Ditch the Toxic Friendships

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.

Let's Chat! Have you found yourself in a toxic friendship? What did it teach you about yourself? Tell us here!

About Susannah

susannah.jpgSusannah 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.







Showing 2 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • commented 2015-05-30 10:42:59 -0700
    Hey Susannah! Great article! I hope you don’t mind but I used your quote “finding people to be the wind beneath your wings. But you have to make sure you can fly by yourself first.” In my Instagram post. You can see it at @mstreepants I think you make some great points. I believe you are a combination of the 5 people so it’s very important who we surround ourselves with <3 Ms. Tree Pants
  • commented 2015-03-21 14:44:21 -0700
    I became friends with someone through another friend of mine two years ago. We hit it off pretty well when we first met but because they lived in another state we had to adjust to being phone and Facebook friends. It was awesome always having them to talk to. We were both night owls and struggled with sleep, so we kept each other company and made each other laugh a lot. The third party friend of ours was happy that we had become such good friends and we were all pretty happy friends together. I soon was introduced to other friends of theirs and felt nice being involved in a group of theirs.

    After about a year and a half of ups and downs, they finally moved to where the third party friend and I lived. It was great to finally be with them instead of just always on the phone. But shortly after some time spent together I realized that we were always fighting. They [just the introduced friend. Not the third party friend] didn’t appreciate that I wasn’t always hyper and lively, and I didn’t appreciate that they were always so obsorbed in other peoples appearances and judging them. Eventually I realized that this interest in other peoples appearance was my friends obsession and it really made me feel negative. My friend also felt the need to insist on every interest of theirs was everybody else’s interest. Eventually my friends sister had to call her out on it and tell her that just because something is of their interest does not mean that that is going to be every bodies interest, and they are not in the wrong for having different interests.

    Eventually I just no longer felt uplifted by my friends obsessions.. It became too much for me and the fact that they wanted me to see everything the way they did and like everything they did, and how they were always just so interested in talking about how ugly or attractive people were. I eventually began to get really offended. And it began to confuse me to how out of all of these friends that I was the only one who appeared to be offended by this friends obsessions and narcissistic behaviors and demands.

    I eventually began to confide in other friends to see if it were me who was wrong or if it was them who was wrong. I learned a lot about myself and started to distance myself because this friend wanted to talk about how ugly other friends of mine were and it just didn’t set right with me anymore. Eventually I messaged them kindly and told them that I no longer wished to be their friend in the calmest and nicest way I could. And no we are no longer friends.

    But something I have learned since I stopped being their friend is that, just because someone is a toxic friend to you doesn’t necessarily mean they are a toxic friend to others. Just like medicine that could save someone’s life, could just as easily end someone else’s. Because they could be allergic to that medicine. This friends personality and behaviors didn’t match with mine and mine didn’t match with hers. But that doesn’t mean that her personality can’t match with others. So a toxic friend to me could be a best friend to another and vice versa!

    I’m growing and becoming a better person and I hope they do the same.

Connect With Us