Friends Can Be Toxic Too


Last year at this time, I was approaching my last year of college and knew I had to make a change. For the last nine months I had immersed myself in a toxic behavior that put a damper on my academic performance and my own personality. Fortunately, I had not gotten involved with drugs, but sometimes losing control of how you let others treat you can lead to major self-destruction.

For the past nine months, I had gradually pushed everyone out of my life that loved me and encouraged me to challenge myself. I put my relationship with my boyfriend at the time (who is now my fiancé) and my parents at a high risk.

Being roughly two weeks away from starting my senior year, I realized I needed to cleanse myself of anyone or anything that would distract me from doing my best emotionally and intellectually. The year before I wasn’t giving my classes and professors the attention they deserved and my grades suffered immensely.

Before my junior year, I was maintaining a 3.8 average GPA; by the end of the year, my GPA had dropped to a 3.5. I knew my last year at SNHU was going to go by faster than I could imagine, and I knew my new professors deserved better. I needed to stay focused for the upcoming two semesters and not let anything get in my way.

Upon starting my senior year, I slowly cut back on all communication with those who didn’t make me feel better about myself and started spending time with those who inspired me to push harder and try different things. At first it was a challenge making the quick transition, but once I saw my grades and well being improve, I knew I had made the right choice. It can be rewarding being someone’s ROCK, but it’s never okay when they leave you to drown in their burdens.

I am not writing this post to disregard the selfless act of being a good friend, but to say it is okay to distance yourself from certain people. If you are feeling unappreciated or exhausted (sucked dry of energy) from time spent with a friend – whether that’s in-person or over the phone – it might be time to make a change. This doesn’t mean the other person is a bad person. I do not believe that anyone is intentionally manipulative or emotionally abusive, but each one of us has the power to cross a boundary. If you allow someone to push you around and take advantage that is your choice, and it is also your choice to distance yourself from a toxic situation.

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