My Lifetime Results
After extensive sessions with my therapist, sorting through the past 20+ years of emotional, physical, and mental abuse from my family, friends, and coworkers, we’ve come to the conclusion that, I have a knack for making friends who are toxic to my life. Somehow, I attract friends who want to and think that they can take an advantage of me without suffering consequences of their own. Many of the friends that have been toxic friends are out of my life now and I can see how their influence has changed and warped my sense of being a friend. It’s truly painful to see it so clearly but I am thankful because now, I can see it better in reality and stop it before it happens. At least, during the rest of my humble lifetime.
According to the Friendship Rubric, I’m a great friend… and that’s the problem.
Signs of a Toxic Friend
Most toxic friends start out as people you want to be around because you feel that you have a connection. For the three worst ones in my life, I’ll name them P, Q, and R. It’s easier to tell the symptoms based off randomly chosen letters.
P started off as a friend introduced to me by another. Ambitious and smart, P worked her way into my life and convinced me that we could make waves together in our field. It took me a while to realize that P was paying her monthly rent in LA with money from her mother in another country. P, also, had an allowance from her family that she spent on clothes and accessories she believed she needed. P’s luxurious life was funded by a hardworking family and when stuff happened to her, P always accused me of victimizing her or being racist against her. She made me feel inadequate, ugly, and like she was saving me from a worser fate. P’s manipulation ran deep and, the best way she got rid of me was to accuse me of many faults I had committed against her so that she could take from me and never have to give back. It took me a while to realize what had happened but, at the end of it all, I was thankful P was gone.
Q and I met through friends. We had similar interests and worked hard on ideas and stuff together. As much as Q wanted to support me in my endeavors, I spent most of the time supporting her and her constant complaints of depression and anger. I did help Q a lot by buying food and supplies she would need and would not have the funds for right away. Q, at least, worked hard to earn her own money, but that money fell short almost every other month. I thought I had to work hard to keep her fed. In the end, after I let that friendship go after a very strange misunderstanding about her not being the center of my universe, Q had sapped up close to a quarter of my monthly paychecks from work. It went into feeding, transporting, and buying stuff for Q. She has tried to rekindle the friendship but I refuse to return to my life of servitude with her.
R was, by far, the scariest of them all. Having groomed and manipulated me into believing that I needed her more than she needed me, she fed off my insecurities and pushed me to do more for her than she ever did for me. It started as a work relationship that turned into some lunches and then trips out together. A party girl with a knack for getting things her way, R was careful as she worked me into her life and plans, before consuming all of my time and efforts. For me, I just wanted to hang out with a friend. For her, she wanted to explore her hidden talents and pleasures at the cost of my talent, time, and efforts. After sapping me dry, she took on friends I had made, who realized this about her and put her in her place. R eventually stopped talking to me after she had made empty promises and delivered no results to me. After a year of ignoring me, she apologized and told me she would be there if I needed her. … Yeah. Never going to happen again.
As it is, I have new friends in my life and that’s a blessing God gave humans; the ability to make good friends no matter how many bad ones you find or find you. Life is precious, beautiful, and filled with mysteries of good intentions. If you’re suffering from a great weight or trying to get away from someone who calls you “friend”, then something’s wrong. Please don’t continue that friendship and get away from that person as soon as possible. Life is what you make of it!