Lost friendships — we’ve all endured them. For me, it happened back in high school. At the time, my previous friends and I were losing common ground, heading in different directions, and I was feeling a little alone. What I really wanted was just one companion I could relate to, someone to eat lunch and hang out with on the weekends. I didn’t think that was asking for too much. And maybe it wasn’t: Before too long, it seemed I’d found her. We were fast friends, eating lunch together, hanging out on weekends, and the like. Suddenly, we became best friends. In fact, I was her only friend. She didn’t know what she would do without me.
I thought it was a little odd for that to happen so fast, but who was I to complain? I had needed a friend, and here she was! I thought maybe this was the person I’d been waiting for: the one I would room with at college, and go wedding dress shopping with, the one who I could always count on in a pinch.
However, our friendship didn’t work out that way. Not at all. In fact, she was a bit of a Trojan horse: amazing and awe-inspiring on the outside, but filled with subterfuge. As her only friend, I was surprised to discover how many parties she didn’t invite me to, and how little I actually knew about her life. Our friendship left me feeling inadequate, isolated, and confused. But, thankfully, it didn’t last long. She transferred to a different school, and I rarely saw her after that. We remained friends, but the distance was good for me. I had the chance to make other friends – friends who were open and honest and genuine — friends whom I remain close with today.
Relationships are like that sometimes. You think you’ve found someone you really connect with, only to realize you’re involved with a bad friend that drains you emotionally and mentally. Finding a true friend, one that is as energized and rejuvenated by you as you are by her, is truly a rare thing. That’s not to say that true friendship won’t be difficult or have rough patches, of course! After all, we all make mistakes, have hard times, and sometimes we do stupid, thoughtless things. But if those things dominate your friendship and leave you feeling exhausted, emotionally depleted, and depressed, instead of happy, refreshed, and validated, it’s a good bet that it’s time to move on up.
In honor of Friendship Day (it’s Sunday!), here are 10 toxic friends you should kick to the curb.
All photos via istockphoto.com.