Everyone’s had at least one in their life. Every year I think I must have reached my quota (but I am always proved wrong). Toxic friends are an unfortunately common part of growing up. And no, people don’t grow up when you get to uni. Haha.
Sometimes I think the idea of toxic people is distorted a little bit, into bad friendships and argumentative relationships. But toxic friendships don’t have to be out-and-out malicious. They can progress in an insidious way, becoming emotionally manipulative. You may not even initially be aware that you have a toxic friend.
In my experience, these kinds of friendships are incredibly inequal. They expect so much from you in terms of emotional work, acceptance, support and effort, but give you the bare minimum in return.
You aren’t allowed to have fun without them, you aren’t allowed to show any symptoms of your mental illness, you aren’t allowed to celebrate your achievements or talk about things that are bothering you for too long without it becoming about them. Everything has to be about them. They’re deceitful, show different sides of themselves to different people, and always have to be the most important person in the room.
This isn’t meant to insinuate that all friendships that are less than Perfect™ are inherently toxic or bad. But quite often such friendships can have a terribly detrimental effect on you.
It isn’t your fault though. Some people are just like that. It’s shite but there’s not really anything you can do. Just look after your mental wellbeing and try to distance yourself from them.
I’m lucky in that I have other great friends and I’m doing okay. I’m pretty happy with the friends I have now. They’re supportive and kind, and I know they have my back. You don’t need to deal with horrible friends. You’re worth more than that, and so am I.