What do you do when your being the toxic friend to yourself.
Recently I have read a variety of different articles talking about toxic friendships and how it’s okay to end them and it doesn’t make you a horrible person. These articles take me back to college and remind me of a situation I had with a close friend. Someone who in the end I had to cut out of my life. I remember feeling horrible for a really long time. I still miss the person sometimes, even though in the long run it was the right decision and my life and other relationships have been better for it.
One of the articles I was reading mentioned a few things that specifically reminded me of this past relationship. You can read it here. While I didn’t really read most of the steps because they started sounding to new agey or something, the beginning is what got me thinking. In that beginning part it describes a friend and something they do and how you feel afterward.
“But when you hang up, you realize your own mood has downshifted. You were fine before the phone call but now you feel saddened, worried, tired.”
The article goes on to talk about how every person leaves an impression on your field of energy. While not the way I would phrase it, it does make sense. Every interaction we have with someone affects us in someway. Whether good or bad, or maybe both. When we’re constantly around someone who drains us, because they are always piling their worries, fears and problems on us, it becomes exhausting. It quickly affects our mood as well. We become like a mirror image of that person.
Recently I’ve noticed that my attitude has shifted a lot toward what I used to be like when I was around these toxic friendships. After reading these different articles, I began to wonder what’s causing my attitude this time. I’m barely around any of my friends anymore. I don’t keep in touch with any of my highschool friends even though I’m back in the area. I hardly ever get to see my friends from Grand Rapids and I’m currently upset with my two out of state friends (which of course, I haven’t told them this).
I began racking my brain trying to figure out what has been causing my mood and I realized I was causing it. I’m the toxic friend to myself. All the articles that described what a toxic friend is sound familiar to me in this moment because that’s what I am being to myself. Of course it comes across a bit differently but it’s still the same idea. Here are some examples:
- I’m the shoulder I cry on: In most situations a toxic friend always chooses you to tell her problems to instead of confronting the person that is upsetting them or talking to someone else as well so that you don’t get the brunt of it. What I am doing is not going to anyone at all. I’m bottling up most of my issues and problems and just rethinking them over and over in my head. This is only making me feel worse because I don’t have the answers and at the moment don’t have the ability to get myself out of my funk, but I’m still relying on myself even though I should be asking others for help.
- I’ve become the Debbie Downer: Toxic friends can often have bleak outlooks on life, or are very negative. Even if it’s not always obvious because they come across as a bubbly personality they can actually look at things as the glass half empty. I am not by any means what I would call a bubbly person but I normally wouldn’t consider myself pessimistic, at least not very often. But here lately at least when I’m alone, I do tend to feel that way. In the past I have liked to be around people who are a bit more boisterous and animated then myself because it helps lift my spirits. I can get very dark and moody when I spend to much time alone, which has been a problem lately. Because, in a way, I’m the only “social” interaction I have outside of work and family, I’ve become the Debbie downer to myself.
- They put you in a bad mood: Because of everything they dump on you toxic friends tend to put you in a bad mood. Like I was saying earlier, their problems become yours and so then you’re worrying about your own and theirs and then your mad at yourself for letting their problems affect you. So for me at this moment I’m basically in a bad mood because of a problem and then I’m in even more of a bad mood because I’m mad at myself for being in a bad mood about a problem I really have no control over or should be able to handle.
These are just a few examples to try and give you an idea of how I’m being a toxic friend to myself. I think what it really boils down to in the end is that I’ve in a way cut myself off from other people and so all I have is myself. Now I could blame that on the fact that I’m working two jobs and have very little time or that I’m not opening up to other people because I feel my problems are to small and insignificant compared to what they may be going through. That’s kind of another topic for another post though. In the end I don’t completely know what I need to do to fix this. I think I’ve had this problem in the past whenever I was home from school during the summer, the only problem is this won’t change when summer is over, I’m way past going back to school. At least I have my volunteer teaching job to look forward to in the Fall.