Self respect

17 Nov

I just walked away from my best friend for over a year. I did it because it became a matter of self respect. The relationship had turned toxic and one sided, and a while back I promised myself to try harder not to put up with such things.

I don’t want to go into the particulars of what happened, but suffice to say he was extremely needy, whiny, and manipulative. I tried to be the best friend possible. I tried to help him with his problems, or at least listen. All I got in return was more complaining. No matter what the topic of conversation, it would inevitably turn back to him and his problems. Despite all the effort I put into the relationship, if we hit a bump or had an argument he would automatically assume it was over, that I was leaving him, and make subtle hints at suicide. He had no confidence in me as a friend, regardless of everything I tried to do to be a good one.

And so I’ve said goodbye, blocked communications, and cut him out of my life. It sucks. Losing friends always sucks, but I’m trying to keep perspective on what I’m actually losing. When I weigh everything I see that I’m actually gaining something rather than losing; self respect.

Toxic relationships do nothing but drain you. It turns into a case of sunk costs. The main argument I have with myself when considering cutting someone out of my life is “Well I’ve already put this much time and energy into the person. I’d hate to lose it all.” But it’s already lost. The hard part is finally realizing and accepting that. The best thing you can do is just move on.

I’ve always had a difficult time with friendships. At just shy of 25 I’m still trying to figure out what constitutes a good friendship, what’s realistic, and what I should expect. Earlier in the year I deleted my facebook. I did so for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I realized that almost nobody on there was actually my friend. I wagered that I would never hear from them again if I got rid of my profile and the hollow interactions that pass as friendship. I was right.

And so now I’m effectively friendless again. I say “effectively” because I still have my girlfriend and about three people I talk to now and then (but rarely see), yet I don’t have anybody to hang out with. You know what? I’m ok with that. As I’ve grown up I’ve come to realize that zero is still higher than any negative number. I’m better off with no relationships than having relationships where the other person takes advantage of me. Walking away is never easy, but I take solace in that I’m starting to learn to respect myself.

7 Responses to “Self respect”

  1. slrman November 17, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    As George Washington is supposed to have said, “it’s better to be alone than in bad company.” I see you have discovered this for yourself.

    I have gone through the same thing, more than once. Some years ago, I friend and I disagreed strongly on politics. I would point out that I was not making anything up, only reporting facts. (it was during the 2nd Bush administration) I told him that, if he had evidence that anything I said was not true, I would be happy to hear it. His response was, he didn’t want to hear it, true or not. Of course, he intended to keep telling me how great “W” was. I said if I had to stop telling the truth, he would have to stop repeating unsupported Bush lies.

    That’s when things became impossible, and I decided integrity was more important than a “friendship” on those terms. Yes, I “lost” a friend but I kept my integrity. After this much time, I still feel I did the right thing.

    “For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught.
    To say the things he truly feels, and not the words of one who kneels.
    The record shows, I took the blows, and did it my way.”

  2. M. Rodriguez November 18, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    no friendship or relationship is ever 50-50, but from what it sounds like, your friend has alot of growing up to do. And struggles with relating to the opposite sex.

    • slrman November 18, 2012 at 5:54 am #

      Very perceptive of you to mention problems with the opposite sex. He had been married and divorced twice. In the ten years + that I knew him, he had never had a relationship with a woman that lasted more than 4 months.

      Furthermore, he was also one of the most homophobic individuals I had ever met. He also liked to brag a lot (perhaps jokingly, but consistently) about his penis size, too. That should have been a clue about his maturity level.

  3. Withheld November 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Ending things by blowing up on your friend then just cutting all ties, including dropping things off at my place of employment without my knowledge, shows you have no idea what friendship even means.

    • James Smith November 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

      If you are addressing me, I did not “blow up” on him. He is the one that demanded I stop sending him factual accounts. I could, after all provide proof of every word.

      If he had said, “Let’s agree not to discuss politics,” it might have been different. But he wanted to continue to bombard me with his views while essentially telling me to “Just STFU!”

  4. Withheld November 18, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    No, I was addressing the OP.

  5. tteamy December 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    I know what ya mean. I keep facebook because I have a crafting page & advertising my stuff I make, but I never hang with anyone on my “friends list”. I also know about toxic friendships, recently went through that myself, tried walking away, but kept getting dragged back until bitch mode came out & drove that person away. I sent you an email a couple months ago, but never got a reply.

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