Hannah ActonPublished in September 2020 / Updated in December 2020
Some friendships aren’t forever. I suppose we already knew that, but it doesn’t make the reality any easier to deal with. There’s no use feeling guilty in these tough times.
Move on from bad friends
The global climate makes meeting up and staying in touch very difficult. Everyone has a hard time maintaining a healthy relationship when you can’t spend time with them.
As a result, we have to accept the natural expiration date of friendship if it’s emotionally draining.
However, keeping in touch is hard at the best of times, let alone when everything seems to have changed. You may be sitting alone in your bedroom, wondering where all your closest friends are.
Sadly, just as much as you can accidentally make friends, they can also slip away if you forget them.
Toxic friendships are no different
Lockdown has ended lots of friendships – geographically, economically, and mentally – that would otherwise have had more time.
Firstly, with little opportunity to meet up and resolve issues head-on and in person, it can be easier to give up. Let toxic behavior be a thing of the past; find a true friend instead.
Furthermore, even the friends we do have, we sense a distance creeping in from so long apart. We no longer tell each other the small, everyday things because they seem unimportant.
Next, it’s not productive to have friendships where all you do is complain. That negativity can only worsen our mental health issues.
It means we’re likely to be bottling up insecurities and feeling increasingly like a burden. We all need a healthy support group around us for bad days.
Take zoom sessions
Just like the healthcare of a nation hinges on those with the least effective access to healthcare – the structural integrity of a zoom call can be cut off by just one rogue wifi signal.
Suddenly your big online reunion with your friends starts to feel shallow and silly. You hear every third word and hope that a sympathetic nod is an appropriate answer to whoever is speaking.
Then, like SUVs approaching a crossroads, everyone waits to speak and then goes all at once. It’s hard to feel connected when you can only see each other online.
One tell-tale sign of a toxic relationship, though is often a lack of things to talk about. It’s no-one’s fault, but when a group of seven of you can chat for four hours but never actually string two meaningful conversations together, you’re in trouble.
Also, your friendship isn’t serving you if it’s shallow. You don’t need someone to slap you in the face to prove that it’s a toxic relationship, so trust your instinct.
The relationships most at risk are the people that you’d never facetime or make the effort for.
It’s a shame
We need casual friends as much as we need our ‘ride or die’ pals.
That said, without the usual hobbies and leisure activities, we realize there’s less holding us together than there than we thought. Some friendships do need to end to stop them from becoming a drain on your energy.
There’s also the ‘radio silence’ friends. The people who make no effort to keep in touch beyond a meme flung your way every third Wednesday of the month.
They aren’t there for you but always expect you to be on call for them. They were valuable at the time, but it’s time to move on. The only way to deal with toxic people is by distancing yourself.
You get out what you put in
But sometimes you give far more of yourself than you get back.
Maybe your zodiac compatibility is the start and end of your relationship. That’s fine – sad, maybe – but don’t waste more time on toxic friendships.
We spend our lives waiting to feel real and valid on our own, we don’t need fake friendships to clutter up our mental health. End the friendship if it isn’t sparking any joy.
Some friends we make by virtue of having lived on top of each other. Now we’re wishing each other happy birthday every year, each person embarrassed by the lack of interaction in-between.
You can go from talking to a person everyday to nothing.
Let’s pour one out for the friends that went into the great beyond of ‘close friends’ on our Instagram stories to ‘friend of a friend’ on Facebook.