Do you ever worry you’re being a bad friend?
It’s something I worry over from time to time, when I let life catch me up in the hurriedness that I sometimes forget to call, text or get coffee with friends-just being present with them. I think for that reason I have allowed a toxic friend to seep junk into my life.
You may be like me and worry that dissolving a friendship, or setting up very distant boundaries with someone means you’re a bad friend. But recently I have seen that these toxic or one-way friendships mean you aren’t being a good friend to yourself first. You are allowing the influences of the actions (or assumptions of actions) of another to damage your well-being. We warn pre-teens about not giving in to peer pressure, but here we are alot of times allowing one-way friendships to pervade our hearts and lives.
Let me shoot straight with y’all. Not every friendship is going to be warm and fuzzy all the time. You’re going to disagree with them, they will get mad at something you said…but they are there when you need support and encouragement on the hard days. Just as you are there for them when they need it as well. (Because we don’t need to be one-way friends to people either) Some friends are in our lives for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime. I am finding the lifetime friends are fewer in number but so much sweeter.
My problem is for the last few years I have tried to make a toxic, one-way friendship that should have been for a season into a lifetime friendship. I kept fighting for this person to be there for me, opening the door for them and somehow they were able to taint areas of life and leave behind hurt. There comes a point where you have to realize you are choosing this and relinquish it. You have to let them go-either with distance and time, or with truth spoken into their life. Maybe they don’t realize it. Maybe our assumptions about the friendship are unrealistic.
But be a friend to yourself, and to them, by being truthful. It may be difficult and it may end up costing you someone in your life. Ultimately you have to be honest with yourself about your relationships, whether they are healthy for you and how they are affecting you. Toxic, one-way friendships aren’t worth the long-term hurt you both will endure.