This post started life as “we all have that one friend…” until I started to think about that one friend and realised there was more than one of them. More than one type of person who fits the bill, who has been in your life, probably for a while, maybe as part of a group of friends and you never questioned them being your friend or even remember how they moved into that category.
They are selfish, they make you feel like you’re not good enough and they cause you to question yourself, which can be the tin opener to a whole unhealthy can of worms. They plod along in your life and one day, when you’re talking to them or a text pings, you have this horrible feeling that they are not who you thought they were. Maybe you shrug it off, keep going with the friendship and it peters out. Maybe it hits a crisis point and you have it out with them, or, rather you confront them about some situation that’s come about like you poke at a blackhead, when really it’s the scheisse under the surface you really want to squeeze out.
But what if all this isn’t their issue, it’s yours? The way they treat you is how you’re allowing yourself to be treated, what you think they think of you is how you think of yourself sometimes. It’s all projections, reflections, deflections. And to think about it that much is exhausting. So maybe you just let those friendships be how they will, play out how they must and become part of the connections to ebb and flow into your life. Maybe they form part of the fabric of your life and you can’t see their pattern until later. Chances are, sometimes you’re that friend too. So don’t let someone take you for a fool, but at the same time it’s ok to look back and realise it happened. Because you wanted to see the good in someone, you gave them the benefit of the doubt, you didn’t question if they were genuine Does it mean they were a bad friend? Not necessarily. Maybe they’ll look back and regret how they treated you, how they acted. Or maybe they have no idea they even kept you awake – I imagine that’s part of the joy of being truly selfish. This does not mean I don’t think I’m selfish, obviously I am, everyone is, just the degree varies. But some people are truly blessed to live in that bubble where only they are important and others fit in around them. Most of us popped the bubble after infanthood – even my four year old cares how other people feel.
But those friendships, toxic as you later realise, exist in some way to make you a different person. Not always better, or more mature or rounded. Sometimes they make you bitter, spiteful and closed-off, but hopefully only not forever. Either the person crosses your mind one day and you realise you’ve let it go or you have to force yourself to heal that scab that you keep picking, going over and over words, deeds, silence and emotions that do not contribute positively to your life. All this is part of life I suppose; I have only learned one lesson, which may or may not be helpful to my future self or others. And that is not to give someone else that power over you that you hate them, or harbour negative emotions towards them, not for a prolonged period of time. It simply takes up space in your life which could be used up by more beautiful and precious people and experiences. So goodbye friend, I let you go. Sorry it looks like you may have been a bit of an ahole the whole time – who knew – not me.