Having a lot of friends isn’t everything, and I’m slowly realizing that.
I know I sound like a cliché when I say that I’ve learned a lot about myself in college (granted, I’m only a junior). A lot of my blog posts are things that I’ve learned over the course of a few years, but the thing I’m going to share with you is something I ended up learning the hard way in just a few short months towards the end of my freshmen year. This is the journey I took in deciding to end two friendships instead of salvaging them.
I had always been afraid of not having enough friends. To be quite frank, I still think I lack the proper skills of friend-making. For nine years I was at the same school with the same people. I saw the same faces for nine hours a day in close quarters. High school was a little different and much harder, and I didn’t start to really solidify any types of friendships until maybe the spring of my junior year. When I got to college, I finally realized something: I sucked at making friends. Like, once I have them, I’m good, but it’s just making them that’s the problem. I wasn’t automatically becoming friends with people in my classes or my major, and this was supremely frustrating.
In freshmen year, I ended up having, let’s say, a squad. There were five of us. We made a cute little group chat and named it The Divas, and we thought we were hot stuff. So, to put it blandly, we were lame, as a whole, but it was fun. Now, there were aspects of all of their personalities that I didn’t like, and some of these aspects were more annoying than others.
One of them in particular, one of the two I will end up talking about later, we’ll call Person A. From the beginning of the year, I knew Person A liked to be treated like a baby and expected everything to go their way. And if something didn’t go their way, they pouted and complained and turned into the victim. I wasn’t about that, and I’ve never been about that. I was ready to drop them a month and a half into school. My mother told me that I had to learn to deal with different people and adjust, and I could never understand why I needed this rule for Person A in the first place? Point being, I ended up getting along with Person A and learned not to bring up or push certain topics.
Person B and I got along with just fine. We actually became pretty close, if I’m being pretty honest. I never really had a problem with Person B until they started showing their true colors later on (I’ll get to that). Person B and I had a very similar mindset, especially when it came to Person A, and I think that’s part of the reason we bonded so well. We also had other things in common: our preference of clothing (we both liked the comfortable, modest look), our love of theatre, our love of Netflix, etc. And tolerance to people who needed to be pampered balanced us out. Most of the time, I was with Person B. I also realized that Person B had no real alliances when it came to friendships. She stayed where the most people were as a measure of security. Throw in the fact that she would delete an Instagram post if it didn’t get enough likes in a certain amount of time, and I realized that Person B was obsessed with how everyone else saw her and she liked to collect friendships like little league trophies.
These two people had personality traits that, if I hadn’t been living with them and had to tolerate them, I would have despised. These were the type of people I tried to avoid.
Fast forward to second semester freshmen year, and I started to notice that Person A and Person B always expected me to be around and in the room. To my fault, that’s how I spent a lot of first semester: sitting in my room and watching Netflix. They were used to me always being there. I started dating second semester, which meant that my time was split, and they didn’t like that. I also didn’t like the fact that they were acting as if the three of us were sharing a boyfriend and that they owned my time. I owed them nothing. That’s not why I ended the friendships, though.
I ended the friendships because they decided to talk about me behind my back to one of my closest friends at the time. Big shocker that this got back to me, right? What was it that Big Sean said? “Funny thing about talking behind my back is that it keeps coming back to me…” Hmm.
The three of us were supposed to take a trip, but Person B uninvited me under the notion that Person A and I had left on shaky footing, unbeknownst to me, and offered to have me come at another point in the summer. I told Person B to send the money for my bus ticket in the mail, since I knew from the jump that I was not going to spend any time with her over the summer. I confronted Person A, and they went on about how I had abandoned them, and I promptly told them that, no, they just always wanted a monopoly of my time and that real friends would have talked to me about it instead of making the situation entirely about themselves. I told her to have a nice life and proceeded to delete her number from my phone. As Jay-Z would say, on to the next one. Person B and I’s friendship took a little bit longer to die out, but it eventually died soon into first semester sophomore year.
There was a part of me that wanted to confront them about what I was hearing and have them say it to my face. There was another part of me (the part that ended up winning) that began to question why I wanted to salvage these friendships. These two people had personality traits that, if I hadn’t been living with them and had to tolerate them, I would have despised. These were the type of people I tried to avoid.
So why was the decision to let them go not so easy?
I realized that 1) I hate change and 2) I was afraid to losing the few friends I had, which led me to want to cling onto friendships that were no good for me. Getting rid of those two friendships was a great decision for me, and I’m glad I made it.
I think this goes for any type of relationship. I know that everyone’s circumstances are different, and the level of courage and safety it takes to get out of a toxic relationship can vary. Even if you’re in no physical danger because of a toxic relationship, you might be in mental danger. Toxic relationships are draining, and you end up thinking more about the other person than you do about yourself, and that’s never a good thing. I made the decision to end two toxic friendships a year ago, and now showing people the door to my life has become much easier.
If you’re in a toxic relationship or friendship, think about how miserable you are right now and how much better you’ll be afterwards. That’ll probably make your course of action a whole lot easier.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below! Please and thank you!
P.S. And, no, the two girls in the picture with me are not Person A and Person B. Those are my two best friends, Ade and Bri lol.