By: Susannah Hutcheson, Regular Contributor
So often in this huge world, people are terrified of being left alone. They fill their lives with meaningless friendships, poisonous relationships, and people who don’t need to be in their lives. I have seen it so many times where people are so afraid to be without company that they stuff their lives full of friendships that don’t need to be there. People are so important- you can feel their impact in every single thing you do. You know who else is an important person? YOU. And you, as an important piece of that 7.2 billion-piece puzzle, deserve the best.
Stop with the toxic friendships. I have been in many. You know that kind where it seems that one of you takes the lead in everything you do, always trying to out win the other? You know that kind of friendship where you let someone else dictate the things you should be thinking and doing? Those aren’t friendships. They are emotionally exhausting wastes of time. I’ve been on both sides of the equation- I’ve been the little person who lets people boss me around, and I’ve been that insecure girl who gets a Julius Caesar complex around people. Anytime I’ve ever acted like that, those friendships haven’t lasted. You owe it to yourself to stand up for yourself, and you owe it to yourself to treat other people with love.
Don’t be afraid of alone time. This one took me a long time to figure out. I threw myself into so many friendships with full force, wanting to spend every day at my friend’s house, never wanting to miss out on anything to risk not feeling important. I’ve had the same best friend since I was in middle school, and I remember feeling so threatened early on in high school when she found new friends. You know why? Because I had no idea how to be myself, no idea what made me who I am. The days that are spent in your room flipping through books and discovering new music are how you find out who you are. Sitting alone with your thoughts and coming up with ideas and opportunities for yourself is how you discover what makes you unique. Don’t ever let anyone dictate your happiness, because people aren’t permanent and it isn’t fair to expect other people to carry you.
Be vulnerable. I have been incredibly blessed with my friendships. The girls and boys I have been lucky enough to surround myself with are truly my best friends. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about them, it is the importance of peeling that outward tough layer off. For me, it has come in midnight talks where we are laughing until tears run down our faces. It has been those moments where we have bared our hearts and minds to each other, usually resulting in tears. It has come over Starbucks tables, where we talk for hours about anything under the sun. It has come by saying sorry when one of us has been wrong or unintentionally cruel. When you open yourself up emotionally, you build the strongest connections.
Friendships are, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful things in the world. Every single person should have people in their life that they can trust with their deepest and darkest secrets and giggle with over bad puns. Every single person deserves people that they can discuss their desires and fears with, and everyone deserves people who will treat them with respect and love. Don’t sell yourself short--not everyone finds their best friends in high school. Not everyone has giant groups of friends, that’s not what’s important. What’s important is weeding through the mountains of insincerity and competition and finding people to be the wind beneath your wings. But you have to make sure you can fly by yourself first.
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Susannah is a Journalism major, passionate about social justice and Jesus Christ. She loves cold weather, triple-shot lattes, and macaroni and cheese. When she’s not writing papers or baking cookies, you can find her Googling random things on the Internet or watching large amounts of reality television. You can read her ramblings at ileftamessinthekitchen.wordpress.com, or look at pictures of her coffee on Instagram: @susannah.beth.