This Will Help You to Recover From a Toxic Friendship

Recover From a Toxic Friendship

Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness. – Thich Nhat Hanh

People themselves aren’t toxic. Nevertheless, sometimes our temperaments might don’t align together and then”toxicity” appears. It’s nobody’s fault. We might not pay attention, although with time there comes a time when you are taken by surprise discovering something you haven’t seen all these years of being friends. Whether it is an overwhelming feeling of being exhausted and emotionally drained after you spent some time together with someone, eventually the veil has to come down.

Have you ever felt drained and utterly EXHAUSTED after conversing with someone you’ve considered a friend?
A toxic friendship reminds me of a person who would pour his love trying to water the Sahara desert getting sunburns in return!
The bottom line is… some people might drag and drain others down, not lift them up. It might be an unsupportive comment, or a remark, or teasing and wham!.. your positivity is long gone, and you might even feel less of yourself after communication with that “friend.”

Consequently, the influence of people we choose to hang around is significant. And it’s okay to cherry-pick them!

How to Recover From a Toxic Friendship

Creating Ultra Healthy Boundaries

When I look back at toxic friendships I had, it astounds me how much time and positive energy was wasted. Though, when I lean closer to see the detailed picture there is one thing that strikes me the most: If you ever learned something from any experience – no time was wasted after all... And even the most daunting relationships can become our great lessons.

Now that you’ve realized that some of your friendships are indeed toxic, it is a good idea to set some ultra healthy boundaries. We can let that person descend away slowly, spending less and less time together…

You don’t have to pick up the phone if that friend calls you. You don’t have to accept every invitation. When it’s completely up to you to get together, feel free to choose your own time (4 pm to 5 pm for instance), your place and circumstances you will feel comfortable with. It’s fine when it comes to setting your boundaries And it is okay to let go of a toxic friend.

It is better to respectfully decline the invitation than regret going there in the first place.

There is No Need For a Peace of Your Mind (!)

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We might feel hurt because of the expectations we laid upon the way our friends or relatives are supposed to be according to our vision. We expected them to be supportive, understanding and forgiving whereas, in reality, all we got in return was a slap in the face of harmful negativity. Somebody told me: Jokes on you, pal! Less expectations = fewer disappointments. But it’s not the case here, is it?

It doesn’t matter how hurt we might feel right now; it is wise to refrain from giving a piece of your mind to your friend or a family member that you wish to distance yourself from.

Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.

Why not give a piece of your mind? Simple. When our wildly running emotions navigate us, it is extremely hard to put a handle on it. It’s hard not to stir into negativity and refrain from outpouring all the past hurts that the person caused you.

Let’s look at it this way: that person doesn’t think that there is something wrong and he is unlikely to see the things your way.

As a result, he will try his best to safeguard his position; you will do your best to defend yours…

Feeling Guilty? Let it Go.

There is no need to pepper spray your mind with guilty thoughts. Stop it right there. You are not dumping a friend; you are only letting go of the current state of the relationships that aren’t fulfilling anymore. You are free to clear space in your life and embrace some changes. And it’s OKAY to let go.

Does a gardener feel bad or guilty when he removes weeds from a precious blooming flower bed of pink peonies?! Of course not! By eliminating what doesn’t belong in your life, you give the light an opportunity to shine through and bring you more positive vibes.

Do reach out for people who have a positive take on life… the same take that you would love to adopt. You don’t have to have a lot in common, but a positive take on life is the best mutual ground.

How do you find those beams of light? Just keep your eyes and ears open for those who never lose their positive attitude no matter the challenges and obstacles they face in life.

Look for people who look on the bright side, and whose main goal is to spread positivity.

Having Time for Healing Time

When I was younger, I was forced to be friends with a girl whose folks were good buddies with my parents. Alex and I, on the other hand, couldn’t get along with each other. We were completely different. Like day and night, apples and oranges, water and fire. We couldn’t stand each other, and the matters got worse when she ended up in the same school, in the same class, and at the same desk as me! Our parents were excited. Myself and Alex – not so much.

This “friendship” and spending time together continued for years until I grew up and decided to cut myself free from that unfulfilling, daunting and emotionally draining “friendship.”
Suddenly, I stopped feeling obliged to “be friends” with someone who just wasn’t right for me. I’ve learned at the young age that it was OK to let go of the people, who don’t belong in your picture.

Our parents were amazed. How come that “best friends” parted like ships in the sea would part and go different directions seeking happiness on different continents.

Others don’t have to understand your choice to move on. And it’s not as we can ever be in charge of what someone else thinks of our decisions. Trust your intuition, your heart, and never apologize or feel guilty for it.

Take your time out for healing. Be kind to yourself. Any transition bears some discomfort, so be patient. Give it time.

Get ready for new friendships when your healing is already in full swing.

In conclusion

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For years, we might have been in a relationship that was unfulfilling, draining and challenging only because we were avoiding to make some changes. But often we understand that some relationships end no matter how many efforts were thrown to make them work.

Life changes, people change, feelings change too. And just because we made a decision to part our ways with someone, it doesn’t mean that we need to end this in a dramatic, negative way. We can choose to say our farewells and stick to the positive memories and the good that we’ve taken out of that life experience.

Choose to remember happy moments that would only warm up your heart.

May I be completely candid?

Sometimes I see “friends” as my beloved books that we borrow. We may borrow the books for some time, but we get to keep the ideas and lessons forever. 

Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you

photo from vk.com

Lesya Li

Lesya Li

Founder, Head of Content at HavingTime
Lesya Li is a founder of HavingTime – a digitally native story magazine for people that need to share inspiration and be inspired.
Lesya Li
Lesya Li