy

    I totally agree. I’m trying to do the same — just saying no thanks to things rather than making an excuse of why not — and I’ve noticed that it has bled over into all areas of my life and feel like being truthful works best. Sometimes honesty hurts but for me being lied to hurts more, particularly if it is coming from someone I trust and consider a friend. I get that friendships ebb and flow, but if I were being the toxic friend, I would want to know. In fact, the friendships I value the most in my life are the ones with people who have been honest and loving enough to point out when I behaving poorly. Not saying any of this is easy but I think it is worth striving for.

  • J.Manik

    You are right maddy, these articles are wake up calls for us to accept what we know in our heart is the best to do… but because of fear of any kind we deny it…

  • Loved it.
    Just what I needed to hear/read from someone at this moment. 🙂
    Thank you Thank you Thank you. :):)

  • Rebecca

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am dealing with letting go of toxic people in both romantic and platonic situations. I have a friend that I have had for years that does nothing but try to engage me in competitiveness and one-upmanship. I am not a competitive person by nature and letting go of a friendship that causes me so much stress and unhappiness is hard because we have a lot of memories together. I am also letting go of a romantic relationship with someone who is deeply troubled and unhappy. It’s hard for me, because I think I can make people happy. I just wrote in my own journal today that I am not responsible for making anyone happy but myself. I can enhance the lives of people who are already happy, as my good friends enhance mine, but that is totally different from making someone happy, like themselves, have higher self-esteem, etc.

  • BG

    For some time I tried to figure out why a friend of mine was always so angry with me. Each time she saw me she hardly ever failed to criticize my hair, my table manners, my conversational style, or to let me know that she thought I was a know it all. Within the last year she just became meaner and ruder. After talking to a couple of people who happened to not be in my regular circle of friends, they helped me to see exactly what you described in this post. I was not necessarily doing anything wrong; my friend’s unhappiness was increasing because of circumstances she allowed in her life. She would become very defensive when I tried to have talks with her. I saw her “cut out” other longterm friendships over minor misspoken/misinterpreted words that she blew up to be gigantic insults. I am saddened to have lost this friendship, but I feel more at peace knowing that I will not have to deal with her behavior. I know that her behavior stems from her inability to appropriately address and resolve her own problems. I wish her well.

  • Spring

    thank you Katy !

  • I couldn’t agree more. A lot of times toxic relationships can create so much damage to your own self-esteem that you don’t even believe you can leave and that you should do everything you can to help and make things right. And that is not good. When you get to this point, its time to let go.

  • kellyhogaboom

    I liked this post.

    People can’t “make” me feel anything. They can behave recklessly or rudely or even cruelly, but I must take responsibility for my thoughts and my strategies in dealing with them.

    I believe everyone is doing the best they can for the day. It is easier for me to forgive today because I recognize that I too have been, and can be, the perpetrator, the one who lashes out.

  • Pree

    I can really relate to ur story especially about normalising bad behaviour. Like u I still have a special place in my heart for him & I still miss him quite often but I keep telling myself I deserve better.. It was especially hard for me as I couldn’t imagine how he could treat me so bad when I was so good to him & basically did whatever he wanted. But those are his issues I guess. Thanks for posting as I know I’m not alone in this & people can relate.

  • yes.. thank you both! ♥

  • i once would have agreed with you and have done my best to do that for most of my life.. unfortunately it hasn’t worked and it has taken a toll on me to be attacked time and again. there are limits to the abuse anyone should take for the sake of their family and in my case i have to chose between them and being the very best me i can be for my children. i think it’s okay to walk away from family when it is toxic.. however sad it’s okay.

  • This is/was very ironic I’m reading this now b/c… sometimes I think I’m hanging onto what may be a “toxic” friendship and hurts to think of letting it go. I have done my best with this person at advicing, being there, supporting, Forgiving, & just Loving yet they don’t always return that & I don’t feel they care to at times- that hurts. :/

  • Originaldoodoo65

    Needed this so badly….. I need to just forgive & let it go!

  • Sujatha Gnaneswaran

    If we have the time and are emotionally strong then we can try to convert a potentially toxic friendship by working it out with the person. But most times, especially when we have to self analyze or take a time out from this ‘friend’ just to heal, then its time to say bye. In the long run we have to remind ourselves that its not our responsibility to shoulder our friends toxicity(however be their situation, duty starts from the self and taking care of ourselves is the first step towards taking care of others) and letting go is the best thing for both. I have been in a toxic friendship/ relationship and this is something I learned the hard way

  • commentgal8

    Great article. So many headliners on toxic friendships are just nasty and stereotype different “types” of bad friends. We’ve probably all been “toxic” at some point ourselves so being nasty about “toxic” friends is counterproductive, but this approach is so much healthier. I had to do a lot of caregiving as a kid, and I now just expect that that’s my role, it’s what I’m supposed to do, and I’m not allowed to have needs of my own, like I exist to help others. Now that I’m “waking up” and realizing how I had allowed people to drain me without asking/needing anything in return, I’m setting the boundaries and letting friendship die naturally where they were unhealthy/imbalanced. Sadly I’ve often found that once I stop bending over backward for draining people and/or start asking for them to meet some of my needs for a change, they’re happy to drop the friendship. But then when I respect myself and my needs, as well as others, I attract more people who are capable of having real friendships and enjoy my time with them more than I ever thought was possible for friends! People treat you exactly how you allow them to treat you; and even though it’s not about going around and demanding respect, it IS ok to graciously let people roll on by and off your skin if they don’t show you the respect we all deserve as human beings.

  • Jewish Princess

    Oh wow, I know Exactly what you’re going through! I too, had a so-called girlfriend from gradeschool, we met at the age of ten or so and had many life experiences together, first boyfriends, first kisses with boys and eventually first husbands then ex husbands as time went on, all along, she would always want to date my ex boyfriends from the time we were in grade school to the present and that was something I never could understand. I always tried to overlook her jealousies toward me as she had been kidnapped and raped as a child an I’m sure that affected her deeply and I allowed that to be the reason why she would abuse me. The last straw was at our ages 52, my mother passed away recently and my so-called girlfriend started making hurtful innuendos as to how I could stand myself after all my mother and my relationship had been difficult, and I finally decided to cut her off, by that time I was no longer taking her calls or text messages so she started contacting my son and my ex (my sons father) on Facebook to try and give him Negative comments about me, until my son reported her and I got off Facebook and had to change my phone number. Once I did that I sighed a Big Sigh Of Relief! Suffice it to say that the girlfriend I thought I had of over 40 years was just Bondage and once I cut the cord I became a happier person. In spite of the pain she caused me, I’m grateful for the happier times we shared as kids and I forgive the toxic person she became and wish her well, I believe The Bible calls that Unevenly Yoked.

  • J

    Excellent post Katy. Recently this year, I have decided to let go of a couple of friends that I have grown up with. My relationship with them was toxic, and my life the past year was in turmoil with them trying to bring me down every chance that they had. I think the hardest thing for me to come to terms to is that people change, and perhaps they will never come back. But this year, I grew sick of being treated horribly, and I simply shut them out of my life. I still have class with one of them this year as well. I can see that at times he is trying to bring back our friendship. But I will never turn back. This is the first time I have ever chosen to stick to my guns because for the first time, I have realized how terrible I felt around them. They will be forever gone in my life because even if I can forgive them, I will never forget. To anyone reading this (though I doubt it), if you have someone like that in your life, perhaps you should simply cut them off. It’s not worth it, at least it sure wasn’t for me then or for me now. It feels weird for me to post something like this (I rarely make comments on the internet EVER), but now it’s too late to stop. I even feel a slight sense of pride, knowing perhaps, by the slimmest of chance, that I am helping someone out there. Good luck out there, and please, life is too short to worry about the people who shouldn’t matter.

  • Isis

    During my senior year at college, I moved into an 8 person suite on campus with my friends. The 7 of us thought it would be good and a lot of fun. Unfortunately, after September and as October began passing, I noticed a change in all of them. I had been busy with schoolwork (as I’m a Senior, a few others are too, but I have projects that take hours to complete, some group projects and others solo).

    Anyways, they began distancing themselves. I would still sit int he room I shared with my friend and roommate with my door open even if I was doing homework that I could do while at the dorm. Then, they stopped asking me if I wanted to go out and get food or go to an event on campus. I thought it strange but then it began getting worse.

    I was the President of the club we were all in, my roommate was the Vice President. I would do things that benefited the club and club members but they didn’t always like what I did. Then as we prepared for our Halloween event, it got worse. Between Columbus Day and Halloween was when it got worse. They began calling me names and wanted me impeached. All behind my back.

    My Roommate (who I roomed with last year and was very very close to) began taking their sides or saying nothing at all. There was one girl, who would be considered the ‘Leader’ of the group. She got everyone to follow her in the suite and I was called names, among other things. I hated being there. It began to drive me into a deep depression and I would avoid my room unless I had to go there to sleep.

    Eventually, come a Monday morning right before Halloween, I went to the Housing Office at 7:30 and got a room request change and moved later that day. I told my roommate right before I moved out that I was moving out. But before I got the chance, she began criticizing me about how poor I was being President of the Club. After she finished, I told her I was moving okay and all she said was “Okay”. A few mutual friends between my suite mates and I helped me move out. I couldn’t even stand to spend another minute there if I didn’t have to. During the move, the friends (who did not live in the suite) who were helping me move, heard my suite mates talking badly about me, I didn’t hear as I was concentrated on packing up everything quickly.

    I survived the rest of the semester going to club and then stepping down at the end because I didn’t want to deal with the stress because this Spring semester is my last semester. Now I do sometimes see them around campus and I ignore them if they’re a distance away, but if I’m near them (such as some of the eatery places) I cringe and grab my food and quickly hurry to the cashier (or even turn around and leave without eating) so I don’t have to deal with them. If I’m with other people, I’m fine, but when I’m by myself, I just remember how terrible they made me feel.

    I’m still trying to get over what happened. I never expected that people I considered friends, that I hung out with, would all gang up on me at once. I don’t talk to them and I’ve deleted and blocked them from social sites. Sometimes I’ll remember how they treated me then remember now I have a nice place and that there are people who treat me nice, but the feeling returns.

    I know that I wont have to worry about it until after I graduate, but that’s still a few months away.

  • Mitsy

    This is pretty much what I’ve had to do with a former once close friend. We are still co-workers a couple days a week (which makes the letting go process hard) but her bad behavior has continued off/on for a couple years now. She has a controlling boyfriend & I know that she has let friendships go in order to do what he wants & be at his beckon call. Like another poster suggested, she isn’t happy either but after trying to talk to her several times & being shut out, you simply quit. The person you’re trying to help will end up making you the bad one instead of the one actually causing them grief. I still mourn this friendship but would be able to fully heal if I didn’t have to see her at our part-time job.

  • Mitsy

    In my situation with my former friend, I was there for her through cancer & another surgery. She got limited support from her family & her guy on both of those health issues. Actually, her guy was not there at all for her when she had her surgery. I was the one to pick her up from the hospital yet she has forgotten all of that apparently. She’s still with this controlling man & hangs on to him for dear life. She has chosen him over any friendships she might have because he doesn’t want her to be too close to any female friends -that is quite clear to me.

  • Mitsy

    I think we can help but if we had KNOWN, we could have perhaps played our cards differently. In my case, I had always been the one to carry the relationship, made more phone calls & reached out much more than she did. I just never imagined that she’d let a guy come between us but that is what she did & continues to do. She shares very little about her private life w/me anymore. On some level, I think she knows I have her guy’s M.O. & that I’m smarter about her whole situation, thus the reason she won’t talk to me about her private life anymore. She’s a miserable person & I can plainly see that even when she pretends that all is well.



  • Kati2007

    Ty for this. I recently ended a toxic friendship with a friend with alcohol issues. I wondered for a while if it was me. A year ago I lost another friend to cancer. I think I wanted this friendship to work out so badly I didn’t care about myself or feelings or bad judgement. At the end of the day I got burned and told that I was the one that needed help.

  • Elizabeth

    I am so glad I came across this article as it really put things into perspective for me. I took that difficult step to slowly let go of my friendship with my best friend. I didn’t realise what I was doing – all I knew was that I couldn’t deal with her demanding nature and cutting words. It had been going on for some time, but what made me take that step was because of a petty argument. That argument, made me think of a lot of things about our friendship. I spent a lot of time thinking about her behaviour towards me and I decided one day to just keep my distance from her. She figured out that I was unsettled about something but she never did more to save our friendship. It hit me hard as all this while whenever she gave me the silent treatment or was plain difficult to deal with, I was the one who made sure we were okay again.

    We didn’t talk for months after the argument and I knew that the friendship was over. Still, I didn’t want it to be that way between us and I called her up one day. This was a little over a year ago. Now, we are more like acquaintances than the best friends we used to be. I last talked to her months ago and I haven’t seen her over a year – though we live only two minutes away. Sometimes, I still regret taking that first step to end our friendship. Memories of what we were like still play in my mind. However, I know that all that happened was for the best. Without her around me, I now know how much she had impacted my life. I have a different set of good friends now, but none I am close to as I was with her. When people compliment me on my looks or hair, I get surprised as she used to make degrading comments to me about those. I find it an achievement that I have several good friends now, as she used to tell me that I could never make new friends. I’m not saying that all was bad with her – she could be amazing at times and I enjoyed spending time with her – which made it difficult for me to realise how toxic she had become. We could laugh and talk for hours but at the same time, she could mercilessly point out my flaws. She could tell me I was great and put me down as well. She would constantly pull me into arguments. As much as I loved her company, it made me prickly too. Being friends with her was like an emotional rollercoaster. I never knew when we would fight or be alright.

    I am still learning to properly forgive and let go of her. When some of my friends talk about her or when I think of how we used to be like, I still feel a bit of pain. Maybe we could run into each other and be friends again but if that didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be sorry either. I’m moving on and I completely will one day.

  • nick payne

    thank you so much, i needed to read this. it’s exactly what i’ve been figuring out this year, and here it is, all put into words. i have a room-mate right now which is almost identical to how you describe… i know the right thing to do, is to practice patience, and that’s what i’ve been doing. thank you.

  • Hi there – I think life is about chapters. We grow, we change, we move on. Sometimes we have to put people down and pick up new ones. Even though those old friends might not be right for us now, we shouldn’t close our hearts completely to them. Other people can grow, change and move on too. I think the best piece of advice anyone ever gave me came from my husband. He said something like ‘Now is all we have, so don’t dwell on the past or worry about what’s happening next – just focus on that person right at that moment!’ He’s right of course. None of us are perfect. But most of us are improving, growing and getting better at dealing with ourselves and others. So if you did bump into your old pal again – and she seemed nice and open to being friendly, that’s great! Keep an open heart and try not to let past experiences cloud the vision of what’s happening at that very moment. Oh so difficult – but won’t you feel great for keeping an open mind? 😀

  • undescribable

    Hi I don’t normally post things on the internet but this article is spot on. I had a friend who I had met at university. We were friends for nearly 4 years. I must admit she was a caring and thoughtful person however there were many times that we would have many arguments but I was always the one with the horrible temper and would say just anything to hurt her. The downfall is we would normally argue at her house and her family would get involved. I was going through a hard situation in my family and because we would argue on many days I lied and said we should keep our distance from each other because I didn’t want my anger and stress to be taken out on her.
    We had a presentation to do and I didn’t speak to her throughout it I know it was rather pathetic and I should of been civil but other parties were there and friends of mine at the time and decided to take her side and feel awkward with me. I left and didn’t do the presentation, later that day she contacted me saying that issues shouldn’t get in the way of work. I swore at her and told her to get lost yet she was still persistent in talking to me. She said everyone can tell you have issues which made me realise she had been speaking behind my back with others. I had formed a close friendship with her parents as I didn’t have a strong bond with mine and she threw it back in my face by telling me they want nothing more to do with me it hurt me and I deleted her number and blocked her from contacting me we haven’t spoken in months and I saw her but she walked off and acted like I didn’t exist so I did the same. I have always been there for her when she need me and visa versa I know I am difficult to deal with but I’ve always encouraged her and motivated her to do great things,but now that were not friends she’s turned other people against me. Because I am rude and don’t like to sort out things urgently does that make me a bad or negative person? I’m finding it hard to move on because she was very important in my life.

  • Hopeful

    I am about to let go of a toxic friendship. I have done all the things i needed to do, such as talking to the administrative office (as we are still in high school) and I am prepared to wait out the rest of the year, which is not long. She angers me sometimes, but like with everything else, i quickly forget it and move on with my life. I know that she is the way she is for a reason, and if i don’t know her, if i’ve not felt the same pains she did, the same joys, the same feelings, then i cannot judge her. But even if she is the way she is because she’s unhappy and needs my help, i’m going to leave, because this sort of relationship hurts me now, and will hurt her in the future. I can’t wait to begin my new life next year with her moved to the back row in the theatre of my life, and i will be sure not to become her doormat once more. She’ll get the chance to build her own strengths and become reliable for herself, while i will rebuild the confidence and self esteem that she’s crumbled, and hopefully i can return to happier times.

  • rose

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  • hurt


    As a person who is currently on the receiving end of the “too busy” answer from a best friend of almost 40 years, I agree totally with you that it is better to be honest and tell the person if the friendship is ending.

    I am in the dark and have reached out with the suggestion that we talk and clear the air as I am not sure what is going on and why she is too busy to see me.

    She is suddenly too busy to come see my first grandchild, too busy to have me spend time with her on her birthday, too busy to grab a cup of coffee even though we generally get together once a week, just generally too busy. We used to talk 3 or 4 times a week, about everything, about her expected grandchildren, about work, about the struggle my husband and I have been through for the last 15 months while he was unemployed — everything. Now, I am getting one word responses stating she has plans.

    I totally feel that out of respect for the other person, out of respect for the years invested in each other, take the time to tell me that the friendship is no longer working, that for whatever reason she no longer wants to be in my life.

    The honesty would at least give me the opportunity to face it, poke around at it and my part in it, and the chance to properly grieve the loss.

    Just giving the perspective from the other side of the coin.

  • LVTriangle

    Great article. Would you have done the same steps if this person was family: ie one of your parents or your inlaws?

    Do you think there are different standards for family. Interested to hear your thoughts on that. Thanks!

  • Jessica

    Thank you so much for this post! I was the one to walk away from a best friendship and I didn’t know how to handle it at the time as I was so emotionally drained and
    Constantly thinking everything was my fault. Because I didn’t end it well I have had guilt for years and still feel I am to blame. This post and these messages make my heart feel lighter! Thank you again!

  • dazedandconfused

    I had a former friend who was very good at putting up a sweet, helpful, friendly front, but the longer I knew her, I learned all her dirty little secrets, which I felt very burdened by. She cheated on every guy I’d seen her with, she refused to better or support herself, and despite all of what I thought were blatantly apparent flaws, nobody seemed to notice. Only once I learned that despite all I’d tried to do to help her and support her, she’d been poisoning other acquaintances about me, behind my back, as well. I could never understand why people would clam up or avoid me when she was around, and, like most people, didn’t want to come to the realization that these people *really were* talking about me behind my back. Eventually, this girl grew more and more angry and resentful toward me one I began pulling back the reins – I stopped paying for her to spend time with me (she never had any money although she never seemed to stop shopping, go figure) and eventually stopped agreeing to ferry her all over the state (she lost her license over some stupid thing or another.)

    After I stopped associating with her, I learned the worst of her back-stabbing took place once this happened (we worked for the same organization, and I left out of sheer exasperation with the politics/drama she created) and returned only to find most of the people had adopted her mentality toward me, that I was this monster who’d stolen from her and tried to ruin her life. Now, every time I encounter this group of people, I’m saddled with the burden of defending myself and explaining where all her anger is coming from.

    In the end, cutting ties has created more of a burden than before in that I’m worn down from having to constantly defend myself against her lies and gossip. I feel drained, and I’ve completely lost any sense of self-worth, confidence, or esteem – even though it’s been years since we split ties. I try to tell myself I’m okay, etc, but every time I’m confronted with these accusations, it starts all over again, and I’m back to square one. I’d explain why we have the same acquaintances, but not in a public forum.

    Anyway, any advice, aside from leaving the area (can’t do that) would be helpful.

  • Megan

    I can definitely relate to your story. I recently let go of a friend, who I thought we would be friends forever. Then, I realized she wasn’t a true friend. She didn’t care about me. I think the final straw was when she talked badly about me and said “she tells it like it is” and after that I deleted her phone number and that was that. I feel so much better after cutting that negativity out of my life. Seeing this article made me realize that this was the right thing to do. Thanks!

  • Deb Stein

    Let’s see, my first inclination is to say ‘there are two sides to every story’. I have friends that view me in this way, as the negative friend. The thing is, THEY do stuff they wont look at that creates anger. Nothing worse than trying to stay clear with a friend that shuts you down as soon as you try to air things out..OR..pretend they are the ones that are love and light and since you are a TOTAL human (with dark parts), that you have to cut loose. How compassionless. How cruel. How INACCURATE.

  • Katt

    I understand it all! :/ but why does it have to be so dang hard!

  • Nikki

    Sometimes you have to let go and move on with a heavy heart and peace of mind. I had to end a friendship that lasted over 20 years. At first I was hurt, then I was angry. While I mourned I held bitterness in my heart. But forgiveness is a powerful tool. It is true what they say: some folks come into your life for a reason, some for a season, and other for a lifetime. If your friendship was just for a season, feel blessed for the wonderful time and the many smiles you shared. With peace in my heart I wish her all the best, knowing these truths; that our time together was priceless, pain can be forgiven but not forgotten, and that I don’t have to have a relationship with her to love her.

  • domino

    This post and your comment ‘commentgal8’ have really struck a chord with me. I too was a care-giver as a child and you’re right, it does make you feel as though its your ‘calling’ in life and I find that over the years I have taken that role in a lot of friendships, often without being asked to if I’m honest, but its just a natural progression for me…or was. I am now a new(ish) mum and have struggled with some challenging times since being at home with my son…now that I need support I have sadly found it lacking from a lot of those people who relied so heavily on me in the past. I am starting to realise that for my own self esteem I need to let some of those people drift off, without blame, and try to forge more healthy future friendships for myself. I deserve to let myself have more equal relationships…its hard though! I have yet to come out the other side so wish me luck!

  • domino

    Hi Katy – its a long time since this post was made so not sure if you’ll see this. I really liked your post and you make so many great points, as do the other ‘commenters’. I posted earlier on also about how I am starting the process of moving away from some people (very early on in this). Part of my problem is exactly as you say above, fear of not making new friends. I have few close friends and job changes/taking a break to be a mum as well as people leaving the city I live in have taken their toll on my friendship group. I now question whether I have what it takes to make new friends! I am clinging particularly to one friendship where my friend has good intentions, but is not always good for me…she always talks about herself even if we start out talking about a problem I have. I have been there to listen to her for years but recently need the shoe to be on the other foot and she is intermittent in her interest and support, to say the least. Truth is she has actually moved on herself, having found herself a new group in the area she lives in (we’re in the same city but quite a distance from each other). I struggle with this as I think ‘close’ friendships should not be defined by distance and convenience. When we do talk about me and my recent problems her stock answer is if only I could move nearer her…personally I don’t see why she can’t be a good friend regardless of that…we both have children now and all her new friends are ‘mum’ friends, but I feel hurt, rejected after all my years of listening and being there, because I just don’t live in a convenient post code. Anyway, I’m aware I’m sounding bitter! I don’t want to be but I do think I need to move away from this relationship as continually reaching out and being disappointed is making me feel rubbish. I need to move on but am scared about moving on to what, if that makes sense! I have suffered post natal depression since having my child and have struggled to make my own ‘mum’ friends, so I have some ‘evidence’ for my fears if you see what I mean.

  • Juturna Rayne

    I know this post is a year old but….. As someone who is an ex-battered woman, please understand that abuse and trauma makes people do things they wouldn’t normally do otherwise. Battered women in particular have a sort of Stockholm syndrome with their abusers, its a survival mechanism.
    That being said, if it was draining on you then its okay that you moved on. You tried your best and thats all that matters. I wish I had someone in my life like that for me back when I was in my abusive situation. But perhaps I would have done the same thing as she did. Like I said, abuse warps your mind and it makes you want to push away those who are just trying to help. Maybe in order for her to get to a healthier place she had to cut off all ties, but I’m sure on some level she appreciates what you did for her.

  • Juturna Rayne

    This also has a lot to do with patriarchal conditioning. We teach women to value poor relationships with men over good relationships with other women. Very sad.

  • Justine

    This post is what I needed to read. I have been friends with someone for about 4 years. We thought we had a connection, lots of good talks, supporting each other. But I started to feel she pushed me away . she sent me one extensive email noting many things she would not like of myself or our friendship. I felt hurt, we talked about it, she apologised and we went on. But then some nasty comments, bad manners, yet another nasty email and some shouts on the phone. She wanted me to take a stand about her and letting me decide to continue to be friends or not. I decided to let it flow, keep the contact to the minimum and see how it goes. She apologised again, wished we could connect again “from a different place”. After some weeks she tells me she will go to a party for her bday and invites me. Then I see she also invited 300 facebook friends too, so I went with another friend. Sadly there were only six people who went to see her but the party was full of other strangers and good music. We got lost in the crowd. She came later asking how’s the party and I say “great, we are enjoying so much!” to which she left without saying a word. Sounds so childish but I am talking about 40 y.o. I thought I had to be compassionate and always do what she needed or asked but now I realize I was wrong. When I was happy she put me down, she would have judgments about myself and family. Being even envious of my marriage. I could not see it.I tthought letting her go was being a bad friend. Maybe it is on her eyes but I feel such a big relief. And since she is gone my other friends and family start to open up and tell me what they saw on her. Who can be best than your true loveones to give you that perspective. I feel so free now, how come I could not do this before? I think keeping ourselves to this type of relationships is a clear sign of self harm. I am glad I moved on and to have found this post and your comments on it. Be happy!

  • Andrew

    This made me really sad. I had three best friends all decide I was a toxic friend and cut me out ten months after I began to come to terms that I had depresion and started improving myself. I was flawed, but I always apologised and made up for my mistakes, and allowed them to when they made them. They all started to make up lies about me and spread them to eachother and lie to me about it, and eventually told me they were mad over what they felt happened ten months ago. They wouldn’t let me talk to them about it or try to fix it, even when I told them I’d been emailing a counsellor for months. They couldn’t let go and I realise now our roles had totally flipped. I was no longer the irrational one starting arguments, I was the only fair one in it all. And it was them who didn’t deserve me any more. Love the article but it forgets to mention sometimes you have to take a look at what happens in that friends’ life and realise bad times don’t erase all the good.

  • Emma

    I feel the same way, I just don’t know how to stop being bitter and move on any tips? I’m sure ill be seeing her in a wedding coming up and I’m dreading it. Even though its the wedding of my best friend and I’m in it and she’s just a guest I hate that I’m feeling affected by her still.

  • Omi

    Recently I came across a horrible hurtful email from close friend who have used me and my husband many times over the years. I really want to reply back and state the facts and prove her wrong and let her know this relationship is over but I don’t want to entertain her nasty email. it’s eating me up- it has consumed my whole being. If I don’t say the truth does that mean she is correct? Am I accepting her lies?

  • KatyCowan

    Thanks for your comment – and Domino’s. This is a very interesting perspective. I wasn’t a care-giver, but I’ve always been caring. And you’re right! If you are a certain way, you do tend to attract a certain type. Once you start to realise that and respect yourself – i.e. not allowing others to use, abuse or drain you – you stop attracting them. You start to welcome new friends, people who are the opposite. It’s enlightening to realise.

  • KatyCowan

    We can’t control how others behave, but we can control how we react and who we choose to hang around with. Blessings 🙂

  • KatyCowan

    Friendships shouldn’t have to be hard work. They should be fun, joyous and well, friendly. All of the friends I have in my life are wonderful right now. They don’t demand anything of me. They love me. We have lots of laughs. There’s mutual respect and understanding. Sure, if one of us needs a shoulder to cry on – we’re there in an instance! I guess when you hang around with people who are happy with themselves, you’re not going to experience any issues.

  • KatyCowan

    Hi Omi – you’re feeling angry and hurt right now, so anything you write you’ll probably regret. Without knowing the full story – just remember that you can’t control what others do or say about you, but you can control your reaction to the situation. Hope that helps.

  • KatyCowan

    Hi Emma – I can only give you this tip. You’re angry right now and you want to say so many things to your old friend. You’re dreading seeing her because you’re worried about how you’ll react and how she’ll be. You’re dreaming up so many scenarios in your head right? Write a letter that you immediately destroy. Write all the things that you want to say to her. Get it off your chest and you’ll feel better. Read back what you’ve written and understand the key issues. Now write another letter – write it to the friend as though you’re telling her why you love her. Recount good memories… ‘Do you remember that funny time when…’ Forgive her. Remember none of us are perfect. Hopefully, by the time you see her – you will feel positive emotion towards her. Don’t hold yourself back if you want to go up to her and say how it’s nice to see her. You’ll feel so much better for taking a loving, positive stance.

  • KatyCowan

    I think family is a difficult one. I’m not sure! I don’t have all the answers. Depends what they did! 🙂

  • Thank you for this post. I’m still trying to work through and get over the hurt, anger, and confusion of having a former close friendship disintegrate. I feel as though I tried so hard to reach out, to forgive, to rationalize, but at the end of the day I felt as though I wasn’t good enough for her. In our friendship I had often played the supporting role so it hurt and continues to that she seemed to basically stopped giving a cr*p about me while I continued to care about her.

    Fundamentally, I don’t quite understand what happened even though I can stand back and explain why. I hope that I can work on letting go and forgiving with more success. I am back in the same town as I think she is now and I still have this crazy anxiety, shame, and fear that I am going to run into her and will be found lacking or worse off, etc. It’s paranoid, slightly insane, and very shallow, but I love her and I hate her at the same time right now. Ooof. Sometimes I think that long lasting friendships you never thought would fall apart hurt more than abrupt breakups.

    I wish that I had been strong and been the one to cut off the friendship, but since I was the one who was slowly frozen out and ignored I feel so badly lacking as though it was my fault.

    Am I crazy?

    Anyways, thanks for this post and sorry for the long posting. This pretty much made me bawl like a baby.

  • J Dub

    I’m at work thinking about my lost-friendship situation and I totally
    feel you Ewa……. You ain’t crazy.. Will have to come back to you with a longer reply
    later on…… Hugs..

  • Michele Campbell

    anger comes from within. It helps to remember that when someone else is blaming you for the problems in their own life 🙂

  • ambika

    I was let gone…………was I the one who turned a good relationship unhealthy and toxic…? I keep asking this question over and over and over again. No wonder, I have become so negative…

  • claire

    I was close friends with a girl who continually criticized and lectured me, making me feel bad about myself. I put up with it a lot and tried different ways of ignoring/maneuvering around it, until I finally just reached my limit and asked her to start considering how she was treating me. She blew up and said terrible things to me about my failures and how I was treating her. I was upset for a week, but realized that I didn’t have to listen to her comments and negativity any longer, and that I didn’t miss her at all. She soon realized that I had been one of the few people willing to put up with her and continually asked if we could get together to talk and hash things out. I decided that I’d try to be friendly, since we’ll be around each other for the foreseeable future, but to keep her at arm’s length to avoid more of this behavior. Every time I talked to her, it was more negativity, feeling sorry for herself, and general unpleasantness. She pushed and pushed, trying to force me to allow our relationship to become what it once was, and getting angry when I didn’t want to spend so much time with her. She finally confronted me and lectured me for refusing to repair our friendship and giving up so easily, commenting on what a bad friend I’d been to deserve her blow-up. I explained that while I don’t have any hard feelings and enjoy seeing her on occasion, we were not benefitting each other and that I have to protect myself and keep my distance. Despite knowing that this is the right decision, it’s still against my nature to cut ties with someone like I have, and I was feeling bad about it until I found this article. It’s definitely reaffirmed my decision and made me feel better about protecting and respecting myself.

  • ann

    Hi Claire…thank you. ..I just had to walk away. .. very similar. .. your post really helps in addition to all the others. ..But yours especially

  • respondwithlove8

    I know this is old, but I just want to say congratulations for taking responsibility for your actions. What ever you said or did may hurt the other person, but I truly believe if you lie to yourself, you are stuck and that ends up hurting you more. Even if you can’t ever admit it face to face to that person, being honest with yourself and those closest to you about the situation is sure to bring healing and hopefully both of you can heal and find happiness in your own unique ways.

  • respondwithlove8

    Sometimes it’s both parties allowing the toxic-ness to continue. Sometimes the unhealthy relationship has gone on so long it’s difficult to tell where it began. Try to focus on the positives. Vent, but don’t ruminate about this relationship. Vent by writing or talking to someone (who is honest and wants to let you vent), let it go, really forgive yourself and that person and send them love and happiness even if you don’t feel like they deserve it. Then fill your days with things that bring you joy until you can actually enjoy each day without thinking about the relationship. Keep your focus elsewhere. It’s true what they say, time heals all wounds.

  • respondwithlove8

    It’s just my personal opinion no one is completely innocent or guilty. I don’t think you are crazy. Some people are just the ones to let go whether they are the hurt or the one who hurts. Or maybe both people do hurtful things and neither really see themselves as the perpetuator. In the end, if someone has let you go, you must move on to lead your best life. Find ways to forgive (both yourself and others) and find what makes you happy. Eventually healing will commence. 🙂

  • respondwithlove8

    I truly hope you find healing and I’m sending love and peace your way. Hopefully you are already experiencing the joy you deserve.

  • respondwithlove8

    One of the most important things I think to remember in your situation is that you can’t let yourself care what anyone else thinks. Remember your own self worth and loving yourself despite what others do or say will help alot. If you feel your self esteem isn’t the best, doing good deeds for others, even little nice things, will boost you up and make tolerating others much easier. Live the life you deserve which is a good one full of happiness.

  • respondwithlove8

    This is only my opinion, but i don’t think even those that are the instigators to be neccesarily, “bad people”. It is more of an issue of self esteem, character or just plain temperment. I would attempt to love yourself first and get yourself in order if that is lacking. Part of that process may be asking her for forgiveness or just writing a letter and not sending it. Whatever you can do to improve yourself and grow positively will help you move past any negativity. Maybe one day you can be friends again, but focusing on yourself (or taking the focus off of yourself by volunteering) and not worrying about the expectations of others will allow both healing and happiness to emerge.

  • respondwithlove8

    Katy, I love this response. I’d love to hear your opinion about my toxic friendship. In highschool we started out not really liking one another, (because of a boy of course) but then became friends and I came to trust her very much. She betrayed this trust doing something very hurtful to me. At first I was so hurt and angry I felt the victim. I craved happiness and read alot about forgiving and I with my best efforts I forgave several people who I felt hurt by, including her. I had other great friends and I felt I had truly moved on. Because of our small circle of friends we eventually met up again and made peace with one another, or so I thought. I felt we had both moved past the situation. She wanted to hang out with me and I was in a happier place, so I was okay with being her friend again. I thought maybe she just made a mistake and needed to know someone forgave her. She started calling me “b*tch” in a playful manner and other passive-agressive behaviour would leak out in many different ways. If I asked why she’d say or do those things she would act as though it was normal and just how she showed affection. I became guilty myself of retaliating back and even acting out on my own sometimes (possibly because of feeling hurt over previous conversations/situations). I think I eventually was acting as bad as she was at times. I wasn’t the person I was aspiring to be and I felt she always held me back from being a better version of myself. I tried and tried again to let it roll off my back and sometimes I would even confront her, but she would often manipulate the truth in a way where I always ended up feeling like it was my fault and I would then apologize, wanting to be a “good person”. I think I have guilt about my own misgivings even though for the most part whenever she acted “mean” to me I would try my best to forgive and forget. Sometimes I distanced myself and then it seemed she would reel me back in seeming so nice, but eventually do those same hurtful things again. I’d always give her the benefit of the doubt, that she had changed her ways. We did have wonderful times together and she did became my best friend. It made it harder to think about walking away b/c my other close friends I just naturally lost touch. I think because she seemed more interested in me and my life than anyone else and kept in touch more than anyone else, I felt she was my closest friend. My sister described me as being the woman who kept going back to an abusive husband. She told me I needed to stop relying on my unhealthy friend. I started practicing self love and finally started feeling more self worth and respect. The last time she did something hurtful, I confronted her and pointed out some of the past things that led me to believe she intentionally did these things. We went back and forth in an email and eventually she blantantly lied about some situations. I felt I couldn’t argue if she wasn’t being honest, so I never wrote back. Weeks later she defriended me and my husband from facebook. I felt shocked and hurt. Even after she was very cruel to me at one point I never defriended her even though I felt I’d strongly like to cut her out. Everytime I spoke to her about ending our friendship she would always say she didn’t cut people out of her life. I’d feel guilty and stay around. Now it seems as though I’m cut out when I thought I would be the one slowly letting her go. I still don’t know what to think about it. I’ve written how angry I am to myself and I think I’m almost sick of venting, but the writing a letter of love has not yet happened for me. I tried to think of the things I was grateful for about her but the negatives popped up in between every one. I’m still angry somedays and other days I feel more free and at peace. I’m definitely grieving the loss of the friendship but I think she is happier and that hurts me as well as I still feel a bit victimized and I feel I deserve to be happy too but I’m not quite there. I know I should be happy for her but right now I can’t completely. Somedays I’m almost there and then I feel a bit hurt or angry again. I know after 16+ years it takes time, but I want to do all I can to truly forgive, heal and move forward. I have it in my heart to wish her well and let go. But how do I let it go? I was close with her child and still feel so much love for her family, that’s salt in the wound as well. They all stopped talking to me when she did. How long will it take to truly forgive and move forward?

  • WildPony

    I am going through an extremely painful time with a friend. We’ve been friends since high school, and have both grown into successful career women with wonderful boyfriends and in general, wonderful lives. But my friend has been treating me really badly. The problems are actually old – there has always been this pattern with her, which is as follows: She always assumes the worst about me and she is extremely judgmental. We used to spend entire evenings with her talking shit about her supposed “friends” who she lets go of because she judges their lifestyles – it might not even be because of something they did to HER specifically, but if they make some kind of life decision, or shack up with a partner she doesn’t deem worthy, she drops them like a hot potato. It doesn’t matter that she had lots of history with them, or even that they clearly value her – if you don’t behave exactly in a way that makes her comfortable, she’s ready to dump you. It doesn’t surprise me that I am the latest person to experience this judgment and treatment. We just celebrated her 30th birthday a few months ago, and I spent lots of money on a gift, took a day off work to spend it at her party. But she really hates my boyfriend (who is a doll and everyone else loves him). He said something that she totally overreacted to at dinner, and I haven’t heard from her since. Now its my 30th birthday, and I haven’t received a response to my party invite, or a card, or anything. I feel so totally unappreciated and I regret all the effort I spent on her birthday, all the times I made efforts to make her feel comfortable, hiding my boyfriend away when she would come around, and just taking her bad attitude and negative thoughts towards me for so many years. I wish it wasn’t this way, but because she obviously dislikes me (and my boyfriend) so much, for no obvious reason, I think its time to move on. I never thought I’d be so sad on my 30th birthday, solidifying that I am definitely losing one of my best friends.

  • WildPony

    Its also very awkward because her family (her Mom, Dad and Sister) all really like me, and my boyfriend. Her Mom has often said she thinks that I am her daughter’s “best friend.” I guess her Mom values me (and sees that I care about her daughter) more than her daughter can!

  • Louise

    I’ve just read your article and it’s helped me immensely. I let go of a toxic and damaging relationship with my best girlfriend about 3 years ago now. Sometimes I still feel bad about doing so, but reading your article has confirmed to me that it’s okay to let go and move on. My friendship with my best friend had gone from give and take, fun times, and mutual respect, to her being a victim and me being her counsellor. She had been through a lot of hard times in her life, which was tough for her, but instead of seeking professional help, she would regularly visit me or call me to talk and complain about how terrible her life was. It had become very one-sided, and after each visit or phone call I was completely drained. The icing on the cake came around the time of her birthday, when she sent me a long and accusatory email as to why I hadn’t responded to her invitation. I was so deeply hurt by her words. Once sent in an email they are set in stone. I still don’t understand why she didn’t just phone me and talk about it, but instead chose to mean and nasty in an email. At that time I said to myself ‘I’m done’. I forgave, and moved on, and began surrounding myself with positive and loving people. About 2 years later I decided to contact her to test the waters, and clear things up. We emailed back and forth for a bit, but as it turns out she still has no idea as to why the friendship ended, and no idea about the effect of her behaviour and words on me. I didn’t want to dredge up the past, but instead communicated my forgiveness to her and wished her all the best in life. I still think about her a lot, and as she said in her email, she thinks of me everyday. One thing is for sure, I’ve learnt a lot from that friendship, and I’m a lot more careful these days when I’m getting to know people. I no longer have a ‘best girlfriend’, however I do consider my husband to be my best friend, and I have three beautiful children, so I am very happy and blessed. Thanks again.:-)

  • Dhanvi Sykes

    excellent post , im happy that you forgave her

  • bran0407

    Great article. I fit the bill of the toxic friend and just go through my life ruining friendships. I don’t set out to and am devastated when it happens. I am thinking I just am not cut out to have friendships. I can’t say it’s because I’m unhappy and that’s what causes me to do what I do. It’s the lack of self worth…

  • Bandimore Fox

    For me and my husband, there were two people that were unhappy. They were both possible soulmates. One of them was in an abusive relationship that she refused to leave, and the other one left an abusive relationship only to go back “for the kids” either way, the outcome is the same. Pain and suffering. I realize now, i am with the man that my heart chose, the one that in this lifetime, fits me best. So, another thing I learned, is let go of what might have been, because sometimes what might have been is what should not be. 🙂

  • Bandimore Fox

    I let go of toxic people awhile back. I learned two things from it. Let go of what might have been, accept what you have, and do what is best for you, despite what others may think.

  • Bandimore Fox

    Yes, I noticed that some people have issues with themselves.

  • Christie

    I know this is an old post, but it is very helpful to know that others have been through a similar situation. I had a friend who wasn’t there for me when my life was difficult, family in the hospital etc, and when my life was going well (I got pregnant after years of trying) she told me that she wanted to be pregnant too and my news made her cry and cry, but of course she was very happy for me. After a while I realized, that she didn’t want to be there for me when I needed a friend, and she didn’t want to hear about my life going well – basically I wasn’t supposed to talk about my life, I was just supposed to be there for her. It was hard to just let her go, especially since she is my husbands cousin and I see her a few times a year a family gatherings.

  • Yep, “”DRAINING” is the keyword here in toxic friendships. That is the time you should let go and move on instead of hanging on to someone who does not appreciate you.

  • bolt

    Hi, six months back I had to severe a friendship of a decade, because my friend started supporting my bully from high school, and she knowingly or unknowingly (probably) started describing me as violent, indifferent, conceited, merciless and cold, I never reacted because I didn’t know why she was calling me all that, we always had happy conversations, except when she went on about how amazing the “bully” is. I put my guard on , because she went on a trip with this bully and I had to learn it from everybody else..but her, oh and she cancelled a trip with me right at that time. She didn’t have the courage to tell me. She prioritized my bully over me. This bully tormented me for five whole years, initially I tried being nice to the bully..for her sake, because I’m not someone who’d want to ruin somebody’s relationship because of my history. But, the moment she prioritized this nasty person..I did take my time ,I took 2 years and eventually broke it off. Didn’t give my ex-friend an explanation, its funny when somebody knowingly hurts you and asks you for a reason. I guess this is what happens with superficial friends. Oh wait and the bully didn’t even apologize for his past attacks. And I guess it was a good thing, we grew out of each other..she’d rather have the limelight than have integrity and I’d rather have real enemies than superficial friends. She was disrespectful to me by lying and omitting things I was supposed to know. And if she thought omission was right, then I didn’t see the point of being friends..its disrespectful, when one day someone calls you their best friend and next day you know they’v prioritized the bully and apparently the bully is human.HUMAN. And guess what I chose to be happy, and I chose my happiness, just like she chose hers.

  • meme

    This really helps…i let go of my best friend last year because she was exactly the same…she would demolish my confidence like no other…but its true…i should just delete the bitterness from my head..wish her well…and not think about her..its just unhealthy for me keeping her in my head and constantly staying angry at her.
    thank you

  • Nathan

    Excellent post, I have this Friend, we were inseperable, almost exactly the same People However she started putting me down in front of other people, and if I was ever quiet she would email our boss saying he is moody again (found this email by chance) Manager stuck up for Bullier. So Angry

  • girl76

    what if you have to work 8 hour a day with this bad person. no i would not forgive if they make fun of me for more than one time, i can forgive once or twice and even tolerate such friendships but when they get worse the best way is to end the friendship, ignoring the people working in your environment unless if there are important reasons such as work. otherwise i will act as i am alone in the office and have no colleagues, my wish was always to be alone in an office but since this is not a possibility i will try to ignore and not talking to my colleagues hearing music while working in order not to hear the people talking, that case it’s like i am alone in an office.

  • Betty

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I learned a lot and your post and others and your comments oppened my eyes about most facts but PLEASE tell me how would you deal with damages and bad reputations and lies that other friends in the circle, have believed from the toxic friend?! Many thanks

  • Syrez

    I don’t know if you’re a hindu or a buddhist but according to either philosophy, we grow up to understand that no one needs my forgiveness, or, I am no one to forgive anyone, anyone at all. I would almost attain sainthood if I raise my consciousness enough just to be able to ‘forgive’ my own self, my own actions and accept myself for what I truly am. I have no spiritual right to ‘convert an enemy into a friend’, I have no spiritual authority to ‘win everything with love’, just like the leaves of grass have no right to lighten a rock under which it lies crushed. The true nature of things prevail under all circumstances unless the nature changes from within. My old friends presented me with choices, I made my choices and as a consequence, I am what I am today. When I say my current friends accept me, it just means I have managed to find people who agree with me. Maybe they, my new friends, are inherently good, encouraging people; they’re, in all likelihood, not good because of my presence in their life and in the very same way, it also applies that my old friends were not mean or negative (as I perceived them to be) because of my presence in their lives. That I truly deserved better than how they treated me and yet, it was all they had to give to me. I do however completely agree that letting go doesn’t mean I don’t care. That I have a right to be happy (but it can only come from within). I love that you think of an old friend and hope he/she’s happy.

  • Angel

    I learned that everything comes from one source.
    The internal source. Even though it’s happening outside…

    Being gentle to yourself is the first step for any relationship with humans, animals, life it self!

    People meet friends, yes, but why do people always forget about one true friend that need our help, and is always there for us? ..And that’s yourself!

    All that suffering because of a “toxic” friend, or because i am a toxic friend and all that torturing of our self because of our own actions actually makes us do more of that!
    And we just CAN’T seems to see what we are doing to our selves..not others, but we.

    Now if i would to read my post, and imagine it’s someones else, and read that part i wrote: “And we just CAN’T seems to see what we are doing to our selves..not others, but we.”
    i would probably feel guilty and wanting to avoid that feeling by putting guilt on other person, they are guilty! and so giving them power (without them knowing that) to hurt us. And by doing that, we are escaping from our own self that is saying:

    “Hey need help you know! why are you hurting me because i am telling you that i am in pain. And why are you going away from me whenever i become pain when something hits me. It looks like you don’t want to talk to me about the problem. It looks to me like you don’t want to move on or feel better. You know, i am the one moving you through your physical life, i am you body, why are you ignoring me?! I wont go away you know..even if you go away from people that “hurt” you, i am still here and waiting.”

    So yeah, the first and real, only friend and friend that is with us all, since we are born, till time that wee must go from this world, is our own mind/body..our true selves.

    My friends are always my friends, that’s newer going to change.
    Maybe feelings or our relation, but deep down they are our friends in this life.
    We may distance ourselves from them to give us some time to heal and grow.
    Their life-style is maybe conflicting ours, or we just need to be with our other friend, (ourselves) and make friends with every feeling (negative or positive) we have and to learn to communicate with them first, and than, it’s easy to be as a child, and to finally be a human and experience everything that is happening in ourselves and to realize that we are just humans and perfectly normal human beings that deserves love..but love from your friend that is called yourself. After that, everything is easy and self explanatory!

    I always tried to understand others who where behaving insensitive, didn’t understood me or using me and making me feel guilty..and than beat my self up, and jelling at others because i wanted to change someones thoughts and wanting to say that i need help in nasty way. But than i started giving in to negative feelings and projecting them to others, making me feel good to express them and feeling bad to do it on others at the same time…but than i just stopped because i couldn’t handle anymore, it hurtled as hell! and i didn’t had strength, literally. And i felt SO disappointed and just gave up on everything! And than, i just stopped. my mind stopped. And i just set there on my chair and for the first time, i heard my body and mind, and felt compassion for them. I felt everything as it was happening to someone else, and finally understood why i felt the way i felt and thought the way i did..and for the first time i could actually know where to start. I had a clear vision of everything that is happening and best of all, i can listen to my self, what i want and how i feel, giving me compassion for my “toxic” friends. And also they couldn’t hurt me because they really can’t.
    I mean No one can, actually, really hurt me. I realize they are in pain just like i was, but i am not defending my self anymore, because no one is actually attacking me. That’s what i realized. SO from that point forward, I heard my self and than i could really hear others, and realize things so everything becomes so simple.

    I don’t hate my fake friends. To me they are real, i love them. They can fell what they like, it wont change my feelings. They can hate me, try to use me and i would react whatever i feel but this time without negativity in me..but even if there is a negativity i would be able to hear it now and decide what to do. So i wont act out of anger anymore but out of love.

  • dan3333333333

    Beautifully said Katy, very nice.

  • suku

    I may not agree with this because , when we let it go they ll be encouraged and they ll do it more often . So it all depends upon what kind of person u are if u are sensitive then it ll damage ur life. so i think its better to confront it .

  • Steph

    Hello, I can relate to your story except mine has a twist to it. Me and my friend we met in an event and we clicked right away. Then I didn’t know she had this side she totally started hitting on me I had never experienced this I am a female. We then started I guess hooking up but she was also g up with everyone she couldn’t get over her foreign ex boyfriend so we were her last resort I guess and then years later they reconciled she began to be controlling always shutting me down. She would call me ugly and even physically Abuse me and she felt proud doing all this. Even after all I still cared about her but he other day she got extremely upset she shut me out of her life. I asked her but she would only write one word sentences. I’m learning to accept this goodbye. Even after she did all this I will always care for her.

  • kavin paker

    You deserve the very best of everything, and I wish that for you, wholeheartedly.
    hotel in

  • kavin paker

    I found it really touching as well. As a recovering perfectionist, I
    know that pressure all too well–and what a relief it is to let it go!

  • anonymousgirl

    What if your mother is the one who does this to you? Tells everyone awful lies and makes you feel bad all the time/is jealous and mean about accomplishments?

  • kavin paker

    Thank you for sharing your perspective the unknowns instead of living the known our current reality. Ian Filippini Santa Barbara

  • kst

    Thanks for the article
    U saved me from feeling too bad and how I need to move on

  • richie carnazza

    I wanted some feed back on something that is going on in my life. ..I have helped my girlfriend in every situation possible, we love each other deeply. The problem and only problem in our relationship is that if she gets upset she throws in every single negative thing that I have done in the past. It can never be about something that just happened. It always revolves around past experiences. Although, I do want to make things work this is straining me. It appears that everything is my fault or flipped back on me. She always seems to feel she’s being accused or blamed for something. Why do I have to reason with her every time. Why do I have to apologize and make things right. I know no one in this world is perfect, but she has dealt with extreme DV stuff and I have helped her cope with this stuff when she divorced the guy. It seems that she is mentally toasted. But I try do to help anyway I can.what should I do. ..I love her dearly but I can’t help feeling that everything is my fault. I’m sure she was blamed for everything and that’s why her reaction is to anything accusatory is volatile to her. What should I do? I’m asking the community for help!

  • kavin paker

    And that is not good. When you get to this point, its time to let go. SEO

  • jennyjustice

    I went through this “the dumping of a toxic friend” and I feel like my thoughts and feelings have been validated. I used to wonder if I did the right thing in letting her go but I do not doubt my decision any more. There is definitely a grieving process that accompanies the letting go of a friend, especially a long-time friend, but it is a phase that passes. During that phase, so many things I didn’t know before came to light, I really felt I was being shown that I not only made the right decision, but I probably should have done it a long time before I did. I made a conscious effort to surround myself only with people who root for me. I will never again allow someone in my life who is jealous, spiteful, or just plain mean. No more rationalizing bad behavior or making excuses or even just feeling sorry for somebody who is obviously their own worst enemy. They know what they are doing and they know they are manipulating others emotionally by taking advantage of another person’s compassion and in my case, loyalty. I can’t explain why I put up with it/her for so long other than to say I had this irrational sense of loyalty because there was so much history with us as friends. I think about the saying that there are friends for a reason, a season and sometimes life. She was definitely a friend for a reason or a season but not meant to be a life-long friend. She served a purpose in my life at a time when I needed her, but when that passed, there was nothing left for us. It was always a bit sour, but it became extreme when we got in our 30s. For some people, if they’re not where they want to be in life, they can’t seem to control their jealousy and resentment. I, too, like the author, do not wish her harm or even any kind of failure. I fantasized for a long time about exposing her to the masses and publicly humiliating her. I wanted justice – not revenge. I wanted her ‘outed’ to teh world for the mean-spirited person she was/is. But if that ever came to fruition, I would only make myself look bad and I doubt she would take anything I have to say to heart as she is dilluded. I can’t change that. All I can do is continue being happy, appreciating all I have and knowing how blessed I am to have positive people in my life who encourage me, cheer me on, and are genuinely happy for me.

  • jennyjustice

    I have mixed feelings on this part of it. Even though the friend I let go will probably never admit to any wrong-doing, I know she knows and she knows I know she knows. There was a lesson to be learned – a strong lesson on her part. There was never any closure – no final argument, no climax, no discussion. I just stopped speaking to her and when I saw her in a store months later and she approached me, I said nothing. I stared at her and spoke not one word. I was angry and hurt. She knew it and nothing needed to be said. She will never ever have a friend like me again. I was there for her through thick and thin since we were kids. I was the giver in that relationship. She took and took but gave nothing back other than single-white femaling me while maligning me to others and saying outright nasty things in groups of people to embarrass me. Seh never thought I’d just walk away from our friendship. I’ll bet if she ever does have another close friend, she will not take them for granted. She would do well, though, to choose friends beneath her because she can’t handle relationships with people she feels are more successful or happier than she is. Who knows? She is a narcissist. I think most toxic people are. They tend to justify their own actions and don’t think about other people’s feelings.

  • jennyjustice

    I especially like your last sentence. It is okay to graciously let people roll on by…if they don’t show you the respect we all deserve..
    For some of us who are particularly maternal or compassionate, we do tend to be taken for granted or taken advantage of. Once I let go of my frenemy and started making new friends that I consciously chose, I was surprised how easy it was to make new friends and how some of my new friends and I just seemed to gravitate toward eachother like it was waiting to happen. I suppose I have more in common in with these new friends because I chose them based on specific traits and what I liked about them. That doesn’t mean I think I can only be friends with people who are just like me, but I do think there’s something to be said for having some basic foundation-type morals, priorities, and goals in common. All I know is every single one of my new friends is kind, positive, and respectful. There are people in my life now who would give me their last dime if I asked and I would do the same for them. I must have changed somewhere along the way, because the people I am drawn to now and who are attracted to me, are very different than the kind of people I used to consider friends. I think I just accepted teh people who were already in my life rather than sought out. Perhaps I was less confident back then or just lazy. But I digress. My point is you are right. Respect begets respect. It is a great thing to have kindness and positivity rewarded with uber kindness and positivity.

  • jennyjustice

    I wish you luck and I know you will do it, eventually if not sooner. I am the youngest in my family and yet I was always the matriarch of everyone. Go figure! My mother was a mess. My older brother moved away. My older sister became an alocholic. My younger brother came along when I was 16 and he was the joy of my life. They all came/come to me when they’re having problems. I always helped clean up their messes. I was the rational one who stayed calm and just listened. I am not a reactive person. I think before I move. If you’re like this, no wonder you’re the glue that holds everybody else together. You are the steady rock that the neorotics are drawn to. They don’t know how to be rational and mature, but you were born like that. It is a good thing to be the sane person who is known for making everything better. The down side is yes, when we are in need, we usually have to take care of ourselves. They can’t reciprocate, even if they wanted to, because they aren’t capable. They don’t have your strength and character. I see a light at the end of the tunnel for you, though. My son is so much like me…a thinker and compassionate. Your child will probably be like that too, like you and you did that! Aren’t you proud? I am.

  • jennyjustice

    It hurts to be dumped and it’s that simple. Even if you were thinking of ending the friendship but she beat you to it, it hurts. It is pride and we all have it. We’re human. If and when you do bump into her, just smile and keep going. It’s the best thing you can do. Who can begrudge you for smiling? You won’t regret you said anything wrong or stupid because you don’t say anything. Just smile and go your merry way.

  • jennyjustice

    I admire that you take accountability (some at least) and that you’ve genuinely reflected on it meaning you don’t justify any bad behavior on your part and you don’t automatically blame the other party. Most of us have been on both ends for one reason or another. I got dumped by a friend. I don’t know that I deserved it, but I sure understand it. I wasn’t there for her. She was alone and lonely and didn’t make the time for her that she needed…and frankly deserved. I was impatient and self-absorbed with my own life. I should have made her more of a priority, but I didn’t and alas, she dumped me. I’m sorry because not only did I lose her as a friend, but I know I hurt her even though I didn’t mean to. I learned alot from that and I’ll never do it again.

  • jennyjustice

    I think it’s a grieving process just like a death or a break-up. I went through phases where I felt so alone and just…weird…knowing she wasn’t part of my life anymore after being a huge part of my life for so long. Then I was angry. I stayed angry for loooooong time and that’s when I had all the fantasies about exposing her publicly for the nasty person she’d become. Then I just kind of chilled out about the whole thing. I don’t think about her very much any more. I’m definitely not angry any more. I’m grateful that she was there when I needed her and I’m grateful she’s out of my life now. Find peace in knowing you did the right thing for both of you. You can’t let yourself be treated badly and she couldn’t be allowed to continue treating you badly. You’ve both learned from this. I think your anger will pass eventually and you’ll come into a more zen state of mind about it.

  • jennyjustice

    I have to agree with Katy on this. There is a difference between telling a friend honestly that you don’t want to go somewhere becaue you’re just not into it and telling someone you don’t want to be their friend anymore. The first is how I would deal with a current friend. The latter is actually ending a friendship and it most likely, will be confrontational, extremely awkward and hurtful. It’s better to just let them go quietly and not humiliate them even if you’re not meaning to.

  • jennyjustice

    Hi. I’m sorry your wife went through this and I’m sorry you’re having to deal with the fall-out. Your wife needs counseling. She is no longer a victim of DV, but is now what we call a “survivor”. They have different issues and behave differently than a victim who is currently is an abusive relationship. I’m sure she is as you say mentally toasted and she needs help getting emotinally healthy again. Most DV survivors have PTSD. They react strongly and inappropriately to uncomfortable situations, when they feel cornered, or threatened (not literally threatened – I know you’re not like that). She is probably hyper sensitive and defensive. She doesn’t mean to take it out on you, but she has alot of pent up anger and fear that hasn’t been worked through yet. None of it is your fault. You just feel bad that trying to talk about normal problems makes her upset. You are not upsetting her – she has inner turmoil that is upsetting her. She may know how not to behave, but does not the appropriate way to behave. You have to imagine that someone oppressed and beaten down who was not allowed to have a voice is now possibly off the charts with a voice – sort of a like a perpetually chained dog that acts bezerk when finally let off the chain. She’s jumped to the opposite end of the spectrum and that’s natural. But she does need professional help finding a healthy balance. Seek a counselor. It will do wonders.

  • jennyjustice

    She is your mother, but she is still a toxic person and if she’s hurting you, maligning you, sabotaging you, you need to cut her out of your life or at least distance yourself to the point that your relationship with her is shallow. You can’t let her continue you to hurt you. My mother was like this too. I took some big steps back and stayed back. We had some talks and even though she kind of gets it, she never will truly get it because she is a narcissist. We have a relationship but it is a bit shallow as I say. That’s the best I can do.

  • jennyjustice

    If they beleive the toxic friend, they are not your friends. True friends would not choose to believe things they know are not in your character. They sound more like bullies. Walk away from all of them and find new friends. Do not give them the pleasure of seeing you hurt or suffering as I sense this is what drives them. They aren’t worth your worry and you can do better.

  • jennyjustice

    I think sometimes when we first meet someone at a young time in our life, we can grow apart. I know that happened with my bf that I let go. Even though we were sort of opposites from the start, the toxicity got really bad in our 30s. I’ve figured out we both changed and not in the same ways or in the same directions. I sought security ath that point – in my work, a home, marrying, starting a family. She sought to be young again – partying, living life in the fast lane, wanting materials things and being foot loose and fancy free. Those differences not only made us clash, but she didn’t know what was good for her and her choices at the time, although they’re what she thought she wanted, she came to regret and resent that I didn’t follow the same path. So, when she came to a point of wanting to reprioritize her life and goals, I was already married, settled, had a great job with lots of potential and a future, bought a home, had a baby and while everybody else was happy for me, she resented the heck out of me and it came out in all these obnoxious and mean passive aggressive behaviors. As much as she hurt me in her attempts to make herself look better or feel better, I actually feel sorry for her because it must be really hard to want things that every woman wants and you don’t have any of it, but your best friend has it all and it’s in your face every time you see or talk to her. I don’t condone what she did to me – obviously, because I let her go, but I do understand where it came from. I didn’t do anything wrong to bring out the ick in her but I sure do hold myself accountable for keeping it bottled up and not communicating each and every time she did something crappy. I should have called her out on it right when it happened, every time it happened. Instead, I kept it inside until it bubbled up and I snapped. My “snap” was simply not speaking to her anymore….ever. I just stopped answering the phone, stopped calling, and that was it. I see my son’s friend trying to be cool around girls or in sports and making jokes at my son’s expense and I tell my son to call his friend out on that crap. Don’t just ditch him. Tell him why you dont’ want to play with him anymore. Tell him you don’t want to hang out with him if he’s going to try to look cool by putting you down. I want my son to be a better communicator than I am. Why am I so put off by any kind of confrontation? It doesn’t have to be violent or even volatile, so what it is that I’m afraid of?

  • jennyjustice

    respondwithlove is right. Don’t worry what other people think. They’re not even important in your life. I was fired from a job once and could not for the life of me figure out why this one board member had it in for me and orchestrated a plan to get me out. He told all these lies and accused me of stealing. He requested a private meeting with the other board members w/out my knowledge and they fired me – just on his word without ever speaking to me or asking me about any of these things. A year later, I learned he was having an affair with my now former director. He was old enough to be her father and was taking her to bars getting her liquored up. He left his wife for her. They both got fired for stealing “ideas” and they eventually had a kid together. I have since ran into some of those board members and others I’d worked with there who were pretty quick to dump me if only to avoid being guilty by association. Some know the truth about him (he was a predator who liked ’em young and she was an insecure alcoholic – teh prefect combo) and other’s don’t, but I almost find it amusing just due to teh sheer irony of it all. Who wound up being a theif? Who wound up being immoral, liars, and decievers? Wasn’t me. Don’t worry what those dolts think of you. They don’t even really know you and they don’t sound like they deserve to.

  • jennyjustice

    You said yourself you purposely said things to hurt her. You have a horrible temper. You argued with her in front of her family. You say you are rude. You walked out on a presentation (work) because you were mad at her. She tried to talk to you about that civilly, but you cussed her out and shut her down. I’m not going to judge harsh and say you’re a rotten person. If it’s bothering you, that tells me you definitely have a conscience. However, you do sound like you have some serious issues that go beyond just being difficult. Maybe you should seek counselling or therapy. You’re not going to like me saying this but you asked – you sound immature. I say that because mature people do not have temper tantrums, cuss people out and ditch a work project where you are depended on for your part. I also don’t think it’s automatically bad to talk about friends among friends. If the talk is to disparage or hurt them, then sure it’s wrong, but be honest, who does not talk about each other? Family talks about other family not present. Friends talk about other friends not present. It isn’t all evil. It is natural to vent on people about people they know too. We have worries, concerns, thoughts and who better to be a sounding board than others that know them too? It’s actually good for gaining insight and other perspectives. You need to apologize and with out any “but…”. Just apologize. Own your bad behavior and tell her your working on it. Do not make excuses or start in with what she did wrong. That completely cancels out an apology.

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  • Guest

    Really good advice! It really is difficult to tell when a healthy friendship turned into a toxic one. Accepting that the friendship is no longer healthy for me, took a long time. Longer than I expected but I was able to let them go and find my happiness. Letting go doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m better than my friend. It means that I understand that the friendship is not working and we both deserve to be happy. It takes courage to wish them well (face-to-face or in our minds) and I did. I hope they have found their happiness.

  • Guest

    I can relate to this. When you spend less time with toxic friends and spend it with positive friends, you realize how better you feel. I hate to compare friends but that was the deal-breaker for me. Sometimes, people are afraid to walk away because they have known the person for a long time and they feel obligated to stay friends. But we have to be brutally honest with ourselves. I’m glad you shared. Maybe your friends might see this post and think otherwise but you’re right, life’s too short!

  • Guest

    The hardest part is to not care about what others may think. Immature toxic friends will make absurd stories and excuses to justify you walking away. It’s fine if they want to shift the blame on you. They might even try to get back at you (ie. talk behind your back, humiliate you, make you feel guilty, etc.). Some of them will want to believe that you don’t have friends or won’t find better friends. They may want you to be miserable. They think that they KNOW you enough to make assumptions. Well, I hate to disappoint them but life gets better and you become positive without toxic friends. The mature friends will respect your wishes and move on in a mature manner. It’s called growing up. All that matters is that you are letting go and walking away for your sake.

  • Guest

    I feel the same way. Toxic friends served a purpose in my life but they don’t have a place in it anymore. I can’t bear to tolerate their toxic behaviors. I put an end to it by letting go and moving on. I am also in a completely different stage in life from a couple of them. I am getting ready to settle down and advance my career. So it is only natural for me to attract and spend time with friends who share similar goals as me.

  • Guest

    This was helpful. I always had this idea that we have to forgive and forget but you are right on. The pain inflicted by toxic friends will remain with us even though we might not deliberately think of the pain after time has passed. I haven’t fully reached a point where I’m able to recall the wonderful memories I’ve made with my toxic friends. Maybe I never will fully reach that point but I choose not to dwell in the past nor the pain.

  • Guest

    I also agree with Katy. There are times when it’s better not to have that confrontation and gently let go. I didn’t have a single discussion with a friend who I knew was going to be difficult but more so, where I just didn’t care to maintain the friendship. I wasn’t looking to become acquaintances either. I have a busy life and by the time she noticed, I knew I wasn’t going back. I hope she moves on and stops stalking me.

  • Hagar

    A year ago i went on a month long trip during the summer with a friend i had made on my first year at uni.
    I knew before embarking on this trip that the person i was travelling with had a complex family background that over-shadowed her life.
    From our shallow friendship she seemed nice, fun to be around and we shared similar interests.
    However, a lot of statements noted in this article – felt very close to home. when i think about the experienced we shared- she would deliberately put me down, when i was having a good time, she was unsatisfied with the situation, and i felt that my voice was lost in the friendship. There was no huge argument – I endured her behavior throughout the whole trip and in most circumstances I chose to be the bigger person.
    Since the trip was so intense I did not fully realize the trauma I had felt until we returned home. I chose not to share what had happened with our mutual friends – with the exception of one close friend.
    We stopped talking all together – it wasn’t a completely conscious decision on my part – i had ignored her presence when she was around and chose to hang out in circles that she wasn’t apart of.
    I understood that the awkward silence in our case was far less stressful and painful to endure than her cruel words.
    I told myself i will not forgive her – and until reading this article i haven’t been able to. Its hard to walk around knowing someone feels so much anger towards you and yet feeling that their anger is completely unjustified.
    I have thought of endless words i would say to her if we were to talk.
    I still hold the opinion that i’m far better off without her friendship but I am recognizing that for me to fully heal – I must forgive.

  • Lady Lily

    Your aricle is awfully wonderful 😉 thums up for you ; but I have a viewpoint here is that although forgiving can be painful , we can let go of those who are intoxicating us throughout our own lives ..Of course , I do not mean by not forgiving is to hold grudge against the one that causes you misery but moving on from that one. I am still suffering till now and more and more I am getting more shocked from people I was once to them good and they showed me hatred for no reason at all .. I think even if we are not going to take revenge on that friend ; God is here standing by our side and we will find better friendships someday than before ! Your article again has affected me greatly 🙂 You have made me cry because we are the worthiest ones to meet charitable people ..I do not mean I an angel but I sometimes commit mistakes ; we are human beings liable to erring

  • Lady Lily

    Your aricle is awfully wonderful 😉 thums up for you ; but I have a viewpoint here is that although forgiving can be painful , we can let go of those who are intoxicating us throughout our own lives ..Of course , I do not mean by not forgiving is to hold grudge against the one that causes you misery but moving on from that one. I am still suffering till now and more and more I am getting more shocked from people I was once to them good and they showed me hatred for no reason at all .. I think even if we are not going to take revenge on that friend ; God is here standing by our side and we find better friendships than before ! Your article again has affected me greatly 🙂



  • dougary

    What a good way to look at a bad situation. I’ve personally experienced toxic people a couple of times throughout my 50+ years of living. Both times it was with very long term friends who slowly became more and more negative towards me. Either that or I ignored their negativity and allowed it to slide off for all those years. When I look back I believe it to be the later.

    But eventually, I became aware that when I was with them I felt bad. My opinions were always wrong, no matter how trivial… for example I would say I liked the Chicken at a particular restaurant we both went to, but they hated that dish so I must have something wrong with me because I liked it. Silly stuff like that and sometimes more serious things like politics or religion. My views were not radical, but I found myself keeping my opinions to myself or just rubber stamping theirs to avoid a prolonged discussion about why I was wrong. They could never just accept that my opinion was just that… an opinion. They felt it necesary to make me think as they did.

    So finally I stopped hanging out with these friends. If I saw them I would just be pleasant and say hello and a quick catch up, then move on. I think this annoyed them, but I knew I’d end up feeling bad if I let them try to dominate.

    It is sad when you have to say good-bye to someone you’ve known so long. Now I’m looking at making friends with more positive people and being careful about the friends I choose and those who choose me to be their friend.

    But anyway, thanks for the post. It was very helpful to have someone validate what I was going through.

  • Alex

    Toxic friends are very damaging! I’m speaking from experience as I was in a group of toxic friends growing up. It’s interesting how I never realised that. I always though that they are my best friends and I will never find anyone like them as they were my first friends and we stuck together all the time throughout our teenage years. Only after I moved to a different country and did not speak to them for some time I realised how toxic they were and the effect it had on me. I have a couple of really good friends now and we treat each other with respect and understanding. Only after seeing a real friendship I could look back and see how different our relationships with my toxic friends were. When I speak to my old toxic friends I can spot when they are trying to put me down as a joke straight away and it happens every 5 minutes in our conversation. Only now I can see that they try to make you feel bad but disguise it as a joke. But at the same time I understand that it is not because they hate me. They are just not even aware that they are doing it and for them that is the only way they can behave with friends. They don’t know what a real friendship feels like as they themselves revolve around negative and toxic people and they are not used to being treated nicely. So I don’t blame anyone for this. I know that deep inside they are unhappy and their toxicity is a result of that.

  • Martha Lucinda

    Toxic relationships are very bad for you. They drain your positive energy. The drama that the other person creates robs you of your own vitality. I had a friend who had emotional problems and for a few years I tried to help this person. In the end I had to choose my own happiness because the sarcasm and biting remarks of the other person increased due to the person becoming more unhealthy. Just remember that the only person we are ultimately responsible for is one’s self and we must protect it. That doesn’t mean I don’t love this friend, but as Samantha Jones in Sex and the City says, I love myself more. I’ve been with myself for years.

  • dazedandconfused

    Thanks, jennyjustice. Ironically enough, I had a similar experience not long after the one I initially described where I worked for a very conservative organization like the one you seem to describe and was terminated after reporting the executive director (another dirty old man) grabbed me and attempted to drag me into the company elevator with him. I reported it first to my boss’s, spoke to his boss, who told me to speak with the HR director which was their chain of command. Within two months, an employee in an entirely separate department, and with whom I had very little contact, claimed I’d ‘hacked’ my boss’s email. He’d given me online sharing privileges in order to update his PDA calendar (really dating myself, here) and she somehow gained that information and promptly misinterpreted it as me being a hacker. I was terminated and left with nothing, and on top of that, my only friend was this sociopathic young woman as my relatives were too ashamed and believed the lies.

  • confused

    Unfortunately I think I am having to let go of a friendship/cousin! We’ve been friends for 14 years….unfortunately overy petty stuff! I wear my heart on my shoulders and she is very open. I have went to her and explained my feelings were hurt and it completely exploded in my face…if I say something trying to save our friendship…I’m drama!! So I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t! Needless to say….it still hurts! I guess my question is how do I let go? Do I cut her out of my life completely? I’ve been very hurt….now I’m just plain mad! The things she has said to me I don’t know that I will ever be able to forget!

  • missempath

    I know that I am joining this conversation a little late, but if i don’t write this down somewhere my brain/heart are going to EXPLODE. I am a very sensitive and empathetic person, which is not always a blessing. I ALWAYS feel that if there is an issue between myself and another, it is ultimately my fault. I know that I am a good person and that this feeling of guilt is a lie, but I have the hardest time letting myself believe so.

    I have had a friend for half my life(we are 24 and have been friends since we were 12), and for most of this friendship we were basically attached at the hip(along with another girlfriend). This girl has helped me through so much in my life, and we have had some seriously amazing times together. At some points in our friendship we literally had scary brain waves and would finish each other’s sentences. That being said, there was always an imbalance in the relationship; sometimes the scale would weigh back and forth, and it might end up being closer to the middle. I have always been the person at the bottom of the scale. This meaning that she always had control over me, whether it be a little or a lot. There has always been a portion of the friendship that has caused an uncomfortable edge. Although we have always had a lot in common, she did always have the upper hand. When we get a long its AMAZING, but when we don’t, she is defensive. Most times so defensive that I just cave in to her anger and agree. Another issue is hipocracy. If we make plans and all of a sudden, last minute, she doesn’t FEEL like doing anything anymore, or she shows up 2 HOURS LATE (which she is notorious for), no biggy! I could care less, life happens, no one is perfect, lets move on! But if I pull the same stunts, it means I just don’t care about her or our friendship. And whenever we try to hash these things out, I am willing to listen and try to find the truth in her words. But when I try to do the same and explain how I feel, then I am getting defensive and “I just don’t understand”. Well GREAT! where do we go from here? Last year I let go of another really close, long time best friend because she was 100x more controlling! I don’t understand this. How can someone be happy with themselves when they make other people feel awful? Another thought about my current long time ex friend, is that she tells me that all I care about its money and establishing myself and that I am going to regret not going out, spending a bunch of money and getting shit faced all the time. Guess what? I have life goals and I would like to reach them. Why on earth would she make me feel guilty about this? There are so many other things that I am angry about, but they are not even worth typing. I’m sorry for the rant everyone, my heart is breaking in a million pieces because I know that it is time to let go of this friendship. It is going to kill me inside, but in order to live my life happily, and not in fear, it is time to LET GO. Reading your comments and knowing that everyone goes through these growing pains makes it a little easier to bare. One day I will be stronger for this, but that day is not now.

  • justgetoverit

    toxic toxic toxic. repeated enough times, doesn’t the word sicken you? i don’t even want to know what you people are bitching about. you sound completely smug, pretentious and self-righteous simply by your use of the toxic word ‘toxic’

  • Awakeningsluke

    Inspirational. Great to see how you can become the person that you realize you are. Hurt is a part of heat healing. I’ve only just decided to commit to this journey.

  • lynn

    You explained in detail what I learned at the core of my being….Life is too short to spend it with mean people…..Pray for your enemies and forgive them, while demanding accountability

  • Katrina

    I struggled with executing this tactic with one of my oldest friends with whom I had always had a toxic relationship. I felt trapped for the entire relationship due to the fact that we went throughout school together, had mutual friends, family members who are married to each other, and he is still very close to my younger sister. I tried distancing myself gradually over time but thanks to modern technology, fights would break out every time he sensed I was doing this because everybody can technically “make” time for texts, messages, phone calls, etc. I felt like I had no choice and I regret having to sit him down and basically end things, but it was already so toxic that I felt like I had no other choice. He still continues to reach out to me and communicate with me through my sister (which only angers me more) but I think enough time has passed that it has become clear that we are both better off this way. I still struggle with feelings of guilt and anxiety about the awful things that were said to me and about me behind my back, but I’m learning to forgive him and pray for him and his wellbeing.

  • cw

    I have (or should say had) a friend who was and has been accusing me of not trusting her and that have nothing but all these conspiracy theories about her and what she is doing etc..
    While I can’t deny that sometimes I do think maybe she is lying about something , it had been a very long time since then and yet she’s always pretty much trying to prove she’s not lying by sending pics etc. I can understand how my thinking she could be lying or not fully trust her could have hurt her butit is getting really old and painful to heat her accusations of thinking she isn’t telling the truth about any and everything. She acts as though she can read my mind and she can’t . she’s so wrong almost all the time. What should I do?

  • Lauren Coleman

    Do you recommend reaching out to the person and telling them that you forgive them or just moving on without contact? After reading your article, I feel like it was the exact same experience as what I went through with a former childhood friend who hurt me terribly. I cut all ties with her. I want to forgive her for the horrible things she did but I need some closure. Any suggestions? Thank you so much for your insight and wisdom. This article truly touched me.

  • Psychmushroom

    This article was insightful but I’m still really struggling with one friendship of mine. I have a friend who is depressed, anxious and isn’t committed to doing anything to help herself, so she decides to stay home everyday and do nothing. I’ve told her that only she is in control of her life and she always agrees, but she still does nothing to change it. It’s like she can’t be bothered to change things, yet she’s constantly unhappy with her life. I’ve suffered from depression/anxiety so I feel a sense of sympathy towards her as I often understand how she feels which makes me want to help her . As a friend, I feel like it’s a responsibility to see her through this depression and support her… yet everytime we hang out, I leave feeling angry and disappointed that I’m still allowing negativity into my life.

    I’ve known her almost my whole life, since I was around 6 (now I’m 20) and I feel like shutting her out would be really disrespectful and wrong of me. I want to continue to help her but I also want to help myself by removing negativity from my life. I’d really appreciate any kind of advice. Thanks

  • lost

    I think i am with a toxic friend here. Need some advice.
    Ok so i have been seeing this girl for 6 months. I am 24 and she is 26. We hit it off instantly. We were great together. It was a great time. As time passed by she started to get a bit possessive. At the start i thought it was nice that she is possessive about me suggesting that she really likes me. Off late things are getting out of hand and now i am confused.

    She gets really possessive if i talk to any other female friend. Immediately she starts getting “Negative vibes” from that female. She blocked me for 3 days just because my colleagues were telling me the story about the trip which i missed coz of her. I didnt go coz i knew she would feel bad.

    Again she blocked me for 2 3 days coz i was talking to her best friend who is in a relationship.

    She gets angry n mad at all the small things and make me feel like i am doing something wrong. She got pissed merely coz i accepted a friend request on fb of my office colleague. She always accuses me of flirting n gets all weird if i am standing near any female in the GROUP pic. She then goes and finds my pics from 3 4 years ago n then accuses me that i am a flirt

    Its like a guilt trip always for not doing anything wrong. I cannot keep losing people coz she gets negative vibes…

    I mentioned the word seeing coz after this possessiveness started i asked her out and shes not interested in a relationship. So apparently we are just friends but she has also confessed that she likes me alot and she does . We were reallyy close.

    She is a very insecure person and i am trying to hold it together but it seems like i am the only one trying. Recently she started taunting me for making a few GUY friends. She feels threatened and says stuff like i am not important to you etc. If i meet my friends or colleagues , it will always have to follow by her saying why do you need to meet people and talk with them

    We are really great when it is all fine but i feel like i have no room to express my feelings thinking what might make her feel bad. Its like walking on eggshells.
    For some reason i still hope that all this might go away n we will be happy again
    Will it get worse or will it change?
    Please help

  • Lost

    Loved the article…
    I think i am with a toxic friend here. Need some advice.

    Ok so i have been seeing this girl for 6 months. I am 24 and she is 26. We hit it off instantly. We were great together. It was a great time. As time passed by she started to get a bit possessive. At the start i thought it was nice that she is possessive about me suggesting that she really likes me. Off late things are getting out of hand and now i am confused.

    She gets really possessive if i talk to any other female friend. Immediately she starts getting “Negative vibes” from that female. She blocked me for 3 days just because my colleagues were telling me the story about the trip which i missed coz of her. I didnt go coz i knew she would feel bad.

    Again she blocked me for 2 3 days coz i was talking to her best friend who is in a relationship.

    She gets angry n mad at all the small things and make me feel like i am doing something wrong. She got pissed merely coz i accepted a friend request on fb of my office colleague. She always accuses me of flirting n gets all weird if i am standing near any female in the GROUP pic. She then goes and finds my pics from 3 4 years ago n then accuses me that i am a flirt

    Its like a guilt trip always for not doing anything wrong. I cannot keep losing people coz she gets negative vibes…

    I mentioned the word seeing coz after this possessiveness started i asked her out and shes not interested in a relationship. So apparently we are just friends but she has also confessed that she likes me alot and she does . We were reallyy close.

    She is a very insecure person and i am trying to hold it together but it seems like i am the only one trying. Recently she started taunting me for making a few GUY friends. She feels threatened and says stuff like i am not important to you etc. If i meet my friends or colleagues , it will always have to follow by her saying why do you need to meet people and talk with them

    We are really great when it is all fine but i feel like i have no room to express my feelings thinking what might make her feel bad. Its like walking on eggshells.

    For some reason i still hope that all this might go away n we will be happy again

    Will it get worse or will it change?

    Please help

  • Epek Rodriguez

    Hello after reading some of these posts on here….I can realty to this and I really need some help and some advice…..I’ve been with my girlfriend for 3 years now and I recently moved out like 3 months ago because of her behavior and her negative thinking towards me……she would ignore me at home and would act like If I wasn’t even there….so would talk down to me and I would ask her what was it that I did wrong for her to be treating me this way she would nothing that it’s not me its her…..I really love this woman I’m in love with her and I care about her to much….I told her that u would wait for her till she got better….we text each other but she still continues to ignore me well ignores my texts….she tells me she loves me and she wants to be with me….but I really don’t know what to do anymore…I need some advice and some help and if she can get some help I really think she has a lost soul for her behavior and also she says she’s stressed out and depressed cause she’s always broke….she don’t let me help her most of the time…..someone please help me….I need some advice…..thank you…..I just want her to get better because I really love her that I don’t want to give up on her and I don’t want to lose her.

  • Val

    I am so glad that I came across this article. It is coming onto four years since I ended a friendship with a very close friend. The relationship was becoming toxic for both of us, but I don’t think I even realized how toxic it was until after I ended the relationship. Although I have mostly moved on, I still often think about my friend and wish I could rebuild the relationship (although I realize this would not be healthy for either of us). I was the one who ended the friendship and I did so cruelly… I just cut her off and offered no explanation. I regret this and have been debating whether or not I should offer her an apology for the way I cut her off, as I realize now how wrong it was. I don’t want to cause more damage or do it for selfish reasons, however, and so I have not yet decided if I will write her an apology.

  • Gensten

    Thanks for this article and everybody for their comments.
    I had someone I thought was a good buddy, we spent almost every day together for something like 4 months. I didn’t feel like hanging out with her one time, she got upset, did the silent thing. I offered her help and tried to talk about it with her, she was defensive and more upset. She ended up telling me she was upset with our friendship because it wasn’t leading her to more friendships. I realized she was using me to meet other people. With the help of my real friends I was able to let her go. It feels a lot better, a tinge of sadness here or there. But in these situations you must believe in yourself, because they will try to convince you that you were being unreasonable. Good friends are able to talk and work through these things. Thanks everybody.

  • Grandmama Janet

    This article answered my prayers for today. I am 74 years old and just got kicked out from playing the piano in a worship service by a vitriolic member. But the song “Love Lifted Me” just freed me up and the “moving on” was a “lightness of being” I did not expect to have. These are the kind of behaviors that destroy church Christians and Christians. But, living in a long life with many talents and gifts, I have continually run in to these situations. I am a creative dreamer and for some reasons, our types of people do not fare so well for long. Working hard all of my life, trying to take care of my crippled sister, and doing the best I can for all, does not really bring support of the values I hold dear. I just loved your article. And I am a retired Licensed Professional Counselor as well. Thanks for being there for me today. I will follow you and feel like I am good company.

  • lilla

    thank you for this I had a really nice friend who cared about me, but now she’s backstabbing instead. I realised that I was in a toxic friendship..

  • LadyInMaine

    The real question for me is “How do I leave?” Do I tell them why I’m moving on or just leave them wondering where I went and why I left? You know like in a romantic relationship we always promise the other that we will NEVER just stop calling or just walk away without saying why and yet we never do that because telling the truth (our personal truth) is difficult. I have a friendship of a few years that started i high school (1966), It isn’t working for me anymore and I hold a lot of resentment towards this person. Tell me how to end it.

  • LadyInMaine

    Awww that’s what it is for me ~ accountability. Nobody wants to be held accountable for their actions.

  • LadyInMaine

    I’ve done that myself. Walked away from long time friends or changed jobs over and over because people knew way too much about me and I have always been ashamed. BTW I am 67 years old and I still suffer pain from the past and past relationships and hurts.

  • KnightofGLORY

    I became “friends” with my current guy friend about a year and a half to two years ago. It started off great despite me knowing he had feelings for me. Eventually he asked me out and I rejected him because I didn’t have any romantic interest in him. He continuously persisted lied, manipulated, and berated me. He found out I liked another guy and got super jealous. He has a bad temper and his reputation isn’t great. He beat up quite a few individuals and is to this day terrible at keeping secrets or keeping things private. He’s demanding of my time and energy to the extreme. He attempts to get me jealous by continuously telling me about other girls he is talking to. He guilt trips me. Overall I can’t do it anymore. I can’t. There’s no enjoyment I derive out of this “friendship”. I spoke to him many times about how I felt but now there is no hope for reconciliation. I have forgave and forgave. He will never learn and I accept that. I will forgive and say goodbye for the last time. The funny thing is I never missed him in the months that I ignored him so why did I agree to reinstating what we had? I feel so relieved now that I’ve made this choice.

  • Connie Ostoj

    I recently ended a 40+ year friendship with my best friend (or supposed best friend). I’m still struggling with it. A part of me is still really sad, and another part of me is relieved because I won’t have to listen to her calling me painful names or do things to stab me in the back anymore in an effort to bring me down. My friend was the most unhappiest person I know. She’s in a loveless marriage, she’s not happy with her career, she talks about everyone behind their back, nothing is ever her fault because she’s always right, and she’s the smartest, most polite, most reliable, neatest, most organized person in the world, and she always has the best ideas. I feel bad for her that she’s so unhappy and that she will continue to blame her unhappiness on others instead of realizing that she’s the cause of her own unhappiness. Our friendship ended in August. I don’t know why I’m still struggling with it so much. I put a lot of effort into our long friendship, guess I’m wishing I would have ended it a long time ago so some of that effort could have been spent on real friends. I’m feeling completely drained and defeated. I hope I can now start focusing on good friends who deserve my friendship and who won’t hurt me.

  • Chastity Desiree Gray

    I have a story to share: Back in April, I met a guy on Facebook and we became friends, and found out we had a lot in common such as liking animals and nature, reading etc. He was dealing with the pain of a breakup with his girlfriend and had anxiety issues and I had anxiety as well, and we talked almost every day, giving each other support. Later we started talking on Whatsapp and later on sometimes my friend would tell me things like “change your profile picture” and he would then send me a picture of a bird with a flower that he chose for me to put as my profile picture. I have a nice picture on Skype of me at high school graduation and he wanted me to change that to the bird picture. Other things he would say would be ” start going to a gym”, “get some new clothes and throw away that other sh** because they may you look like a man”, and even told me how to speak. One weird thing that happened occurred after he posted a photo of himself on Facebook. I commented on the picture and said “nice picture of you.” He responded by deleting his picture and giving me the silent treatment for a couple of weeks. He has told me that he has had many arguments with his current girlfriend and one night, the police even became involved because he was shouting so loud and he even attacked one of the officers. When he broke up with his other girlfriend 2 years ago, he told me he was so upset about it, that he stabbed himself in the arm with a knife. Later on in the friendship when I wanted to talk to him about something, he would either ignore me or tell me that he is busy(yet he would still sometimes contact me on the phone if he needed someone to talk to) and more recently he would say that I am obsessive and to stop sending him so many messages or he will block me. One night we were talking and he told me that he was looking for a computer job, but if he couldn’t get one by December, he may have to settle for a lower paying job instead. I asked him about working in a restaurant. He responded with “that is fuc**** horrible, you offended me and I don’t want to talk to you.” He would not calm down and we both hung up. I did send him some texts apologizing for making him upset, but he just responded with “leave me alone or I will block you.” This continued for about 2 weeks and I gave up the communication with him. Finally one morning I got a text from him saying that he wants to forgive me and make peace and that if I understand that he is not a simple man and just cannot work anyplace, then he will let it go 100%. I responded with: “It’s nice to hear from you. Yes I understand what you are saying and we can be at peace. Thank you for your forgiveness. Take care and have a nice day.” After he read that he responded with: “When I said that I wanted to forgive you, I mean that I want to let it go. To be honest, I don’t want to forgive you and don’t feel that I have to. I still feel hurt and don’t want to talk to you again. When you said thank you for your forgiveness, period. Take care and have a nice day period, that was strange. You are a very strange person and I don’t want to know anything about you. You could have said something with more affection or with more consideration to the things I said. Bye.” He then blocked me on everything except Skype. This has left me angry and hurt because despite all this, I was there for him when nobody else was when he was dealing with anxiety over various things and sadness over the passing of his father. Many of his friends left him and he has been through many girlfriends as well. Many people have told me that I should not feel bad and that he was not a good friend, not healthy to be around.

  • Tess

    I had to end a toxic friendship recently. I had given her a second chance, but she still proved to be very manipulative with me and took advantage of my kind nature. I realized that the only way i wouldn’t fall victim to her manipulation was to remove myself from the relationship.

  • Douglas Pakidko

    This is a great topic. I love much of what you’ve written, but there is something major I disagree on. That is leaving friends. I’m sorry, leaving someone is NEVER justified. I have seen first hand what this can do. That is not being a friend at all.

    Really a toxic friend is only toxic if you let it affect you. So all leaving them shows is your lack of love for them, and your insecurities. With proper communication, and teaching ALL toxic friends can be changed. and often into a relationship stronger and more beautiful.

    The fact that you wonder how things could be from time to time actually shows that your mind is not at peace with that. To put it in simple terms, regardless of what religion or beliefs you have, NO BEING or thing of immense good would EVER leave someone in need, and in fact leaving is actually being just as toxic. So in essence, walking away is just doing the very thing they did to you.

    Be the change you wish to see in others. 🙂

  • Ms. OuttaLine

    Excellent! Thank you!

  • Sally-Anne Brayshaw

    I have a tiny problem. My friend is horrible to me and we get in a fight everyday and its always her fault. I want to stop being feiends with her but when she apologises i say i forgive her everytime for some reason. Its like a magnetic pull between me and her, i dont know why I bother. Has anyone else been through this? Whats going on?

  • Kristine Vike

    I have been reading as many articles as I can find on this subject lately, but I still am not sure what to do. I have a toxic friend who I’ve largely distanced myself from (simply by moving away), but every time I return home to my family, she wants a visit too.
    During my last trip home, everything just became too much and I decided I did not want to visit her again, even if it is just a few times a year.
    my problem then became “how”? My instinct is to try to tell her, as kindly as I can, that we have clearly grown apart over the last couple of years and we might as well just accept it, but the problem with that is that my partner is also friends with this person, and he always gets the nagging and the complaints whenever we had an argument in the past. I don’t want him to have to be the middle man, so for his sake I have kept my peace.
    But when she texts me or sends a comment on something, I feel like an ass if I just ignore her. I have avoided the problem simply by not being in my home town, but at one point I will be.
    I just can’t decide whether or not it is kinder to try to tell her, or to not say anything, which might leave her confused and wondering why.

  • Vintagegreen

    How about someone who feels guilty losing a dear friend. I feel lost without her because i have known her for so long. She was there for me through the hard times. She was a great friend and i feel like i pushed her away because i felt like was losing her as a friend. I complained about life to her. When i look back i wish i didnt. We started to slowly grow apart. I miss her very much. Im not taking it well. Other friends say move on. I deleted all contact because gets hard seeing her.

  • CC

    I know this is a bit old, but I am going through this right now. Ive been there for a friend for the past 10 years, through the divorce of her family, death of her grandparent, suicidal period, you name it. I even flew down to get her out of bed to cheer her up. I cheered and supported her on all her efforts to get well. she is finally changing her life now, through surgery. Unfortunately my life is in the dumps, I’m suffering through chronic illness and PTSD. We always talked about these things, lord knows I had to listen to it from her. Then, without warning, she explodes at me. Her life is new and improved, and I am the wet noddle now. She made assumptions about my mental health treatment that were not correct, blamed me for my negativity and that i choose to be sick ,etc. It was the most hurtful thing anyone has ever said to me. It is true that I do struggle, but its not all I do. I cheered her on, I send her care packages, I support her even though I feel so sick. But because I had a crisis the other day, I am the bad in her life that needs to go. She didn’t ever tell me, I suppose this resentment has been building. If she had only told me, I would have changed. I would have done anything! And she knows I am in a two year healing and changing process. I am trying so hard, I have tried so many things. But, she found the solution for herself, and now cannot understand why I haven’t yet. She has cut me out of her life. At first I thought I was a terrible person. But she has cut her mother, her grandfather, her aunts, her uncles, other friends, constantly talks about doing it to her sister. And I am beginning to see that while I am in a negative period in my life that I have been honest and in full acknowledgment about, she is in a fake positive place. Her place of positivity is via being cruel to those who love her the most, not giving them the chance to change. Making them the reasons for her unhappiness. I do agree that toxic people need to be cut from your life, but when you make it your mission to cut everyone from you life, even those that love you the most, You aren;t being positive, you are the toxic one.

  • Ciara

    I would need some advice. I am currently seeing a guy from my best friend’s past. Nothing serious between us, just catching up with some good times. My best friend used to see this guy few years back when he had a steady gf, they were just fooling around technically. Then years passed, everyone moved on, my best friend got engaged and about settle down in months. Then i had to tell her that i am seeing this guy because i feel bad hiding things from her. The minute i told her, she back fired me saying i disrespected her and that she gave me the space for me to disrespect her. Oh and I’m single btw. I called her up few times to atleast talk to her and settle things off but she didnt pick up and replied after a week. I am truly heart broken because this is the only friend of mine that i would do anything i could in my might and she shut me off just because i am dating some guy from her past that she knew for couple of months. What do you guys think?

  • Annika

    This just happened to me. I just let go of some friends and I came online to remind myself that I wasn’t doing the wrong thing. I had only known them for two years, but it felt like a lifetime. We had a lot of fun. But as time passed I felt fear in stating my opinions, I often changed my thoughts because they made me feel like my thoughts weren’t right, or I should never speak against them. I began to go into a shell, and they told me that I was changing too much and that I should go back to who I was. I tried, but it was never good enough for them. It got to a point where if I received a text from them, I would have a mini heart attack. Now that I’ve let go, I do feel a little sad, but I am also feeling lighter and more peaceful.

  • Guest

    I’ve recently had to decide to leave my best friend because she made me feel bad about myself and tricked people into thinking i was a bad person who was nasty to her and everyone around me, so I decided to leave because I was so used to being in this position I began to believe it, at this point in my life j had family problems happening alswell so I would feel better leaving her because there is only so much hope in some people and I know that it hurts to leave you best friend but sometimes it’s for the best.

  • theotherside

    Run. Run fast. Others can elaborate, but this is classic NPD behavior. I had to learn the hard way… Nearly destroyed me. It doesn’t matter what you do or say, he will always fault you.
    Run. Please. Don’t live through it like I did. Read about NPD… You will get all of the answers you need.

  • gina bindari

    Hi, I knew this one girl who I had known for about 16 years. She and I had basically been extremely close, but whenever she was with all of her friends she would turn her back on me. Me being not that bright in that regard would keep on talking to her and basically patch things up. I realized that whenever there was a popular person around her or someone who was a little better than me, she would ditch me and go hang out with her many “other” friends. I
    remember the senior year of high-school, my family went to her house for a Christmas Day lunch. She and I basically sat right next to each, with her ignoring and speaking to all of her cousins but me. She never even asked how I was, or where I was planning on going to school. A week later on New Year’s,she was hugging and smiling a guy whom we had known for many years, but never spoke to. I had at the very least said “Happy New Year,” but no. The guy who had noticed everything that had been going on kept on glancing between us wondering why we had never spoken to each other. This was like four years ago. A couple of months ago, she decided that she wants to message me like on Facebook and asks if we can meet, and we did and she and I started talking about life and everything. My mother and recently been in contact with her mother, and had been told that she had wanted to get this particular job, but she never did. I put two and two together and guessed that she must have been in a very low point in her life and that was why she decided that she had wanted to get into contact with me. Now, I realize that the friendship that the two of us have at the moment is platonic- she needs me for something-that’s it.