Friends and family are the only reason I’m alive today. I have a system of love and support who help me to achieve my dreams without ripping me down for trying to be me. But in opposition, there have been friends in my life who did the opposite, and tore me down, made me feel worthless, and stressed me out to the point that I couldn’t focus on anything. These are toxic friends, and I want to tell you, how to destroy them.
Now I want to make very clear what I am considering a toxic friend. It is someone who constantly tears you down, undermines your confidence, and makes you the butt of all their jokes. This isn’t good natured ribbing, this is the shit that you told them in confidence and they used against you. It’s shit that they have no right to tell other people, let alone make jokes about it. It’s the shit that you’re excited about and they act bitter and jealous about. When you confide in someone about your issues with an eating disorder, depression, or struggling with your sexuality, it’s because it is from a place of trust. It’s the people who have words that sting who are resentful and judgmental.
I was having a discussion with friends last night and we spoke on the topic of high school, and how we were subjected to jokes about our religion, ethnicities, gender, background, and looking back on them now, we would have reacted entirely different today. These weren’t random people either, they were people in our friend groups who took an uncomfortable chortle at a racist joke as a free pass to continue to do it. Looking back we realized that at that age the only thing your able to do is defend yourself with insults. The tools weren’t provided to us in school to stand up for ourselves in any way, shape, or form.
Yes, this is a jab at the public schools in the United States who fail to protect minority students. As adults we have the tools, the language, the facts, the figures, the experiences, to back up our arguments against offensive language. We reach that point completely on our own, or when we attended college. So when you face hateful situations you are able to rise up and defend yourself from ignorance. Never should you allow a “friend” to use hate language. Laughing at the jokes, is showing that you are fine with what they are saying.
There are so many situations from past friendships I could list as examples, but what you need to do to protect yourself is to analyze your friends. Are you hurt every time they speak to you because their words are always critical of you? Are you constantly thinking about your friend and are left feeling angry towards them? Are you trying your hardest to not spend time alone with them because it’s not enjoyable? Then you have a toxic friend.
I believe there is never a reason to continue to associate with shitty people. And there are in fact two solutions to burn the bridge between yourself and toxic friends. The first is the most fun, and that is listing all of the terrible things this person has said and done and completely dismantling them as a human being. I’m talking every awful thing you ever thought and never said can come bubbling out of you like molten hate that will obliterate any confidence they had. Don’t hold back, tell them how to change, and that you will not be associating with them. Have examples and reasons and stories that you remember that stuck with you and get everything off your chest.
But maybe don’t do this, because you could really fuck up someones emotional state. People who are rude and snide tend to have some shit going on and being the thing that knocks them off the edge of sanity may not be safe for mental health issues. Unless you know for a fact that their life is just fine and they really are just a miserable person, then go for it. It’s quite cathartic.
In reality, the healthiest way to rid yourself of toxic friends, is through the Fade Away. Respond to messages to hang out less, and less, don’t show up when you know they’ll be there and just fade yourself out. It’s safe, it’s easy, and technology allows you to hide yourself until you disappear. If you need to see exactly how that works, Garfunkel & Oates have a song to show you the way.
It is scientifically proven that people with fewer, but healthier friendships are happier and live longer than those with hundreds of friends. You don’t have to have a certain amount of friends to be happy. Your happiness is based on who surrounds you and makes you feel good about yourself. When you have trash people in your life, cut them out, set them on fire, and stomp them into ash. That new friend you made at work may be new, but if they’re kind and funny and support your passions, they are worth more than an old friend you’ve known for a decade who makes fun of things you like and doesn’t act supportive.
Take a step back and really look at your friends. Not everyone deserves to be in your life and you have the right to protect your emotional, mental, and physical state by cutting them out of your life. Stay strong, and remember that you are worthy, you are important, and you can fade the fuck away and never talk to that asshole ever again. Bitch, bye.