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Toxic Relationships

Friendships aren’t always peaceful affairs

Toxic relationships are a mental and physical strain to the body; they may make you feel lonely, unheard, and overall confused. As cliché as it sounds, they’re an emotional rollercoaster. Instead of putting yourself first, you put this other person before you in any circumstance, you would take a bullet for them, but in your case they may be behind the trigger.

What is a toxic relationship? It’s when a person constantly puts you down in any form; they make it seem like everything you do is wrong or not up to par. They prevent you from growing into the person you can be. They can become jealous at the thought of you hanging out with other people, but when it comes to them, it’s okay. Almost everything you do is wrong, unless they approve. They make it seem like you can’t survive without them.

A key factor in recognizing a toxic relationship is how you feel when you aren’t with this person. Do you feel at peace or in a state of anxiety worrying about this person? Or when you are with them are you on edge and watching everything that you say; do you feel that you can’t voice your own opinion? They likely seem to make everything about them at every opportunity they get. At some point in time you may feel like venting to them, but they don’t care to listen and try to change the topic or they “hear you out,” and in the end they say that it’s “not that bad.” Also, they don’t like you trying new things, like meeting new people or doing another activity. When you try they may say that it’s stupid, pointless, and that you should quit. They don’t want you to grow as a person or realize that you are someone without them.

“After carrying on the friendship for almost 2 years I finally realized how needy and clingy she was and [how] judgemental over my life like the decisions I made and it made me feel like I was doing everything in my life wrong. So I told her we shouldn’t be friends anymore and stopped talking and hanging out around her,” said junior Noelani Luia, going through it herself.

A toxic relationship can affect you mentally and physically making them unhealthy. Depending on the relationship it could lead to depression, stress, and anxiety. People tend to stick with this relationship because they feel like they will be left alone and that no one will accept them anymore because the toxic person mentally scarred you into thinking that they are nothing without them. It could get to the point where you don’t see the fine line where it’s unhealthy and you feel like what you do for them is a social norm and that everyone does this.

“Sometimes, when people are in a toxic friendship or relationship, they don’t realize how bad it is for them and how it negatively impacts them. It’s almost as if they’re making such an effort to fix things and make things work that they can’t see the big picture,” said junior Julia Schulte, who has had friends that have been in a toxic situation.

In the end, the best thing is getting rid of that relationship. It’s something not many people can do, because they get scared and feel like they could never do it, especially when it’s someone you’ve been friends with for a long time. What you can do is be up front with this person and stand up for yourself; it’s a scary thing but it’s for the better. Second, give them another chance to see if they will actually change and be a good friend, if not they weren’t really your friend. Third, find people who are actually there for you and care about your well being, surround yourself with positive people who have your back and will help you along the way. Fourth, break off ties with this person; this is a big step, but just think of the outcome and how much stress will be off your shoulders. It’s hard because this can mean ignoring them at all times, like avoiding their texts, calls, or at any point in time.

At this point you feel the urge of going back and forgetting everything that was in the past, but do the best for yourself. You deserve it. You shouldn’t have to deal with this person constantly putting you down or feeling a sense of anxiety just thinking of the person. Do the best thing for yourself and get yourself out of this hole that you have dug. It may seem like a long way up, but it’s just an illusion that the person created for you and it’s as simple as going up a flight of stairs, maybe even easier.

“In order to avoid [toxic friendships] they should find people who appreciate them & let them be themselves and only change them for the better, and not degrade them,” Luia said.

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