Do you need a friend detox?

friend detox

A few months ago, I met an old friend for lunch. We’ve been friends F-O-R-E-V-E-R.

But something funny happened over our sushi.
She rolled her eyes when I told her about the ebook I’m writing.
She made a passive aggressive comment when I ordered my green juice. (“Oh. You’re one of those people now?”)
And when I told her about the supportive comments I’d received on a recent blog post, she suddenly became very interested in her phone. Halfway through my story she interrupted me to show me a funny Instagram photo.

It hurt my heart to admit it, but our friendship had taken a turn for the toxic.  And the truth was she really hadn’t been acting like a good friend for awhile.

Ending relationships is a decision we’re all faced with from time-to-time – whether it’s a co-worker, a high school friend, a romantic partner or even a family member, there are always people in our life that are no good for us.

And toxic friends aren’t even necessarily total jerks. They might just be people who discourage you, drain your energy, exude limiting, fear-based beliefs, or aren’t interested in self expansion or personal growth. You get to choose the people you surround yourself with.

And reality check:
just because you have history with someone doesn’t mean you need to make them part of your future.Twitter_logo_blue

Friendships are not quid pro quo. It’s lovely that you were there for them in the past or they were there for you. It doesn’t mean you owe them anything now.

So many women tend to be people-pleasers (I’m guilty of it, too!) and we really, really
don’t want to have that conversation.
That “I don’t’ want to hang out with you anymore” conversation.
Instead, we drag things out and hope that if we’re slow returning their texts, they’ll get the message. Eventually, we’re upset with ourselves +  overwhelmed with the obligation and tension of a unsatisfying relationship.

If a friendship isn’t fulfilling for you it’s best for both of you to move on. Wouldn’t it break your heart if you knew someone was only spending time with you out of guilt or a shared past? It’s possible that this friend was a true soulmate – someone who came into your life for a specific reason and now it’s time for both of you to move on.

Of course, some people are more difficult to remove from our lives – siblings and in-laws, for example. But you can certainly limit how much you see them and (when appropriate)  even challenge some of their toxic behaviors.

More importantly, get empowered. Invite some new people into your life. Surround yourself with people you admire, who possess qualities you’d like to see in yourself.

You deserve to feel uplifted + inspired.

The first step is to surround yourself with people who make you feel that way.

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Photo credit: Gala Darling

Comments

  1. Friend breakups, for me, have always been worse than romantic breakups. I think I was more hurt over leaving a relationship with a friend, than a boyfriend. I had to terminate a friendship almost 2 years ago and it was the saddest thing. But, ultimately, it was the best choice. Sure, there were things I could have done better as a friend, but she had narcissistic patterns that I could neither change nor live with. Thank you for writing this, Danielle. It’s good to acknowledge that not all friendships last forever. xo

    • http://danielle-dowling.com/content/themes/danielledowling/img/comment-fallback.png

      Hi Nicole! Yessss….I hear you when you say could have been a slightly better friend but that ultimately “she had narcissistic patterns that you could neither change nor live with.” I think in some ways I could have been a better friend too but ultimately she had unsasiable characteristics that were not likely to change and had been quite persistent and prevalent for awhile. It’s deeply saddening but you just need to know when to walk away. xoxo

  2. Such a great post! And most certainly something I need to think about it. It is not necessarily that my friendships are toxic, but they are not uplifting and inspiring either. I need to go on a new friendship-hunt 🙂
    Have a lovely day!
    xoxo, Ronja
    http://www.sothisiswhat.com

  3. Wow – A very timely post. In the mist of finding the courage to scale back a friendship …… Very difficult but necessary.

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