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Fire Your Friends: 4 Years Wiser

Fire Your Friends: 4 Years Wiser

This post is a follow-up to the post, Fire Your Friends: Drop The Negative People In Your Life.

My most popular post on Strong Inside Out is Fire Your Friends, in which I talk about cleansing your life of the negative relationships that hold you down.

It’s also the most controversial. I’ve had people thank me for helping them make the final choice to clear their life of negativity, and I’ve also had readers call me a brat, a horrible friend, and unrealistic. Mostly, this name-calling comes after people read (or scan) what I wrote about people being negative toward them.

Some misinterpret my point to mean that one should fire a friend who acts negatively sometimes. That’s not what I meant at all, and I apologize if that was unclear. We are all negative at one point or another. We all need to be lifted up by the supportive people around us.

What we don’t need is someone who constantly attacks, belittles or otherwise harms us. If a “friend” of yours does this regularly, and has shown no signs of change, I stand by my recommendation to save your own well-being by cutting ties.

But it’s not always that easy.

Sometimes the most negative relationships in our lives are with the people we’re the closest to. Family members know how to push our buttons, employers aren’t always the most loving and even friends go through rough patches where they act in harmful ways.

After a few years, I’ve come to realize that completely cutting these people out of one’s life is not possible, nor is limiting your interaction with them (say, in the case of your boss). So we need a process to deal with the people who we depend on, but limit the negative effects they have on us.

Let’s talk about a new way of being around these difficult people. It will be uncomfortable for us at first, but it will also be worth it. Here’s what you’ll get from this regular practice:

  • Release of anxiety around relationship
  • Clarity on how this relationship serves you (and if it doesn’t)
  • Gratitude for the relationship
  • Diminished effect from their negativity

Sound like something you want for yourself in your negative relationships? Then, keep reading!

Forgive

Whoa whoa whoa. Hold your horses, Ms. Clover. Forgive this person? But they’re the one hurting me!

I hear you on that, Strongie, but listen up: the act of forgiving the person who triggers a negative reaction in you is extremely powerful. Just like finding the strength to forgive yourself releases the power that negative thoughts have over you (I talk about it in this post), forgiving this person releases you from the victim mentality and helps you step into positive action.

Let me be clear that forgiveness is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. To forgive someone is not the same as letting them walk all over you. In fact, it helps you let go of the past pain they may have caused you so that you can more easily take action to free yourself from the negative side of the relationship.

While I’d love to be there with you to talk you through this, I’ve recorded a Forgiveness Meditation that you can use to start this journey. It’s a completely free download when you sign up for the Strong Inside Out email list.

>> Click here to download the free Forgiveness Meditation!

Here’s a gist of how the meditation goes:

  1. Start with deep breaths.
  2. Bring the person to mind.
  3. Feel what that relationship does to you.
  4. Recognize that the qualities that irk you in this person are often because of fears we hold in ourselves.
  5. Recognize that this person has a story and a reason for why he/she acts in these ways.
  6. Forgive them – and yourself – for negativity
  7. Send them thoughts of love and acceptance, focusing on the positives you get from the relationship.
  8. Take a few more deep breaths into that love and acceptance, then open your eyes.

You can do this meditation daily, or do it just once. I just recommend you try it. If it doesn’t work, find forgiveness in your own way, keeping in mind that it doesn’t make you weak.

Getting Clear

Before we move forward, let’s take a moment to gain clarity on where this person is coming from. Before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, let’s make sure that your friend isn’t simply going through a really tough time. Ask yourself a few questions, journaling out the answers in detail:

  • Has your friend always been negative like this?
  • Has he/she gone through a trying experience that may have caused him/her to act this way?
  • Have you offered to be there for him/her or to help him/her feel better in any way?
  • Have you expressed concern for his/her state of being (if appropriate)? If so, how does he/she react?
  • Have you expressed that the way he/she speaks hurts or worries you? If so, how does he/she react?
  • How long have you supported him/her through this?

Use your answers to gauge whether this relationship is negative, or if your friend is just going through a rough patch. While the situation will vary from person to person, here are some thinking points to guide you:

  • If your friend has been acting in a harmful way for more than a year, and hasn’t reacted positively to your concern, this person may not be in a state to hold your friendship.
  • If your friend hasn’t always been negative and has recently gone through a tough situation, they deserve some time and support to pull through it, and they may need your love to help them do it. Be patient. You may need them in the future, too.
  • If you haven’t been terribly supportive, it’s possible that your friend is feeling some resentment. Maybe he/she feels like the relationship is one-sided, but is too afraid to tell you. At the end of this post, we’ll talk about how to address this situation so you can move forward with your relationship if you choose to.

Where you’re coming from

In order to get to a place of gratitude for how this relationship serves you, let’s journal a little more to make it as tangible as possible. Journal out your answers to the following question:

How does this relationship serve you? In other words, what do you get from keeping this person in your life?

For example, if your boss is the person in question, detail out what your job provides (a stable income, a place to do what you love, co-worker relationships that you enjoy, etc.). If a family member is the one in question, detail out how the relationship serves you (love, being of service, etc.)

When you’re finished journaling your answers to that question, put down your pen and re-read your answers.

When you’re feeling frustrated or hurt and are unable to cut this person out of your life, express gratitude for the ways this relationship serves you. Keep your journal close just in case you need some reminders.

When you breathe into that sense of gratitude, allow yourself to be filled with compassion for their story, and let that compassion follow you into your interactions with them.

Protect yourself (Woo Warning!)

When you focus on loving this person through practicing compassion and recognizing their story, the power this person’s actions has over you diminishes.

When you’re around this person, envision a wall of light between you and this person’s words and energy. Woo, right? If it works, would you give it a shot? Then, try it! 

I close my eyes for a moment and envision myself beaming a barrier of light between the other person and me. As I open my eyes, I imagine it stays there, blocking me from their negativity and attacks.

Want a bonus tip? The whole time they talk, send them love. It can be really disarming for them; sometimes even neutralizing.

While this may feel silly at first, I find that envisioning things like this helps me feel safe. The cool part is that no one has to know you’re doing it!

Setting boundaries

Part of the issue of having negative people in your life is that your boundaries aren’t clear enough to them. Many of us have a hard time saying “No” (I’m one of them). We’re not aware that we are worthy of setting boundaries that protect our wellbeing just like we are setting them to protect ourselves from physical harm.

If you are not clear about what will be tolerated and what will not, how does the person know that what they’re doing is not ok?

Simply saying, “Please don’t talk to me that way,” the next time this person hurts your feelings can be enough to let them know that they’re being inappropriate. If you feel safe confronting the person about it, there’s a chance you could be the catalyst for change in them. If you don’t feel safe, move on to The line that can’t be crossed.

Before you cut someone out entirely, you can take the following steps:

Talk to them about it. See if they are willing to listen. It could be that they’re just unaware of how painful the relationship is for you.

Lovingly point out when they are being hurtful. This is often hard to do because our own ego flares up when we feel attacked. Take a deep breath, come back to compassion for their story, and let them know that what they said or did just hurt you.

If you want to be really effective, consider forming your own script off of these examples of how to deal with different relationships:

FAMILY MEMBERS

“I love you and I want to continue being here for you. When you say things like that to me, it really hurts my feelings and/or makes me feel attacked when I’m around you. How do you feel about us both being kinder to each other?”

OR “Please respect that I am here for you out of love, and it would be amazing to feel that same sense of love in return.”

WORK RELATIONSHIPS

“Could you phrase your criticism in a constructive way? I feel like I’ll be more efficient at taking your notes if it’s expressed in a softer way.”

OR after asking the person to talk in private: “It’s difficult for me to say this, but I don’t appreciate the way you speak to me. I value your opinion and I respect you. Please do the same for me.”

While standing up for yourself from a place of love is probably the most effective way to set boundaries, you may not feel comfortable doing so. If that’s the case, try this envisioning exercise when you interact with this person.

After the talk

If the person you’ve approached reacts positively to your boundary-setting when you talk to them initially, but fails to change their ways, it can be beyond frustrating.

If it gets to a point where you leave every exchange with them feeling defeated, listless, hopeless or exhausted, I stand by my opinion that you must move forward. Here’s how I handle it:

Give them a warning. Get to a loving state for yourself and go to them with compassion. Warn them that if they continue to speak in a harmful way to you, you have to look out for your own wellbeing and limit interaction with them (if not sever it altogether). Let them know that you don’t want to cut the bonds, that you hope they can hear you and understand how much you want to continue the relationship, but that you must stand firm and things must change. If your negative relationship is at work, you may consider going to Human Resources about this instead.

Follow through. If you warn them that you will not stand for their behavior and they continue to act in a harmful way, the only way you’ll really be able to protect yourself is to leave. Staying enables their behavior, showing them that it’s ok to continue to act this way. Don’t let them walk over you and get away with it. You cannot change them; they must change themselves, and not everyone is ready for it.

Anyone who is negative on a regular basis and refuses to change their ways is living in a fearful world of their own. It’s unfortunate and while we wish we could change them, it’s something they have to come to on their own.

The line that can’t be crossed

If the relationship is abusive (emotionally or physically), no matter who it’s with, reach out for help. It is an incredibly tough and shame-inducing situation that so many of us find ourselves in.Though society tells us that we should never leave family and that bosses are sometimes awful and it sucks, but it’s just part of life, I truly believe that you are worthy of safety and peace — with family or otherwise. 

You are not alone. There is help out here for you, people who want you to be safe and supported. Please reach out.

Need help getting out? Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

The choice is yours

When I was struggling to be positive at all, I remember getting together with certain friends, then leaving feeling defeated, drained and worse than before our meeting. I felt like I was taking steps backwards in my recovery. Now that I have perspective on it, I know that’s exactly what was happening.

By surrounding yourself with unsupportive, demeaning or aggressive people, you are reinforcing your fear-based thoughts with their treatment. You’re working yourself backwards.

In order to be the light, you can’t keep smothering it with people who demand the dark.

I know that you may be struggling with the idea of releasing relationships because a small part of you thinks that it will be hard to find other sources of support. Maybe this is all that you know.

I can tell you this: you have no idea what lies beyond this moment – the relationships you’ll have, the way you’ll grow, the boundless opportunities you’ll be presented in your lifetime.

All you know right now is that you are hurting, and this person is making you feel worse. For me, that’s enough to convince me that a change needs to be made. You may have a higher threshold for that kind of treatment, but I hope you’ll realize that you don’t have to stay. You have the choice.

This relationship happened for a reason, and you will realize that one day. It doesn’t mean it has to be your future.

Here’s to your unhindered growth, worthiness and strength that only comes after going through these kinds of struggles.

Stay strong,

Amy

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20 responses to “Fire Your Friends: 4 Years Wiser”

  1. Hi Amy,

    I loved your article on “Fire your friends.” The title itself makes me chuckle.

    I’ve decided to part ways from a long-time friend Rob, due to ongoing issues with his g/f Nicole. It was probably one of the toughest decisions I’ve made, but it seems like they were both conspiring against me. They were controlling me, using me, skimming me, and I just couldn’t stand Nicole’s disrepecting me.

    On Friday night, when Rob asked that I dropped everything I was doing, to drive 15 miles out of my way to give Nicole $7 out of my pocket, for “lunch money,” I just felt that I had enough of it. I’ve tried to help Rob get work many times, and he refused. I tried to help Rob get new customers, and Nicole disputed about it.

    Let’s add to the equation that they’re both cigarette addicts.

    Anyway, I duly gave Nicole the $7, and walked away ignoring her “friendly” attempt.

    I slept it over, and when I worded my texts, I did it with kindness, and wished them financial success in their life. I’ve added “I appreciated Rob’s help a lot, but since he’s disrupted me the entire week, and I am sorry I can’t deal with it, anymore. Feel free to contact my mom if you need. Thank you.”

    Have I felt the pain? Of course. I can however say that while Rob worked on my car throughout the Summer, the smartest thing I did was, get hands-on practice on the repair work….At least, the experience alotted gives me more confidence to conduct my own car maintenance & car repairs.

    In any case, keep up the great work! I’ve learned to keep away from unhealthy people, with the drama that they dump!

    -Richard Ford (Rick) from Detroit, MI.

  2. Mary says:

    As someone who was fired, I can honestly say it hurts, but perhaps it was for be51st as we can learn more about ourselves and grow. I realize that I have been playing the victim, and that my relationship made my friend feel guilty.

  3. Alexandra says:

    Hi Amy. I ve just read your articles about friendship and this one and I am really impressed for the things that you say. So true! I Had many of these friends and when I cut them out of my life everything started to feel great! I have one friend that I love so much and we’ve been friends since forever but I just can feel the negative side of her on me everytime( I know her so well). I Have this feeling when she calls me or when we are hanging out , the feeling that I dont want to hang out with her anymore ( different things happened in the past )but I am afraid to tell her because first of all i will break her heart and second of all we have so much common friends and our parents are friends as well. You helped me a lot though.God bless you. Many kisses from Athens, Greece
    Ps: sorry about my english

  4. Kate says:

    It’s an interesting article…but I’m not so sure about giving people all these chances. If someone’s prepared to treat you disrespectfully and hurtfully more than once of twice then why continue with someone who has that kind of character? Most nice people don’t behave in that way and it’s healthier to surround yourself with people who don’t behave in that way regularly. What a lot of energy it takes to put people on warnings, second warnings, third chats etc. Even worse, if they have elements of narcissism you are better having no contact with them at all because it will cause nothing but emotional pain and confusion.

  5. Sarah says:

    Hi Amy, thanks for posting this. I read “Fire Your Friends” after firing a friend who had been abusive. Since we were both part of a larger friend-group, this led to some strife, and I’m finding that I’m now on the receiving end of a passive-aggressive “firing”. I walked these reconciliation steps with the abusive friend for two years before ending the friendship, and I’m walking them now with the rest of the friend-group. It’s reassuring to hear someone else talk through what I’ve already had to figure out; that I need to talk out what the issues are, give everyone a chance to talk it out, see what we can save and what we can’t, and that to just let things fade into silence is one of the cruelest ways to end a relationship, friendship or otherwise.

    That said, I have to agree with Kate, above. If someone had pointed out that a friend could be a narcissistic abuser, I think I’d have seen the signs much more clearly ahead of time. Instead, I tried to treat this fired person like a normal friend going through a rough patch… and that person took advantage of me, time and again. I know there’s no good timeline to set, but I’d encourage keeping a journal to anyone who starts having these talks with a friend. Document when you talked, where, about what. It’s going to sound paranoid, but start journaling in things like, “Hey, she invited me to lunch, and asked me to pay again, but not until the bill came. That’s the third time this month.” If nothing else, it’ll help you keep track of what happened, and you can look back at it to say to yourself, “No, I’m not crazy, that DID happen the way I remembered it.”

  6. Grace says:

    I too have a friend I sometimes invite because I feel guilty for not hanging out with her or asking how she is. She is not a lonely person or sad/depressing or anything but she has this habit of being very judgemental about a lot of stuff. I’ve got to know her better because of my studies and she became a mutual friend of me and my ex. Well, I broke up with my ex and I’m not friends with him and she feels like she is the male version of my ex. It feels like she is still a part of my old life and I find it very hard to say I don’t want to be your friend anymore. She is not a bad person, I think I would really hurt her if I would say something like this. But when we meet and when she leaves or I leave, I always feel like crap about myself. Sometimes she really gives me the feeling of looking down on me and sometimes she does not all of that and for some reason I feel bad about myself. I don’t know how to handle this and I do think she senses I’m sort of backing out on her. Her being friends (yes, just friends) with my ex also made me careful with what I’m saying and it really feels like that she is part of a phase in my life I’m ending and she feels like the last straw.

  7. Moi says:

    I don’t believe in firing people. It’s something Donald Trump does! Instead, treat people the way you want to be treated. Have boundaries, try to encourage others to respect you and manage them – see them less, if you don’t want to be around them.

    Ditching people is horrible; I’ve had it done to me…

  8. Lynx says:

    sorry Amy, what you suggest is waaaay tooo much energy. I’m def down with letting people go and the sooner the better. However I don’t close the door on anyone, who knows maybe down the road they’ve changed, I’ve changed.. but honestly the sooner the better.

  9. Christine says:

    I’ve just read both of your articles and it has given me a change to feel calm again. I’ve been best friends with my friend who now I think it is time to let go of. She was like my sister but since the beginning she would always bring me down to the point where I would sob and sob and feel depressed over. She was very possessive, would stop being my friend if I hung out with someone else, would get jealous if I talked to her mom or if I had a boyfriend! I’m not saying it was all her but this friendship was hard to live or live without. We would rekindle after she would stop talking to me and just when I thought things were good between us I just always felt this weight over me that I always felt like I was walking on egg shells with her. So finally she became her usual self and calling me mean things and just bringing me down I just had enough and started with un friending her on fb, not to be spiteful but I just didn’t appreciate her negativity such as about cops because my husband is a cop (whom she hates because she gets mad when I’m with someone) she got upset and started calling and texting me calling me stuff so I finally had it and told her nicely I didn’t not deserve her negativity nor did I want her negativity in my life anymore. It does hurt me because I care for her but coming to peace with myself and wanting to be more positive and doing what is best for me I’ve cut ties. I’m still sad but I fell that weight lifted off me.

  10. Shamaal says:

    Hi! I’ve recently inadvertently fired a friend. I knew she was toxic, and we had bonded over abusive exes and courts for years. I saved her life once, and she had basically been an unpaid therapist for me. We had even thought of living together to share expenses and childcare. However, I had been pulling away slowly when I realized that the bad luck in my life was not “loosely” related to her re-appearance into my life, but that my downfall began within 2 weeks it. Last week, she called AGAIN when she knew I was with a regular exercise group–she does this almost every week. Later, I texted her that I was going “off the grid” for a little while this winter but would call “soon.” I’m an introvert so it isn’t unusual for me to be a hermit for a little while. Though I had meant to contact her again, I am so happy and positive I don’t feel like it! I don’t miss her and don’t feel guilty.

    Having said that, any suggestions how I should handle this? We’ve been through a lot together but even I did not see this total split coming. I thought we were close, but I don’t think I care if we ever speak again. I know that she just thinks I’m taking an Introvert’s time out. I’m horrified that I may have ghosted after being so close to her! But I don’t have any more energy for her, not even a drop. Help?!

    • Amy says:

      Only you can choose what’s right for you, but I find that most situations call for an up-front, open conversation. You need to do what is best for you, though, and if you don’t feel comfortable with this kind of conversation, maybe you could write on it first, then determine what to do after you’ve gotten it all out on paper. I find it always helps to put things in “I statements” when I have conversations with someone else, meaning that I own my responsibility for my feelings. It’s never about what the other person did to me, but how I respond to it. Wishing you much peace and healing.

  11. Alessandra Mathias says:

    I agree, firing people and purposefully going out of your way to analyze their behaviour like a psychologist is just – patronizing and embarrassing and quite frankly self righteous. I have not heard their side of the story. No one has mentioned how you treat them? Just say, “hey I don’t like it when you don’t contribute”. or “I appreciate your opinions but I find them to be not necessary. Sometimes I just want you to listen not give advice”, or “I am really worried about you, are you hurting in anyway. I find that lately you are judging people a lot”. Maybe that’s the first conversations to have. Not give people warnings from your ivory tower.
    Maybe you bring out the worst in people?!? Just saying.

    I am severely ill, I am very positive and my friends don’t visit me all the time. I phoned a friend yesterday and we laughed for hours. So friendship and energy is a 2-way street. I hope you never find yourself in a situation of grief or illness or depression or loneliness or loss or defeat where you need supportive friends and they well… Fire You and are deliberate in their analysis and data collection. Well guess what life is not all roses and butterflies so every one will go through these situations at some stage in their life.

    The world is cruel and all people need is love and care. Attitude starts with you. Stop firing. If you really can’t handle the person maybe you aren’t mature enough and need to hang out with the party people. Or perhaps Karma will be your fired friends sidekick. Good luck either way with your new HR process of getting rid of people. I just see hurt splashed everywhere. And lets just hope that none of these friends are suicidal. . .

    • Amy says:

      Hi Alessandra,

      It sounds like you’re in a lot of pain and I’m sorry to hear that this post seemed to trigger you. I’m also saddened to hear that you’re severely ill – that must be incredible difficult. While I may not be the best resource for you if you feel this way, it is my sincere hope that you do find supportive resources in this time of struggle. Wishing you much Love and Light.

  12. Alessandra Mathias says:

    Hi Amy,

    Thank you for your very kind message, much appreciated.

    From my side I have a very supportive group of family, friends and Drs in my life and I am very positive, happy and content despite my current situation. “Everything happens for a reason” attitude this side.

    The point that I am trying to make taking both sides into account is that:

    1) As a giver you need to know your boundaries. Think this point is covered
    2) You need to teach people how to treat you. Think this point is covered
    3) There is an element of another person’s energy impacting your own.
    So what I mean by this is that (and maybe I am a unicorn like you guys), but I am happy, delightful, kind, helpful, courteous, smiling etc but for whatever reason (and a neuro-psychologist told me this so it is not my own perspective on my current situation) is that I ,the one who is supposed to be the negative one, ends up getting negative people and they blame it on my situation. When in fact if someone comes into my house or hospital room with good energy no matter how sick I am I return that energy. If someone is negative I am still kind and courteous and have a positive energy. So the negativity is stemming from them. I thought it was me. Maybe they dont like hospitals, illnesses, it reminds them of their own vulnerabilities, I am not the same person for them, they may not be emotionally mature but what I do know for a fact, and having been on both sides of the coin is that people need love and support regardless of how their situation makes you feel.

    What I do is a hierarchy in my mind of people’s needs based on who is more important right now, me or them? Who can handle the stress more, me or them? Can I assist by taking away stress? How do I need to conduct myself to make their life a little more comfortable. Whether they are going through a divorce, breakup, meltdown, illness, in law problems, stress, financial problems etc.
    (And I do these things while I am sick so it is not hard)

    So and maybe I am an exception to the rule, I agree with all that has been said above, however there are 2 sides to every story. And maybe it might just be how the energy is portrayed from your side to your friend. Maybe the angle should be I can still support this person, they are narcissistic or weird or whatever but do it from a point of power not pain and empower the other person. No one needs 100% dedication of another one’s time. People can pick up from afar who is supporting them and who isn’t whether they are well, sick, in a coma. I just think that life is hard enough as it is and I dont agree with the firing a friend approach. You dont know what is happening in their lives. Rather be the better person. We are givers for a reason and rather should support that person even if just from afar. They say that being ignored is worse than a physical injury…

    And you know there is a thing called karma which some believe or what you reap is what you sow but ultimately the world changes with how we interact with and treat others even if they are stepping on our toes.

    Simple. Done. You will have a nice feeling. Guaranteed. People just need love and support, no rejection, no ignoring, no nonsense.

    You can still have your power and be a good person.

    (my background: lots of friends, I am a giver, some narcissistic friends, I have been fired, I have been ignored, I have fired others. It is just messy and high school nasty). It’s like the victim stands up to the bully by being a bully. Not how us ladies should work.

    More people are struggling now more than ever, more people are getting sick, more people feel disconnected from themselves and from others. Get off the blogs, get some real connections going, live life and you will feel amazing

    Lots of rambling my side: key point is that dont fire friends. Rather support and love them from a distance. Like I said in previous post. I laughed for an hour on the phone with a friend who has not sent me one message since I have been sick but yet I know she has been worried, asked others and cares for me. We laughed about my illness and cried for like a second. Then I phoned another friend and her energy was negative and the outcome was very different.

    If I am completely off topic please nod and move on hehehe. The joys of being delirious.

    Wishing you all lots of love

  13. AddyEZ says:

    Hi. I’m a middle school student who is part of a trio. One friend in this trio is very negative and is always complaining about herself. She’s texting me nonstop, always complaining. She criticizes decisions I make, and ALWAYS needs me to boost her self esteem, but doesn’t do the same in return. I think I’d like to fire this friend.
    However, her mother passed away about a year ago, and I worry about how it will affect her by me leaving. Also, I want to remain friends with the other friend in the trio, but I don’t want to put her in the position of feeling like she has to pick between us. They put me in that position 4 months ago, and it wasn’t fun (thanks to our school guidance, we temporarily salvaged the friendship)
    I don’t know wether to stay of go. Any advice?

    • Amy says:

      Hi Addy! Take all my feedback with a grain of salt because I don’t know the full scope of the situation. Middle school can be tricky; as amazing as it would be to have a conversation with your friend, she may not be able to hear you and understand where you’re coming from. It may be worth a try, though! The next step I’d recommend is to write down what you get out of the relationship, and what heaviness it brings. Make a T chart! Writing it out can help bring clarity to it. After you see both sides, you’ll have a better idea of what to do. I hope that helps.

  14. Person says:

    I’m both the dumped and the dumper with the same person. She cut ties with me in quite a vicious way totally out of nowhere. She refused to talk about it on the phone, but sent me a massive number of texts
    that another friend, who I had read them, called emotionally abusive. Many of the reasons she cited for the severing were also factually incorrect, but she barely acknowledged when I corrected her and proceeded to berate me more. She said some extremely disgusting and unnecessary things that clearly had no purpose other than to hurt me, but tried to make it out like she was saying it for my benefit.

    She ended up saying months later that she did it because she felt like I was going to “abandon her” after I moved and she deeply regretted it. She wants to be friends again, but it was just too much for me. I can’t have someone in my life who can say I’m their best friend and act obsessed with me then one day just decide they don’t want me in their life. Especially when that person ends it in such a revolting juvenile manner.

    It hurts, though. I keep second guessing my decision, but I know deep down it’s for the best.

  15. JadedPerson says:

    For me, I have mixed feelings about this cutting out toxic friends thing. I can sympathize with it if your friend is actively hurting you, but my bias comes in with the fact my best friend of 15 years cut me out, albeit for understandable reasons. Without going too much into it, I have been through a lot of trauma in my life and in 2016, all my rationalizations and defense mechanisms came tumbling down as I got myself off a ton of drugs I had been forced on. I called him and complained way too much and though there were hints he didn’t like that, he eventually cut me out but gave me one last conversation about it and told me his reasons for ‘moving on’. Stupidly, in a fit of rage afterwards, I deleted my Facebook (though that’s also due to realizing that a lot of people I tried to get back in contact with who were ‘friends’ never contacted me back for years). Eventually, once I was feeling better, I made a new one and sent him a request which he denied. He also ignores my texts and calls, but did enjoy some information on a musical of his favorite book I sent him, but I only found that out through a third-party.

    Still, it taught me three valuable lessons. One, I really need to stop complaining. Two, I need to fix a lot of my own life rather than trusting others to help me or even listen to me. Three, even if I don’t like it, I’ve realized that even though I have helped others they might not care to help me and that helping others isn’t really worth it in the long-run; since people are fickle and will abandon you but only come back if they feel they can get something.

    Honestly, after finding out how much everyone lies to each other, hurts and abandons each other; I guess I just don’t really feel that friendship matters anymore. So I guess if people want to cut each other out, they should. Not that anyone really matters that much to another person anyways.

    • Amy says:

      I’m so sorry you lost your friend. It sounds like you’re in a lot of pain still and that maybe it’s even turned into a numbness; a block to letting others in. I believe that people who leave us are making room for people who are meant to be in our lives. It’s natural that not all friendships work out. It hurts when we’re the brunt of the “cutting out,” but there’s always something to learn from it.

      What’s important is that you don’t close off entirely because of one person. One person’s actions are not the world’s actions, though many of us with traumatic pasts tend to see it that way.

      You were strong enough to survive your trauma AND pull yourself out of the blackhole of drug use. You’re strong enough to not let this one person keep you from being Loved again. You are worthy of it no matter what’s happened in your past. My wish for you is that you won’t let that one person ruin your life forever. No one gets that power over you.

      If you feel at all in danger of hurting yourself or others, please call your local emergency line (911 in the US), or The Suicide Prevention Lifeline @ 1-800-273-8255.

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