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Toxic Friendships February 5, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Friends, Hubby, Random Thoughts, Relationships.
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Toxic

  1. Of, relating to, or caused by a toxin or other poison
  2. Capable of causing injury or death, poisonous

Friendship

  1. The quality or condition of being friends.
  2. A friendly relationship
  3. Friendliness; good will

Hardly seems right for the two words to go together does it?

Toxic (poison) + Friendship (condition of being friends) = Dangerous relationship

We have found ourselves over the past few years somehow involved in some toxic friendships. Last year I had occasion to disagree with one of these couples over a particular issue and have not been forgiven. After the initial disagreement I was then apparently meant to just take being abused both in person and over the phone, being bad mouthed all over town, being kicked off courses, having complaints made about me, being glared at, ignored, spoken to rudely, lied to and falsely accused of numerous things for the next six months, on the chin.

Oh and did I mention that I’m meant to agree that they never did anything wrong and it’s all my fault because how dare I disagree with them after all they’ve done for me?

Now there’s a couple of things about friendships that I thought were universals truths.

  • Friends don’t keep score.
  • Friends can disagree or even argue without the relationship necessitating being finished.
  • People change over time and that’s OK.

Friends display loyalty and feel a sense of obligation towards each other , sure I can accept that. If you are my friend and get involved in my life you can even expect that. You can also expect that I will get involved in your life and try to support you in the things that you are going through. But if you decide to be my friend and support me in my life you do not get to sit there and rattle off a list of things that you have done for me during the course of our friendship in an attempt to guilt me in to seeing things your way if your actions/opinions/beliefs compromise my own morals and convictions. That is not reasoning, that is manipulation.

Friendship involves relationships between different people. It’s nice to hang around people who think like I do, but it’s also refreshing to be around people who have other view points too. Differences between people ensure that there will be disagreement from time to time and that’s OK. Friends don’t always have to agree as long as they can agree to disagree. Disagreements, and even periods of anger do not necessarily mean that a friendship is over, it just means that things got a bit heated and that both people need some cooling off space and time.

People are, by nature, changeable. We are constantly learning, growing, changing and adapting. Our lives are constantly moving through different stages and cycles. Friendships can wax and wane as this happens. Often friends will find themselves in different seasons to each other and gravitate towards other people in a similar one. Like attracts like and all that. This too is OK.

But not according to our toxic friends. We are meant to stay the same, be blindly loyal, always agree and always compromise because of everything they have ever done for us. My universal truths don’t seem to work when only when party knows them.
Toxic

  1. Of, relating to, or caused by a toxin or other poison
  2. Capable of causing injury or death, poisonous

I think this friendship is well and truly dead.

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Comments

1. Casdok - February 5, 2008

No the words toxic and friends dont go together.

2. Ian - February 6, 2008

I agree with Casdok. Once “toxic” is in there, its “former friends”. I can’t believe how strong their grudge against you must be, or how poisonous the behaviour towards you. Just staggering!

(Mind you, I went to a school reunion a few years ago, and there were apparently people who declined to go because so-and-so was going to be there – their enemy at school. I don’t get how some people hold onto grudges so long and so strongly).

3. FreeFromItAll - February 6, 2008

You said what I have been thinking for MONTHS!

4. Anja - February 6, 2008

*hugs*

You don’t need this! You don’t deserve this! Cut this dead wood from your life.

Take care.

5. widdleshamrock - February 6, 2008

Hugs and luffs to you B.

That must really hurt that things have turned this way.

6. Gemisht - February 6, 2008

Wow, great post. And more power to you for realising that the friendship is dead. As hard as these things are to do, at the end of the day it is healthier for you to remove this *friend* than it is to carry on the way it has been.

7. frogpondsrock - February 6, 2008

Friends hold your hair out of the way when you are spewing..

cheers kim..

8. magneto bold too - February 6, 2008

I cut these people from my life long ago. At first I lamented the lost friendships and now I realise my life is much happier without them.

Sorry you have to go through this babe. But you know that you are the better person.

Hugs.

9. Marita - February 6, 2008

Beautifully put.

I’m learning to put those friendships aside now, my family is more important than anything else to me.

10. Bettina - February 6, 2008

Yes, I’d really been enjoying the past six months without them trying to tell me what to think or do or their endless lists of complaints and grievences. Unfortunately if I want to continue in a particular activity of mine & simply because we live in a small country town, I am going to find myself having to deal with them from time to time.

Now I can do superficial. I have no problem with that, I just hope that they don’t mistake my willingness to be polite to anyone as a sign that things can go back to the way they were. I don’t want these people back in my life and they aren’t going to like it if I have to spell that out for them.

I am not lamenting the end of the friendship any longer. We did for a while. It’s hard to watch people you are close to self destruct and become mockeries of their former selves. The past few years we’ve watched them go from involved to controlling, concerned to paranoid, passionate to obsessive, stubborn to grudgeful and forthright to vindicitive. But then at times I wonder if they were always that way and we just didn’t realise it till it was too late. Who knows

I was just in a mood to write about it last night after having it confirmed to me yet again exactly why we chose to cut off contact with these people and how much better off we are with them out of our lives.

Thank you all very much for your support and kind words. I ❤ you all!

11. picklebums - February 7, 2008

I am always amazed at how much hurt a ‘friend’ can cause…

12. Jayne - February 7, 2008

It’s amazing how some people think they can walk all over others they call “friend”.
Just laugh at any further tantrums they pull…nothing pisses idiots off more than being laughed at by the person/people they’re trying to irritate the shyte out of bait/control. And laugh whenever someone else mentions them.
Your life is all the more fuller without them cluttering it 😉

13. scrappydo - February 8, 2008

Okaaaay… this could be me writing about my SIL and our relationship that has gone down the tubes. Totally agree with you on all accounts. Refreshing to find it out there so eloquently for me 🙂

14. Tiffany - February 8, 2008

I have had a couple of those relationships. They totally suck.
Are you in a small town? It’s sounds like you live in a tiny community like me.

15. Talia - February 9, 2008

I hope you can get out of your toxic friendships without it hurting too much. I find that relationships like this often ‘sneak up on you’, like someone making the neck hole of your t-shirt smaller and you don’t notice. It REALLY hurts to get out…


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