I am the friend who is loyal to a fault. I will keep up a friendship even if the relationship doesn’t serve me well anymore. I will justify the actions of “friends” who have decided to treat me poorly only because my optimistic mind believes that there is something good in everyone.
Several years ago, for the first time in my life, I let go of toxic friendship. A while later, I tried to mend the friendship, only to realize my mistake. Eventually, I let that “friend” go again. I have no regrets, though, because both times I ended the friendship, I learned something important.
First and foremost, I learned that letting toxic relationships go significantly helps your mental health. Stepping back and realizing which traits are beneficial for you (and which aren’t) is important and necessary, even though it’s not always easy. Removing toxic people from your life can be the first step to a happier, healthier life.
Secondly, I learned that some wounds take longer to heal than others. No matter what life throws our way, we deserve to give ourselves grace and take however much time we need to recover from our losses. If the relationship no longer serves you but you miss it, it’s OK to scale it back instead of completely walking away. While you may want to mend your relationships with your friends, it is important to ask yourself whether or not rekindling the friendship will help you. Be truthful with yourself. If the answer is “no,” don’t reach out. But also remember that even if the answer is “no” right now, it may not always be.
While you may have to cut ties with some of your friends, you can still cherish the memories you once had. You can still love and support them from a distance. Leaving the friendship behind doesn’t make you a bad person. Instead, it makes you someone who is smart enough to prioritize their own well-being. Taking care of yourself is admirable and something we could all learn from. Once you are strong enough to end the friendships that hurt you more than they help, you’ll realize that you are finally happier and healthier.