I am all for removing toxic people from your life; I’ve done it myself more times than I like to count, but the harsh truth is, sometimes I’ve been the toxic one.
It’s that icky feeling when you’ve done something and later wondered if you were in the wrong. The reverse of the shower arguments replaying what we wish we had said, except we’re contemplating what we shouldn’t have said as the coffee granules from our favourite frank body scrub runs down the shower drain.
I’m not saying you can’t have a bad day or week, and maybe the truth is you’re just going through some shit that makes you a not nice person for a minute. That’s not being toxic, that’s being difficult, but fuck, we’re all that person in the friendship at some point.
I’ve moved on from some friends in recent years, and I would be a fool to not admit that maybe a couple moved on from me. There was a time when I didn’t understand, and I honestly tried everything to make amends. I sent an embarrassing email (after a few wines and a therapy session), I sent text messages, I left missed calls, and I never got a reply. It fucking hurt, to be honest, but then I had to do a lot of thinking and concluded that I was the toxic one.
Thankfully without sounding like a narcissist, I’ve grown a lot in my years. But as well as being toxic at some point in a few friendships, I’ve known a hell of a lot of toxic people too. They say misery loves company, and I’ll add one to that list – messes love other messy people.
There was a time in my life when I was a literal rock bottom; I didn’t know where my moral compass was; I did whatever felt good at the time and had a fundamental YOLO outlook, not caring who or what I did. Looking back, I don’t even recognise who I was then. Of course, now I know it was a transitional growth period (an easy way of saying it was shit, but I’m better now for it), But as uneasy as it is to admit how bad I was, I was hanging out with some pretty toxic people and well, it takes on to know one.
I knew a girl whose best friend got engaged and said best friend didn’t tell her for ages because she knew it would upset her. When she did, the girl cried because she was single. That same girl is the one no one wants to invite to their drinks at home because she never leaves. Some of us don’t even realise we are the toxic one and I’m here to tell you if you’re not sure, you probably are.
Signs you’re the toxic one:
- You’re super critical of your friends
- You burn bridges with not only friends but work and exes
- Your friends don’t tell you secrets or really exciting news
- You make the conversation about yourself constantly
- Being negative is your vibe
Remember the two bottles of wine you brought to your friend’s house because you were feeling down, and instead of staying in, you convince her to go out with you and get wasted. Despite the big work meeting she had in the morning. You were feeling low; that’s what friends are for, right!?
Why should you have to say sorry to him? He is the one that was talking to that hot neighbour out the front for 15minutes. You had every right to go mental on him and throw his clothes in the bin. You’re not saying sorry; he deserved it.
Here is where your wrong girlfriend, burning bridges with friends, work, even exes can feel liberating at first. But the world is small, and it can be confronting when you have to relive one of those moments. Once, a brilliant woman said to me, “maybe it’s not everyone else, maybe it’s you.” They say mums are always right, and of course, mine was.
Dictionary.com states Growth is defined by the act or process, or a manner of growing, development, gradual increase. What are we, if not constantly developing into better human beings? We want others to grow, so we must want the same for ourselves. If you’re the toxic one, you might read this and not get it, but for your friend’s sake, I hope you do because as harsh as it can be. No one likes a toxic friend or a toxic soul. Cleanse, look after yourself and get better.
*Disclaimer some of these examples are real and some aren’t. IYKYK