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Leaving Toxic Friendships

Advice from One to Another

Boy, do I have a story. For the sake of this article or whatever you want to call it, I’ll be changing the name of the person I’m talking about because, you know, privacy reasons. My cousin Tina and I were practically sisters. At least, that’s what it felt like to me. We grew up together, we did everything together, and we were always at each other’s houses. A good chunk of my childhood was us hanging out together, but life happens.

I vividly remember my 16th birthday being a bummer because I had really hoped that Tina would be there. I waited for her to show up. My sister, who had been hanging out with her earlier in the day, finally came home from her home. Tina was a no-show. Shocker. I remember my sister uttering the words, “She wanted to hang out with her friends instead.” That hurt. This memory really sticks out to me reminding me how she truly is. It made me wonder why she would prioritize her friends over someone she grew up with and was family.

That was the start. Tina flaking or bailing on the plans we made. Sometimes even way in advance. I got so sick of it. She’d say she was too busy, but there were times where I saw her posting photos of her going out to eat with her friends or having movie nights. I always thought, “Why are you doing this? What happened?” It really hurt. We got into so many arguments about how she was never around anymore to the point where I ended up cutting her out of my life. All of it never really made any sense to me. My sister was like the peace person between us. She’d tell me the things Tina said, try to communicate my point of view better, etc.

It’s hard, though. It’s hard to just cut someone out when you grew up with them. When they felt like a sibling to you. I thought I was making a wrong choice, that I needed to forgive her. I wanted to believe that things would be different if we made up. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, though. When my sister told me that Tina admitted she took me for granted I felt like I’d just gotten slapped. It was then that it really dawned on me that she didn’t care whether I stayed or left. I realized I was a second choice for her. I fought so hard to maintain a relationship with her only to be taken for granted. It made me think, “OK, I don’t mean as much as I thought I did to this person.” I remember Tina saying that even though she took me for granted, she still wanted me to reach out to her; make a harder effort to be a better correspondent. That was something that made me so angry. I wasn’t going to be a dog fetching a bone.

To everyone out there, please realize your worth to people. It took me a long time to figure out that I needed to take a step back and stop reaching out to Tina. I didn’t need that negative energy. This is my advice — don’t wait around for people to validate you. Don’t wait for people to show that they care. If they did, they wouldn’t keep you wondering where you stand in their life. Don’t wait for a sign to show you that you need to hang on a little while longer. Be there for yourself. If they wanted to talk to you, they would. They would make time. I promise you that a heavy weight will literally hop off your shoulders when you let go of that person you’ve been trying so hard to please. 

Read next: Narcissists
Rosalie .
Rosalie .

Hello, I spend a lot of my time on Netflix honestly and I watch too much anime and I read too much. Photography and writing are things I'm into. I'd appreciate it if you gave my content a read. 

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Leaving Toxic Friendships
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