How I Realized You Can’t Befriend Everyone
By Beren Sabuncu
I love people, and it is based on my personal experience that everyone can teach you something you didn’t know before. So, I am by nature very friendly, and it has paid off for me tremendously; I have great memories to look back on and great love both for and from my friends. I have very rarely met someone and completely disliked them. Actually, I can’t think of anyone I utterly dislike other than my ex-friend A. (her full name shall remain anonymous for obvious reasons). Now, A. seemed completely harmless and lots of fun to hang out with. We hit it off right away, and talked about movies, books, things we liked to do and life in general. She also laughed and joked a lot which is something I find very charming in a friend. As we got closer, however, her charming qualities made me overlook her negative qualities, and I realized she had quite a few that I didn’t really like.
She gossiped a lot, which is something I’m not very fond of, as I feel it’s not bettering me in any way, and she was also a pessimist. Her pessimism not only affected my outlook on life, but it also affected my mood. Her eating habits were very unhealthy as well, and although one should be in charge of their own eating habits, those you surround yourself with rub off on you; I had started eating fast-food with her almost everyday. Her unhealthy lifestyle changed me spiritually too, as we had been friends for a long time by then. My sleeping schedule was off, I was eating greasy food everyday, didn’t have anything better to do but to gossip and didn’t think my life was going anywhere. I had dreams and ambitions of course, but what was the point of it anyway? She oozed pessimism disguised as realism that would alter your perception of reality, making you feel as though the world was a place where nothing was possible. I didn’t like her energy, but I couldn’t really bring myself to say it because we had many memories, and they weren’t all bad! That is, until she decided to talk about me behind my back. Everywhere I went I would hear rumors about me, bad ones that costed me friends and made me new enemies. I forgave her several times over many years and yet she did the same thing over and over again, proving that you can never trust a toxic friend.
Getting her out of my life has quite literally improved it in every way possible, and getting rid of your toxic friend will too. There are many tells of a toxic friend, but the most apparent one is that you feel emotionally drained after hanging out with them. Trust your intuition; if your soul is feeling tired or you have this general sense of negativeness after hanging out with a certain someone, they might possibly be a toxic friend. A toxic friend also makes you feel like they’re using you for your resources. Paying for dinner is not that big of a problem, but if you’re funding them all the time, how can you ever be sure they’re genuinely your friend? Additionally, everyone is warning you about them, saying that they’re talking bad about you behind your back. A friend that is smiling at you but saying horrible things behind your back is not really someone you’d want on your team. Also, because of this very reason, you feel like the secrets you give them aren’t safe. A true friend should be your confidante, not a double agent. Another sign of their toxicity is that they make you feel as though they don’t really like you. This, in turn, makes you feel unlikable, because it leads you to think, Why would anyone like me if my friends don’t? There are also toxic friends with insecurities that try to one-up you or look down upon you. For some people, self-confidence is achieved through belittling other people’s accomplishments. For your sake, avoid those people, and avoid the people who make you feel hopeless about the future just because they have a negative outlook on their own life; the world is truly yours for the taking, and they are not really bettering you in any way. In my experience, surrounding yourself with positive people with bright energies is a magical thing.
The world can be a hard place sometimes; just watch the news. I don’t know about you, but I prefer uplifting friends that can challenge me intellectually and better me as a person over ones who don’t. My best friend, who I refer to as my sister, is a perfect example. She challenges, motivates, and loves me. Her friendship has bettered me in every way and if it weren’t for her, I never could’ve have realized why A. was such a toxic friend. There is a remarkable difference between a good and a bad friend. You really don’t owe anyone your friendship, and if they are not good for you, why are they in your life?