Toxic friendships are something that almost everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Many times, everything wrong with the friendship isn't clear until it's over. Recently, I've been able to reflect on some former friendships to learn from them and prepare myself to deal with any that may still be lingering behind.
The first thing I realized once the friendships were ended was that I felt an overwhelming amount of relief. It was like a massive weight had just been lifted off of my shoulders. It had been there for so long that I began to think that the crushing feeling of it was normal.
Suddenly, I felt more secure in myself than I have in a while. The realization that what you were once afraid of is now obsolete is simply euphoric. I finally had a sense of freedom to do whatever I wanted without worrying about the judgments of others.
My so-called "friends" favorite activity was to make me feel insecure. Around them, I was second-guessing every word and action. In their eyes, nothing I did would ever be worthy of their approval. I constantly felt like I had to change myself in order for them to like me.
People who make you feel that way are not your friends.
They are people who need to bring others down in order to compensate for their own insecurity. And that's what they did. They constantly put me down in order to feel better about themselves, and it was sickening.
If this mirrors any experiences that you may be having, don't be afraid to save yourself. You do not need these people in your life. The longer you wait, the worse it will get and the more you will wish that you cut them off earlier.
Everyone deserves to be surrounded by supportive and uplifting friends, and if that's not what you're receiving from your current friendships, then it's probably time for you to move on.
It may seem daunting at first, but if someone is continually bringing you down, the best thing for you to do is to remove yourself from that situation.
From my experience, it's better to have no friends than toxic ones. Leaving those toxic friendships is what opens you up to more people and experiences. Since cutting ties, I have found some of the most genuine and nice people that I have ever met, and strengthened and improved my existing relationships as well.
You will find that there are much better people out there, all you have to do is look.