When you start to make positive changes and improve yourself, you expect your friends to be excited and happy for you. No one expects a close friendship to turn toxic, but sadly it happens. I can tell you first-hand that it is devastating when once close friendships break and burn for a time that should be exciting for you. Toxic friendships don’t always mean that your best friend is actively sabotaging you Mean Girls style, they can happen when you’ve simply distanced yourself and chosen different paths. Read my 5 truths about personal growth and toxic friendships and see if something resonates with you.
Creating personal growth in your life won’t sit well with some friends
If you are transforming your life with positive changes, whether it is gaining self-confidence, losing weight, perhaps starting a new career, you will lose friends. Period. People who are not comfortable with change will find it difficult to swallow their evolving life, perhaps because it reminds them that they are stuck in life, or perhaps they are not used to you standing up for yourself. Perhaps your entire friendship was based on the negative behaviors you kicked out. Self-improvement will expose friends who don’t care about your best interests. Be prepared to lose friends, for it to hurt a lot, and then get over it and feel happy. Losing friends may not seem like it, but it can be a blessing in disguise.
A toxic friend is not necessarily a bad person
The thing about toxic friends is that they sometimes don’t mean to be toxic at all and are generally pretty good people outside of your shaky friendship. Maybe they are simply terrified of change and cannot understand their new perspective. Most toxic friends come in the form of people who don’t support your successes, talk behind your back, or judge your goals. I mean friends who leave you feeling drained, negative, or depressed about yourself every time you see them. They are not bad people, but that does not change the fact that they are toxic to your personal growth. Take a good look at your friendships and see who is trying to get you back into your bad habits, who interrupts you when you are sharing something you are proud of, who tells you that you are not a good friend. because you’re not putting your full attention on them. Those are the kind of people you don’t need.
Ending the friendship doesn’t have to be dramatic.
I can look at my old group of friends with love and respect for the time we spend together, but at the same time I know that they are toxic to my improved self. I don’t spend my time gossiping, but I used to do it with them. I don’t like having superficial, superficial conversations all the time, but I used to do it with them. I don’t spend my time complaining about the present while I remember the past, but I used to do it with them. I decided to be positive, to work towards the future instead of getting stuck in the past and to stop making fun of people because it made me feel better about myself, and unfortunately that caused some discomfort and distance in the friendship. People separate and choose different paths, and my path simply had no room for their negative energy. I’m not saying to eliminate friends who disagree with you all the time or who have different goals than you, I’m saying it’s important to have friends who are authentic. Ending a friendship doesn’t have to be a big, dramatic fight. You could try to discuss with them how you feel if you are interested in saving the friendship; Maybe they don’t realize how they affect you and they can change their attitude. If that’s not the case, you have two options: you can either say outright that you need some space, or slowly stop hanging out with them. Leaving it on a good note leaves room for reconnection if you think they can grow in the future.
Leaving toxic friends will free up energy and time for supportive relationships.
Here’s the hard part: even though they don’t claim to be toxic, and they’re generally good people, they’re still toxic and you have to keep going. Leaving a friendship is just as difficult as leaving a romantic relationship, especially if you still love and respect that friend. I had to do it and it bothered me for most of the year. I kept asking myself the same things over and over “why don’t my best friends understand me, why are they so caught up in trivial and negative things”? I lost sleep about it, I cried about it, I screamed about it, but in the end, I understood that it was for the best. Now, I only spend my time with people who celebrate me, support me and love me unconditionally, and whom I celebrate, support and love. It is an incredible feeling to be surrounded by people who I know only want the best for me. I am happier, more confident, more accomplished, more inspired! Great things come from dropping toxic friends.
Never hide your positive progress because a friend is not happy for you
Toxic friends have their own underlying issues that are causing them to act in a way that is unsympathetic towards you – don’t take it personally. It’s an indicator that they aren’t happy with themselves or their lives, so it’s not you, it’s them. Just because people aren’t happy with your amazing progress doesn’t mean you should hide it. Shine like a diamond, you worked hard to manifest a change in your life, don’t let some skeptics hinder your success. Surround yourself with friends who are proud of you and push you to improve. Evaluate your circle and just keep the awesome people around. Any friend who doesn’t leave you feeling elevated, supported, and happy doesn’t need to be a friend, and life is too short to associate with people who don’t appreciate the beautiful soul that you are. Just know that you are not the only person going through this. You may feel lonely now, but soon you will find people who will appreciate who you are and who you are trying to be, and you won’t feel forced or alone. Always follow your intuition, if someone constantly depresses you, it may be time to reconsider your friendship.
Have you had any run-ins with personal growth and toxic friendships? Let me know in the comments below!