Saturday, 29 September 2018

Goodbye Toxic Friendships
Sometimes we let people into our life thinking they are good for us. They might have done us one good deed or helped us through some difficult decisions and now we feel indebted to them. Yes, they might have entered our lives in the guise of the hero/heroine.

Then one day, out of the blue, they unexpectedly upset us. We try to brush it off and soldier on with the friendship and find ourselves constantly having to ‘bear with’ the other person’s inability to be anything but insensitive to who we are. A friendship after all is a relationship even though not a romantic one and it is important for both partners to be respectful of the other and understanding rather than constantly trying to make the other person feel inadequate.

It has happened to me many times in various situations and phases of my life. I used to blame it on change of interests, goals or life situations that ultimately leave the friendship with nothing to bond over. However I then came to realize that some friends do remain and are always there to support and make you feel like a welcome part of their life even when they do not in fact have any hobbies or life situations that reflect your own. Whilst I am talking from my own point of view, I am also indirectly referring to the mirror image of the same friendship and therefore the other person’s viewpoint. After all, it has got to be two-way to work.

So I have come to the conclusion that when so-called friends are always too busy to keep in touch when I ask else not even try to make contact at all, it is maybe time to move on and let them be. In these cases, I rather they become happy memories from the past than chance their lack of interest turn to bitterness at the situation on my part.
In some cases, rather than fade into the distance, some people have gone the other extreme, openly blaming me for everything from declining a date with their brother to nursing my own problems when I was at a low point rather than trying to take on their own. Incidentally these are the friends who usually impose rather than suggest their own ideas and refuse to accept the person that I am. There was a time when I would have questioned my actions big and small, simply because I was being blamed for them. Now instead I have the guts to walk away from people who make always negative observations simply because I cannot fathom why they would even want to be friends if my character is all 'bad'.

So whether the friendship has lasted a year or two decades, it is always important to know and feel that it is a good and not bad aura that surrounds it. I only learnt the hard way that a friendship of twenty-two years was very easily undone through trying to share with said friend an article or event of interest to her on Facebook messenger, only to find myself blocked for not conforming to her 'norms'.

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