I don’t know who needs to hear this right now, but that friend is bad for you and you need to let them go.
I think we’ve all probably been there to some extent or another. Dealing with a ‘friend’ who is either a bad influence, or who makes mean comments, or who invalidates your feelings and opinions. Or maybe you’ve dealt with all three of those things with the same person.
Some people just aren’t meant to be a part of your life. Just like you’re probably not meant to be a part of someone else’s life. Or hey, maybe someone is meant to be a part of your life for a brief period of time so that you can learn a lesson. Once that lesson is learned however, it’s time to cut the ties.
Within the last year I became very close with a new friend, we’ll call her Beth. Beth was very personable and charming, she could talk to new people with ease and was very open with people. She had a way of immediately making you feel like she was confiding in you and trusting you with her problems. She would laugh at things you said and bring you little things like a soda or a bag of chips when she saw you.
She was super fricken friendly.
And because of that to this day I still struggle between deciding if she really was a sociopath or if I’m just batsh*t crazy.
We had a lot of fun together and laughed a lot together. Which is probably why I ignored so many red flags along the way. And there were so many red flags.
For one, the way we first became friends was with her “confiding” in me about this drama she was experiencing with her friend at the time. She was constantly telling me stories about how this friend of hers was being mean to her, how she would snap at her for no reason, how she stopped inviting Beth to group hangouts with their mutual friends. Basically this girl, let’s call her Kate, was painted as the antichrist. From Beth’s point-of-view she had done everything she could to try and patch things up with Kate. Beth reached out, she tried to communicate, she tried to apologize, and Kate would just be really mean back.
Looking back I realize that throughout my friendship with Beth, in fact, she always seemed to be having some sort of drama with some friend. Red flag. And – I cannot think of a single instance where Beth ever admitted to being the one in the wrong during all of these issues with friends. Red flag.
And an even bigger red flag? All the while she was dissing these girls to me, she would be posting positively about them on social media. To me she would say things like, “literally everyone hated her,” and then she would cut to her socials and be all “omg spending the day with my bff!”
(No really, she called people her ‘bff.’ – I know, another red flag in and of itself.)
Beth was also really sensitive. And I mean really sensitive. I’m okay with a little sensitivity, the last thing I want to do is say something that hurts a friends feelings. But she was sensitive to the point where you really couldn’t guess what would upset her. Red flag. She would take differing opinions on seemingly trivial topics as a personal attack. You liked a different US state better than her? You were putting her down. If you tried her drink and didn’t like it, you might as well have just slapped her in the face. You weren’t allowed to disagree with her. Major. Red. Flag. I don’t know about you but I’m not really too into the idea of a friendship where you’re never allowed to disagree with the other person. Differing opinions and thoughts lead to growth.
She expected me to reach out to her through snap or text every single day (if I missed a day it was a personal attack). Half the time she wouldn’t even respond to me. And, on multiple occasions she talked about how annoying a snap or text was from another friend of hers and how she wasn’t going to respond to “stupid things.” Keep in mind, however, if you didn’t respond to something of hers it was – you guessed it – a personal attack. Hey look! Another red flag.
Let’s speed this along.
I’m not kidding when I say I could go on with stories about this friendship for pages and pages. But for the sake of this post, I’m going to try and wrap things up. Turns out Beth was talking trash about me to a new friend she was making in the same way she had been talking down about Kate to me when we first met. (Again, all the while posting positively about me on social media. On Facebook we were “bffs.”) Beth would bring up small comments I had made literally 6 months prior (again about little things like differing opinions on college or travel or food) and tell her new friend that I had been personally attacking her and speaking down to her.
In an effort to patch things up I tried to communicate with her and ended up apologizing multiple times through text for hurting her feelings with those past comments. (Again, none of them being personal to her at all.) The next time I saw her in person, she told me I had never apologized.
It felt like being hit by a semi-truck.
It was the first time where things really started adding up for me. No matter what I did, Beth just wanted to have some sort of drama occurring in her life. She thrived on it. She was never wrong about any problem she had with any friend, she viewed differing opinions as personal attacks all the while making personal attacks back to people when she would argue with them.
I later found out that certain things she had told me about herself in the beginning of our friendship she had lied about because she was trying to ‘match’ what she thought I ‘wanted’ her to say and be.
I could go on with specific stories but I feel like I’ve captured the gist of the friendship. Maybe I’ll make a part 2 later. (Maybe not). Long story short I removed her from all of my social media and cut contact. And that was 100% the right move.
(Also as a side note – I ended up meeting Kate later after cutting ties with Beth and she was nothing like Beth had described to me in the beginning of our friendship.)
So should you cut ties too? Here are some signs you should break up with your toxic friend:
- Things are never their fault
- They diss their other friends in conversations with you
- **They diss their other friends in conversations with you AND post positively about those friends on social media at the same time
- They cover up subtle digs at you as jokes to laugh about
- They hold things over you that you didn’t even realize were problems
- They ignore your apologies
- **They never apologize
- They view differing opinions as a personal attack
- They hold you to impossible standards
- **And they don’t hold themselves to those same standards
- In group settings they hold you responsible for the comments of every person there
- Their stories and opinions on things change based on who they are talking to
- You find yourself lending an ear to all of their problems but when you have something you want to get off your chest you feel like they’re disinterested
- They invalidate your thoughts and opinions
- They always seem to have a problem with someone at all times
Hey – you deserve better than that. Be careful not to let someone treat you that way in a friendship, and also take care not to treat others that way in friendships.
Lesson learned: you never truly know someone until they show you who they are. And once someone shows you who they are, believe them.
Be careful with who you open up to because not everyone is on your team – even if they say they are. Hold tight to the people who have shown you that they truly support you. And hold tight to the people that value honest and open communication when there’s a problem. When you have an argument or disagreement with a friend about something, the goal should never be to *win* the argument. The goal should be to resolve the argument and come to a mutual agreement.
— a twenty something