Toxicity in Friendships

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this issue, but I was a lot more guarded and gentle about it in my last post on this matter.

I am currently in the process of removing a toxic friend from my life. This has been so hard. Especially since this friend is the queen of gaslighting while at the same time being a master of false compliments. To read more on gaslighting read this article.

I have fallen for her lies for far too long, fallen for her exaggerations of me, telling me how I need her and I can’t do things on my own. Telling me I’m a control freak for not letting her do things for me. I have allowed her to tell lies about me to other people. I have allowed her to put on a sense of false sympathy and ask around to make sure I’m okay when I seemed off to her, when I didn’t respond immediately to a text, or didn’t answer her phone calls. She has told people I won’t be attending events because I was on my death bed when I wasn’t. She has tried to destroy my relationship with my boyfriend for over a year and a half, and my friendships with other people, lying to me about my boyfriend, telling me things he’s done that have been so horrible and completely not true. And she has been telling my friends lies about me. If I have a success she tells people it’s because of her that I had that success.

I ignored so many signs, so many other people telling me to avoid this person, so many red flags because I thought maybe it’s just me. I felt special to her until I did something that set her off. And that isn’t okay. She would fill me with compliments and I would stay her loyal friend. It’s not okay to have a friend who doesn’t support you or love you. It isn’t okay to have a friend that makes everything entirely about themselves. It isn’t okay to have a friend who drags you down with them or hopes you stumble and fall back into an addiction.

I’m done with it, I’m in pain, I’m hurt, I feel betrayed and humiliated. I’m done with the sick sense of satisfaction she gets from using me. I thought I could be the bigger person and continue to love her and be her friend…but there comes a point where toxic friendships become so toxic they start to destroy pieces of what makes you…you. I began questioning everything I said and how I said it, questioning my morals, questioning everything. Trying to see if I was in the wrong. What did I do to make her hate me so much? But it wasn’t hate. It was her needing to control me, control how I perceived my friends, and control how my friends perceived me.

The problem was not me. The problem was her. This is not high school. We are all adults here, and I’m tired of this juvenile narrative she’s writing me into.

This has gone on for long enough and upon meeting with my psychiatrist for weeks about this exact problem I realize I was a victim. I let her turn me into a victim. She knew about my past, how I was in a horribly abusive relationship and how I blamed myself and she used the knowledge of my weakness to her advantage. I’m going to begin standing up for myself. I am so tired of being in this toxic friendship.

1 Corinthians 15:33
“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.”

Proverbs 13:20
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Another fantastic article.

I ask that you join me in prayer as I continue on this journey to lovingly end a friendship that has harmed me. Pray for me to be honest with myself about how toxic a friendship with her is and to not fall back into her lies. I’m not as tough and strong as I wish I was.

Toxicity in Friendships

I have begun the process of setting up healthy boundaries within my friendships. I tend to have a lot of one sided friendships with toxic people. I am very blessed with a small circle of people I can share my life with, ask for advise, and just pray with. I am also cognizant to be the friend that they need too. When they need me, I always try to be there. With coffee, with a listening ear, with a shoulder for them to cry on, with a hug, with prayer, whatever they may need, I’ve got them, I want to be there for them, and I do my best to be there for them.

Unfortunately there are so many one sided friendships that litter my life. Hence the implementation of boundaries. I realized I was beyond drained day in and day out because of these friendships. And not just that, but the amount of negativity and toxicity in these friendships was causing me to stoop down to a level I was not okay with for myself.

God calls us to love everyone as He loves them….but boundaries are healthy. I do not need to devote my life to these people, and I do not need to continue to be close friends with them if they are constantly gossiping, trying to get me to hate someone they hate, or cause strife in my relationship, as well as monopolize every single conversation. How To Set Boundaries was a great resource for me as I began the journey of setting boundaries with these specific people. I highly recommend reading the Practicing Loving Detachment section. I think I might actually write about that in the future because I could fill up an entire book about practicing loving detachment.

I don’t need to constantly save them from themselves or be a listening ear to the never ending negativity. But I can choose when to see them, and I can choose to attempt to be a source of positivity and love in their life. So as I embark on this journey of boundaries and loving detachment…I will do my best to be a source of Christ’s love while also protecting myself.

 

Love Your Enemies

Let’s talk about loving your enemies.

I have struggled for years with someone in ministry who is just the oil to my water. We do not mix at all. They have a completely different mindset, thought process, and way of life than I do. They go out of their way to bring strife into the ministry and I’ve almost quit so many times because of them. But ultimately I am serving for the Lord in this ministry and not for that person.

How do I move past the “kill them with kindness” mindset and into the mindset of actually forgiving them and praying FOR them instead of praying for them to change. I need to be praying that I see them through God’s eyes. I can’t change the narcissistic or misogynistic tendencies. I shouldn’t be praying for them to change. I need to pray that I can forgive them and love them how God loves them.

Harder than it looks.

Jesus wasn’t always respected. Yet He still loved those who disrespected Him. If Jesus can die on the cross for people who cursed Him and beat Him and betrayed Him, than I can learn to love my enemies too. Actually love my enemies. Not just say I love my enemies. Not just say that I forgive them. Not kill them with kindness. But actually have a change within my own heart.

Luke 6:27 “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

Romans 12:14 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.”

1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all that you do be done in love.” (This is my email signature, so I should probably start living this verse.)

1 Peter 3:9 “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”