They say that when you graduate high school you’ll see who your true friends are. When I graduated, I thought I knew who was sticking by my side. I knew that the friendships of just casually hanging out once in a blue moon and my school only/sport only friendships would be history. However, I would’ve never thought that people who I have cried with, the people who I shared secrets with, the people who I would hit up for a midnight food run, the people that I imagined would one day be in my wedding, the people who I considered family, would eventually turn into the people I just awkwardly say “hey” to when passing them at the grocery store. I’m not saying that every single person this has happened with was toxic to me, sometimes people just drift apart, sad but true. But for some, time away from them made me realize some things I’ve never seen in them before.

At one point, I thought that these people were good people. Little did I ever realize, they weren’t good people, they just did some good things. Whenever they did mean things to me, I defended them with all the good they’d do for me. I was blinded by the negativity they would throw on me. They would yell at me if I was associated with someone they didn’t like and say that that person was changing me into a disgusting person, but they wouldn’t even know I was associated with them until a picture is posted of us together. They would insult me and the things I did, but then another day defend and compliment me. They would call me stupid and try to “mom” me because I apparently couldn’t take care of myself, but in reality, I just wasn’t as afraid of the world as they were. But then I would remember all the memories we shared, all the adventures we’ve taken on, and all the heart to hearts we had. I remembered the times I called them crying and they took care of me. I remembered all the deep personal things they’d tell me, and all the things they have been through. I cared about them, and when you care about somebody you ignore the negatives.

But when you leave, and the positive memories come to a pause, the negatives become more clear.

I began to see how one way of friendships they were. Yeah sure, they paid for a few things of mine, they comforted me on occasions, but that didn’t override all of the bad. You’re not supposed to belittle your friends. You’re not supposed to yell at them until they cry just because you disagree with something they’re doing. That isn’t “being the mom friend”, that’s being a bitch. A mom friend gets you a ride if you’re too drunk, or holds your hair back then makes you soup when you're sick, or acts as a therapist when you need one. It is not someone who acts as if they are above you and complains about the way you acted to others later on.

I don’t regret those friendships because they made me grow more of a backbone. I learned to stand up for myself and the choices I make. I learned to not let myself be taken advantage of. I learned that you can only sympathize people to an extent. I learned that you can not fix a person, the only ones who can help them is themselves.

Negativity is contagious - it’s toxic. The best way to be happy is to disconnect yourself from all the miserable people. Life can be amazing, but it is also short. Don’t just put up with people, embrace them or let them go.