Mod S2S Mentor

Friendship is generally a good thing. Not all friendships are good. Sometimes friendships are not healthy for one or both people. This blog post isn't about recognizing toxic friends or how to exactly go about cutting them off but about how to handle letting go of a toxic friend. It can cause a lot of complicated feelings that are hard to work through.

 

You don't have to be happy about cutting someone off. Even if it's good for you it can still be hard. It's very likely that a toxic or unhealthy friendship wasn't all bad. You probably had fun with that friend sometimes. Sometimes a friendship that ends isn't even toxic but you just outgrew each other. It's natural to need some time to grieve the end of the friendship.

 

On the other hand you might not feel sad. This is also normal. You might have some feelings of guilt for not feeling bad. You don't have to feel bad for ending a friendship. You don't owe people your friendship and you don't owe toxic people your time. Sometimes the end of friendship is the most freeing thing possible. It's okay to not like toxic former friends. It's okay to be angry at the people who hurt you.

 

You probably aren't going to feel exactly one way or the other. It's most likely going to a lot of mixed emotions. Depending on how toxic the friendship was it might be more in the positive or negative direction.

 

Going back to toxic friends is almost always a bad idea. I can understand the appeal when they were one of your only friends or when you're lonely. It's not worth it. They will  very likely not have changed and become someone that you can have a healthy friendship with. When you feel tempted to go back remember that you cut them out of your life for a good reason.

 

They might try and become your friend again. They might be truly sorry and apologize. In some cases you might be able to have a healthy friendship if toxic behavior has truly been changed. That doesn't mean you have to be friends with them. Even if they're truly sorry and have changed their behavior. You don't have to be friends with that person. Them changing doesn't mean their past behavior never happened. It's okay to say no to being friends. You don't owe anyone your friendship. Sometimes you can't forgive someone because what they did caused too much pain. Sometimes even if you do forgive someone you don't want to be their friend and that's okay.

 

Whatever complicated feelings you have on the end of friendship are natural and valid. They can be positive or negative but will very likely be a mix. It's important to handle the negative emotions in a healthy way and to let yourself benefit from the positive ones. In the long run cutting out toxic friends is better for everyone involved even if it can cause complicated emotions. You don't need to have toxic people in your life. Surrounding yourself with positive people and removing the toxic ones is the right choice.

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Comments

  • How do I know if a friend is toxic? I had this ex friend that we share a best friend with. I "met" her from playing roblox with each other and video chatting. I never actually met her in person.
    She took offense to everything I said after we had a falling out and became friends again. I belive that she is jealous that I can see our shared bff in person and she can't. She isn't taking the proper covid precautions, while I am.
    Is she toxic? PM me if you need/want more details.
    • Sounds like it. It's okay to be jealous, everyone gets jealous, and I know if I were in her situation, I would be jealous, but I certainly wouldn't be giving you a hard time about it.

      I think one of the best ways to deal with her is to face the problems. Talk to her about them. It's not easy, but the fact that your friendship is primarily online might make it a little easier. You can start by saying "hey, I don't like it when you..." Try to use statements that don't imply that it's 100% her fault.

      You also need to stand up for yourself. If it's really hurting you, you need to let her know. Sometimes people don't realise that what they're doing is hurting someone. A lot of the time when someone's toxic, they won't take accountability, and they will blame you for their actions. A toxic person would say things like "I'm sorry you feel that way", "I think you're overreacting", "Can't you take a joke?" If she says anything like that, you should call her out on it. That is toxic and horrible.

      On the flip side, if she says something like "I'm sorry. I didn't realise that I was doing that. I'll try and be better/improve", then that's an apology where she takes accountability, which is a good apology. If you want, give her another chance, and if it doesn't stop, well, do whatever you think is best.

      Of course, you don't have to accept her apology whether it's genuine or not. You do what's best for you and you alone. Don't let her walk all over you.

      PM me if you want to ask any further questions!
      • Thank you! I tried to do that, but in the end, the friend that we shared had to step in and ask if it was an actual healthy relationship. And it really wasn’t, and I’m glad she stepped in. Me and that jealous ex friend are not friends anymore, and there are no signs that we are going to be any time soon.
        • That's good news. I know it may feel bad right now, but in the end you did what was best for you and your mental health, and that's a very brave thing to do <3
      • Mod S2S Mentor
        ^^^
        All this.
  • Hi! I have read your post, it is great! Thanks! I have a very toxic friendship but i just can't let go of it! Everytime I try to I always end up coming back one way or another! I always think that I overreacted or something! The thing is the friend in question and I have sooo much in commun! Plus I had some really good times with her! It was fine for a year, but now I feel myself wanting to be her friend again! I really need some advice!

    Thank you, Nora
    • If you’re comfortable, PM me some more info and I can try to help. That same is happening to me!
  • This is very very very helpful, thank you so much <3
    also your writing profile is a mood
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