When she didn’t respond to my first text, I didn’t give it a second thought. And when she didn’t answer my call the next day, I knew she was busy. I figured she’d call me back after seeing my series of text messages, phone calls, and Facebook messages. At first, I thought something bad happened. I don’t know why, but I have a tendency to think the worst.
It was a false alarm. She was alive and ignoring me.
Without skipping a beat, she was on Facebook liking photos of mutual friends and sharing funny memes as if I never existed. In today’s society, there’s no greater feeling than someone close to you ignoring your texts but have time to update social media. I can take social cues. It was obvious that she didn’t have a desire to speak to me. My (ex) best friend was functioning without me.
She moved on without notice.
My (ex) best friend is super nonchalant and laid back. It’s hard to tell when something is eating at her unless of course, she gets quiet. Instead of causing a scene, which is more my style, she handles issues in a private matter. She’s a silent force. Six weeks of her silence spoke volumes.
For the last few months, I tried to replay what happened the last few days, weeks, and even years. Did I vent to her too much? Am I needy and pessimistic? Was I selfish? Maybe I appeared insensitive to her issues? I was all of these things.
Our conversations always surrounded my problems and a number of our shared laughs stemmed from the humor of how we dealt with my problems. On vacations, we traveled to places I felt most comfortable and entertained only attractions within my budget.
I don’t blame her. I’d break up with me too. Toxic friends are the worst. I guess, for her, I’m that friend. But why didn’t she tell me?
My best friend fired me. Is there a pink slip for friendships?
Friendships between women can be complicated. You don’t break up with your girlfriends the same way that you resign from a job or toss her to the side like an old pair of shoes. She’s your best friend after all. This is a delicate matter. The secrets you’ve shared and intimate conversations are more valuable than the riches of the world, how could one of you want to throw it away? As you grow in your careers, cope with everyday hurdles, and unlock new passion, the stakes will eventually get higher. While you’re on a path of growth and self-discovery, so is she. When the waters are raging, are you equipped to get out there and start rowing her back to shore when she’s drowning in the inevitable storms of life?
Sometimes, you are her storm. We’re taught how to be a good friend but never told how to cope when the other person wants out of the relationship. Is there a proper etiquette for this kind of thing?
Just like our childhood, we outgrow people. Distance after high school often separates us from the people we knew all of our lives. And after undergrad, new paths tend to drive a wedge into relationships. Natural occurrences and unforeseen circumstances can cause a gradual rift between friends. Cutting ties for your sanity is another ordeal. Our social lives are filled with individuals who share common interests and shared experiences. If you look closely at your tribe, can you pinpoint your toxic friends? In life, you will accidentally stumble across people who disrupt your energy. They’ll drain your spirit and rob you of your joy. Run for the hills. When the culprits are toxic friends, it’s essential to take inventory. They may not recognize the harm they cause, I know I didn’t, and it’s up to you whether you want to address it or walk away.
We often crave meaningful interactions. Conversations are vital. Fire the people who are less than a friend to you, the right way and on your own terms. Ignoring them won’t settle the matter nor is it a temporary fix for the troubles in your relationship. An old-fashioned letter, non-confrontational email (screenshots can haunt you), or a phone call will give you the closure you need to move on. Make your peace.
Toxic friends are not friends. They’re just toxic humans.
I wish I could say that my 10-year friendship was over a stupid guy, money, or even an ugly fight. Instead, all I can say is, she got tired of me and broke it off. I mourned this relationship more than any other. Friends until the end. The end is here. Now I must do my part and accept the fact that we probably weren’t as tight as I thought we were if we let our bond slip away overnight.
Have you ever had to break up with toxic friends? How’d it go? Let me know in the comments.