Hello and welcome to my first post of 2020!
I hope your year has got off to a good start. Mine has been extremely busy so far, but I like it that way! I’ve got lots of ideas about blog posts I want to write this year, so expect much more consistent content from now on (hopefully!).
Some of you may notice my blog looking a little differently, and that’s because Feelings of a Fake Adult has had a bit of a revamp! I now have a brand spanking new domain and layout – new year, new blog – am I right?
As there have been a few new viewers to the blog recently, I thought I’d briefly reintroduce myself – my name is Bekka, I’m a 23 year old from the UK, and I live with my girlfriend of three years and my cat. I originally started this blog last year after graduating university a few months prior, feeling a little lost in life (still do), not really knowing what I should be doing with my time now that my many years in education was finally over. I felt lost and inexperienced in the big, scary adult world, and hence, Feelings of a Fake Adult was born.
Now on to the main topic of this blog post – friendships. Personally I think good friendships are so important to have in life. Without them school would have been unbearable, uni wouldn’t have been so enjoyable, and work would drag. I find it hard to make friends sometimes; I can be quite shy and reserved, and it takes a lot of patience to coax me out of my shell. But once I’m comfortable around you, you can’t shut me up!
My friends mean a lot to me, but like a lot of things, some friendships don’t last forever. And that’s absolutely fine, friendships can end for perfectly understandable reasons. They can end due to physical distance, or both of you growing up and becoming different people with different interests. Friendships fade, but that doesn’t take away how meaningful they were to you at a certain point in your life. However, an ending of a friendship isn’t always amicable. Sometimes a friend who used to be really kind to you can completely change, and you’re left wondering what happened to the good old days when you were glued at the hip.
Toxic romantic relationships are talked about often, about how you should get out of them if they become no good for you anymore, but what about friendships? I think they can be as equally emotionally draining or damaging. Just like it’s okay to break up with a partner, it’s okay to terminate a friendship that makes you miserable. I’ve put together a list of 9 types of toxic friendships it might be time to leave behind this year. This list is inspired by my own personal experiences, as well as from my family and friends’ experiences.
1. The friend who always takes but never gives. You’re the emotional crutch they’ll lean on when they’re having a bad day, but when you need someone to talk to? They’re not interested. It’s all about them or nothing.
2. The friend who constantly puts you down. They never have a nice thing to say about you to the point you’re afraid to open your mouth for fear of being made to feel small, embarrassed or belittled. There comes a line past ‘banter’ this friend crosses with cruel digs and hurtful comments. Their constant criticism of you is exhausting.
3. The friend who drops you when someone ‘better’ comes along. Who knows why they do this? You’re getting along absolutely fine and it’s all smiles until someone prettier, smarter or more popular comes along and they drop the act and pretend you don’t exist. No one deserves that sort of treatment.
4. The friend who doesn’t make you feel like a good person. This is the friend with pretty questionable morals. You might think it’s better to just fake laugh along with their racist or homophobic comments for an easy life, but honestly you’re better off alone than having that friend in your life.
5. The friend who makes 0 effort 100% of the time. This is the completely one-sided friendship where you’re making all the plans to meet up, and they keep canceling and never come up with an alternative date to get together. Basically, they’re unreliable, and they make you feel like they couldn’t care less about you.
6. The unsupportive friend. Instead of cheering you on and being happy for you for your achievements, they try and drag you down with negative comments that make you feel stupid and unaccomplished, normally on par with how they are feeling about themselves. No one wants an unsupportive friend, so don’t put up with one.
7. The emotionally manipulative friend. Nothing will ever be their fault. If you dare to call them out for questionable or hurtful behaviour, instead of an apology they will without doubt twist your words around to turn themselves into the victim in front of the crowd. These individuals make you question the fairness and validity of your normal feelings with gaslighting behaviours; don’t let them control your emotions with their insecurities.
8. The controlling friend. The friend who makes you feel guilty for being friends with or hanging out with anyone else, and will make you feel like an absolute traitor when you do. A little jealousy is normal, but constant guilt-tripping and anger at you for wanting to have more than one friend is not, and your friend needs to learn this.
9. The friend who’s a bad influence. No one is completely perfect or squeaky clean, but maybe you feel like your friend is dragging you a little too deeply into the ‘wrong crowd.’ My advice would be while it’s a great to feel wanted in a group and live on the edge a little at times, sometimes a step too far in the wrong direction can have unfortunate consequences. Don’t lose yourself just to fit in.
You might have read this list and now be thinking about which of your own friends fit into these categories. The truth is that friends can drift into these categories temporarily, but that doesn’t mean they’re toxic people. Friends make mistakes sometimes and that’s okay as long as you can call them out on their actions and they’re open to recognising their potential wrongdoings. More often than not, communication and honesty will help maintain a good, healthy relationship. I am by no means a perfect person; I can definitely place myself in some of the above categories at different times in my life. I’m almost certain that I’ve been unreliable, jealous or distant at times. It’s when a friend is continuously letting you down with questionable behaviours that I would begin to seriously consider whether that person is truly a friend or someone who just causes you misery.
People can react in different ways in certain circumstances, meaning someone may be acting in a toxic manner because of a situation they are dealing with. Sometimes friends act out as a cry for help. It’s up to you to judge whether this is just a one off or you are continuously being used or manipulated for someone else’s gain. Recurring toxicity and negativity is not what a friendship should ever be based on.
Luckily I have some amazing friends around me right now, whom are kind, generous and supportive. Healthy friendships should be based on trust, understanding and loyalty. Just make sure the love and effort you are putting into a friendship is reciprocated. And if you feel like it’s not, don’t feel guilty for letting go. Sometimes you have to put your own happiness first, no matter how many memories or experiences you might share with someone. Ultimately, be happy, surround yourself with those you can rely on, and don’t put up with people who make you feel like crap.
I hope you enjoyed this post, I appreciate it was a deep one, but it’s something I feel passionate about! Are there any more types of toxic friendships I might have missed out? Please let me know.
See you next time,