Dealing with toxic behaviour
Whether in a friendship or relationship, sometimes you have to cut ties
Written by Kat O'Connor
Voices - Experiences
Young people share their personal experiences.
During our time on this planet we will meet a tonne of different people, from the local postman to Ryan Gosling (a girl can dream). As we grow up our friendship circles tend to change. It’s a completely normal thing to go through, but that doesn’t mean it’s not scary. Back in first class you thought the kids you played hopscotch with would be your friends for life, but now they may just be acquaintances that like your new Facebook status every now and again. As time goes by we lose friends, we fight with friends, we grow apart from friends and unfortunately some friends turn toxic.
Toxic friendships can have a massive negative impact on you. A toxic friend has a number of bad traits such as discrediting you, they’re judgmental and gossip a lot, they’re unsupportive and overall extremely nasty and negative. Toxic friends can make you feel low and self conscious, they make you feel worthless and useless, but you cannot let them win. It’s hard to let go of friends, especially if you’ve been friends since the primary school days, where you shared your Crayola colouring pencils with them during art and craft time on a Friday. But you need to put yourself first, especially when you are being treated poorly by someone that’s meant to be your friend.
Cutting a friend out of your life is so tough, but it’s necessary when that friend is making you feel like dirt on the bottom of their shoe. Friends are supposed to empower you, they’re supposed to make you laugh until your sides hurt, they’re supposed to make you smile like the Cheshire Cat, they’re supposed to boost your confidence, they’re supposed to support you no matter how crazy your dreams are and toxic friends do the exact opposite. It will hurt and it will be stressful, but you have to break away from toxic friendships and surround yourself with positive, caring friends.
Build up the courage and step away from the toxic friendships. Don’t give toxic people the power to wipe away your smile and to darken your days. Taking the power away from them is such a fulfilling feeling. Stay with the positive, happy friends that you can be 100% you around. One of the greatest things we will learn in life is that having real friends is more important than having tonnes of friends. Once you figure out what friendship really means you will be free from the toxic people that do nothing but drag you down. It’s a tough lesson, but it certainly is one of the best I’ve ever learned.
“Friendship is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you haven’t really learned anything.” – Muhammad Ali.