As much as we don't want to admit it, it's hard to avoid toxic people sometimes. Sometimes they're disguised as a workmate, family member, or best friend. They undermine your confidence, betray your trust, and spread negativity. What's worse is that you probably don't have any idea about what's happening because they're manipulating you to think that you're the problem, when in fact, it's them.
I've heard about toxic people and how they destroy someone's growth, but I've never thought I'll be so close with one. I've always looked at my toxic friend as someone who will never deliberately hurt me, and, because of her excuses, I believed her. It took me about a few months and some trusted friends to tell me what she's actually doing to my mental and emotional health. And the moment that I decided to remove her from my life, these are the things that I experienced:
1. I became more honest with how I feel.
When you're around a toxic person, you start faking your feelings about certain things because you don't want to look like the bad guy. My friend had always manipulated me into thinking that I was wrong to feel bad about what she said, even if it made me uncomfortable. But when I completely removed her from my life, I learned to be more honest with what I feel and stopped pretending that I'm okay with things that hurt me.
2. I stopped asking for anyone's approval.
I used to live by everyone's expectations of me because I'm scared of people not liking me, and my toxic friend knew this. I don't know how she was able to do it, but since she knew how afraid I was of disappointing anyone, she found a way for me to feel bad if I do something that she didn't like. I do admit that it's still a struggle up until now to not ask for anyone's approval, but little by little I learned to be confident with what I want and do things that make me happy, even if some people don't agree with it!
3. I stopped hanging out with people who make me insecure.
When you're always around a toxic person, you also attract other toxic people. I wasn't careful enough before, so whenever I felt insecure by something they said, I always thought that the only person who's at fault is me. But when you remove one toxic person out of your life, you begin to see these other toxic characters around you, too. I saw them and stopped hanging out with them. I've become more cautious of the people I let into my life.
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4. I started to appreciate friends who help me level up.
It can get draining when you are always absorbing childish outbursts from your toxic friend, especially if you're dealing with your problems, too. Two negative people don't equal a positive outcome. That's why when I chose to let my toxic friend go, I felt more relaxed with the way I handle things and positively look at life. By hanging out with people who always want to be better, I became inspired to do the same, too!
5. I learned to stand up for what I believe in.
No one wants to have a friend who doesn't support what you believe in, but if you have a toxic friend, this is something that shouldn't come as a surprise to you. In my experience, whenever I say my beliefs, my toxic friend always disregards it like it's not important. But when she has something to say, she always expects me to listen to her. I'm still the same understanding friend who's willing to be open to other people's beliefs, but I will never let other people stomp on my own anymore.
6. I stopped apologizing for who I am.
There's nothing wrong with receiving honest feedback, but when you find that this particular person constantly criticizes you, she's someone that you should cut off. Whether it's about my looks or my words, my toxic friend always has something negative to say about me that I started thinking that I needed to change myself. Now, I strive to be a better person without trying to change who I am for anyone.
In everyone's life, there will always be people who will resist and sabotage the possibility of your happiness and self-improvement even if you call them your "friend." By choosing to cut them out of your life and not letting them win, you're not only helping yourself but also them! As much as there are moments when I feel bad losing a friend, I can proudly say that this is one of the best decisions I've made for myself!
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