Ending a Toxic Friendship

How to Dump a Toxic Friend - 29Secrets
Source: 29Secrets

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to end a friendship with someone I’d known for almost seven years.

This wasn’t a spontaneous decision. Granted, the decision came after an argument we had, but honestly, I’d been thinking about this for quite some time. About three years, to be more exact.

It’s crazy that I didn’t end it sooner. That I’d chosen to put up with this inadequacy for so long. I was led to believe that it was my fault, that I wasn’t pulling my weight and communicating effectively (as I know that I can be difficult to open up, to tell people how I feel). But really, I do feel that I’d tried, to communicate and to make it work out, but in the end, it was just never enough for them.

I sound like I’m playing the victim or being overly-sensitive. Maybe I am– I don’t know. But to realize that, countless and countless times over, that I was always at fault, and that they would never admit they were wrong and apologize (or apologize, but come up with a bad justification for it), well, it took a toll on me. To always criticize my opinions different from theirs as “constructive criticism” when in fact it was belittling. To also make plans many times for a lunch date or even a simple phone call to end up being flaked on (or adjusted to their preferred schedule), and to do favors for them that made me uncomfortable…I couldn’t take it anymore.

Ultimately, I chose to walk away There wasn’t complete closure: I just stopped talking to them, and I remove their contacts from my phone. If they were to reach out again, I would tell them that this friendship isn’t good for us and to leave me alone.

It’s funny, because even though I’m typing all of this out, the actual action of ending the friendship wasn’t so difficult. Yes, I feel bitter and sad, but I’m surprisingly not very angry at them. I think having gone through similar situations in the past (i.e. I’ve cut two people out of my life so far, including this “friend”), it toughens you up and makes you realize that there’s no time to waste with people who don’t make you happy. It’s all part of the growing up process, I guess.

Yes, we had good times filled with happiness and laughter. But unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to excuse the inadequacy and invalidation I received from them a lot of the other times. I don’t believe they are inherently a bad person, but I do believe they have a lot of internal issues to deal with before they get into friendships– especially sustainable ones.

So this is my post as means of catharsis, to finally let go of a friendship that never really was. Goodbye, N. I’m done.

— The Finicky Cynic

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9 thoughts on “Ending a Toxic Friendship

  1. I eventually did but I’m In grieving phase and trying to stand my ground protect my peace as the friend spews hurtful things because I decided to walk away

    1. rebbit7

      I feel you; it’s devastatingly painful. It’ll take time, but slowly, you’ll have the strength to carry on. Take your time!

  2. I think we all have that story. Sometimes, while becoming friends, enjoying doing things together (In my case, going fishing, camping, etc.), we overlook what we don’t like in the other. However, with time, those things become clearer, sometimes to the point we no longer want to hang out anymore. One former “good” friend I had changed over time (and I suppose I did too.), though we spent a lot of off the clock hours fishing, shooting, games, and what not. We just didn’t see eye to eye with time. And that’s okay.

    1. rebbit7

      Exactly! Many of my ex-friendships started with mutual interests, only to have for them to change over time. It’s a combination of changing interests and changing personalities which can cause rifts to form. And the longer you get to know someone, the more you see their reactions to good and bad situations, which might not mesh with how you react to them. Ideally, letting friendships take their course and die out naturally is the way to go, but sadly, it’s not the case. But as long as you retain your dignity and learn from that process for future friendships, that’s the important thing.

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