The Friend Detox
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You’ve heard of detoxes. To rid the body of toxins, celebrity-endorsed juice cleanses, and other methods have become extremely popular. They increase energy, rejuvenate skin, and improve overall health. Here’s a guide to what I’ll call a friend detox -- to cleanse your life of the people dragging you down.

The first step in getting out of a toxic friendship is realizing you’re in one.

Being taken advantage of can be hard to notice. If you constantly find yourself giving 100 percent and not receiving anything in return, there’s an issue. Listening intently, checking in, and being generally supportive are just a few of the duties expected of friends, but enough is enough. A conversation or social encounter with someone you love should not leave you emotionally drained and mentally exhausted.

As a generally extroverted person, I’ve always taken great pride in being a good friend. However, this quality has left me feeling stuck to people who simply didn’t appreciate how much of myself I was pouring into the relationship. I know that I’m not perfect, but it’s not hard to see when the ratio of giving to getting in relationships is seriously skewed. When we can’t do something for ourselves or solve a problem on our own, the universe makes up for it by tossing someone who can into our lives. If we were made to be able to take care of ourselves completely alone, then there would be no need for friends or family. This being said, some people don’t know how to reciprocate or even show gratitude for your efforts.

Once you’ve got a grasp on the reality of the friendship, the challenge begins.

They say not to be so quick to burn bridges, but if it’s not leading you anywhere positive, light the match. Learning to say “no” to those who take too much will truly set you free. The overwhelming need to people-please and fear of disappointing people has been pushing good hearts to their limits since the beginning of time. By slowly cutting back on communication and establishing boundaries, you’ll start feeling liberated and at peace. This may offend or upset the person you’re withdrawing from in your life, but there’s no shame in telling them the truth. Your mental health and happiness should always come first on your list of priorities.

Eliminating the toxic buildup from depleting friendships will ultimately restore your confidence and lead to even stronger bonds in the healthy relationships in your life. Realizing the influence of the love you give will fortify your future expectations of the love you should receive.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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