Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ode to a Toxic Friend

Let me preface this post by saying that this is an actual letter that I sent to a (soon-to-be-former) friend of ours. This person has serious issues that cannot be encapsulated into a small blog post, but suffice it to say that you can only imagine the things that led to this letter.

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Everyone has one. A toxic friend. Someone who you've known forever, been friends with for years, but you just cannot seem to get them out of your life. Try as you might, you can never find the right time or place to confront them with your unhappiness. As they say (and by "they", I mean me as well), "misery loves company".

Well, I say that the time is now, and the best place, at least in my case, was in a letter, because you can calmly and reasonably collect all your thoughts and sit on it until you have edited to the point where you feel it is fit to send. I think a letter is the best way to do this because it allows you some freedom when speaking, its personal enough for someone to really think about it and take to heart, and it can be changed to your liking (before the "Send" button, of course).

The following names have been changed to protect the guilty.

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First of all, I have to say, that you are incorrect in your assumption that according to you, "it just wasn't the right place/time to bring up the issue [I] have with [you]". Yes, although it may have not been the right place or time, if you recall correctly, because as you said, you were "SO SOBER" you must remember that the issue was dragged out of me by you. This happened because throughout the night, at various times, you kept stirring it up and asking me to tell you. After refusing approximately 20 times, I eventually gave up and brought it out into the open because you "just wanted to know and [you] wouldn't get mad".

I'm sorry that what was said hurt you enough to retaliate by calling me a "fucking bitch", and a "terrible fucking friend", and also by telling me that you "fucking hate" me. (Your words, not mine.) Granted, I also said some things, but my words were not as abrasive until you introduced them into the vocabulary.

Second of all, there were many things that I did not say that night. Partly because I again, did not feel was the appropriate place or time to do so, but also because I just didn't have the energy or time to make such an extensive list. They are as follows and I will make them as brief as possible. I know you like specific instances when being "attacked" as you so call it, but unfortunately, I didn't have a notepad at the time that these things occurred and contrary to popular belief my life certainly does not revolve around you.

The main thing that is an issue with me is your attitude about yourself and towards others. For example, every single time that we have ever gone out, there has been some comment made on your appearance and/or your weight. To be clear, I am not insulting you. I feel like it is often a crutch that you use as a way to get attention from others. By making some sort of comment like this, you are in a way 'fishing for compliments'. Let me just say that anytime I have ever tried to be nice and to compliment you it is rejected. Why should I even bother anymore? I think that once you start having a better attitude about yourself and you start leaving your issues with your body image out of the equation, you will get a lot more respect and positive attention.

Another thing that constantly bothers me is the way you act when we are out in a group. I feel like the majority of the time, you aren't being true to yourself. Once the focus of the night ever so slightly drifts off of you, you begin to make a spectacle in order to gain that attention back. For example, when the group is at a bar and we break off to talk to guys, all of a sudden, there you are making snarky comments in order to make yourself known to the group once more, or you stand to the side, visibly upset and pouting because you are being "ignored" or "not included". For the record, no one intentionally excludes you, but rather, they just happen to be focusing their attention on something else for a few short minutes.

If you want a specific example, I'll give you my most recent one. About a month ago, when we all went downtown for Lisa's birthday, TB and some of his friends met us up at Flannery's. TB was drunk and after I introduced him to JN, he began a "guy convo". I tried 3 times to introduce him to you because he was drunk and not paying attention. Instead of taking it for what it was, a drunk guy talking to another drunk guy, you began pouting and saying (and I quote), "Oh no, its cool. Just ignore me. No big deal. Just pretend I'm not here." That was really embarrassing the next day when I had to explain to TB that no, my friend didn't hate him, she just always acts like that.

I understand that its hard for you to approach people you don't know at a bar, but that's what we do. That's how you meet new people and new friends. I realize its not always the easiest thing to do, but sometimes you have to just go for it. Unfortunately for me, its not always easy to meet new people and new friends when my group has to constantly babysit you and make sure that you're being entertained and your ego is being fed. Its not fair. And if that is the reason that I never call you to hang out, then so be it. If that is what makes me, in your words, "a shitty fucking friend" then so be it.

Finally, the last thing I have to bring up is your favorite topic of conversation. The "Drama" Issue. Pandora, I don't know if you have ever noticed, but for some odd reason, whenever I am with my friends, we always have a great time, whether it is a group of three, or four, or more. We always, always, always have a blast. The only time there is ever a "drama issue" is when you are added to the equation. Funny how that happens. I know that you say you "hate drama", but honestly the ONLY time it is ever in the picture is when it comes pre-packaged with you. Once you start realizing that, then maybe you will understand why I don't call you to hang out. Part of the reason is that your temper tantrums and pouty faces are embarrassing and frankly, if I'm not getting paid to babysit on a Saturday night, why should I waste my time?

On the other hand, I am truly sorry that I wasn't there for you throughout your breakup with Danny. I realize that was a hard time for you, and as someone who has been through a rough breakup, I should've been there to help you and give you advice, or at the very least, a shoulder to lean on. However, you know this about me, I try to be as level-headed as possible, and I honestly think that that is something you hate about me. I feel that way because whenever I urge you to see both sides of the story, you shut down the idea completely. That is fine. Do what you want or need to do. But I ask you this, if you aren't going to listen to me, then don't ask me. I try to see both sides of the story, and Danny is my friend, too. You both deserve happiness, and maybe what you need is to move on. I know its hard. I know you are having trouble with it. But honestly, it is what is best for you. In order to become a whole person again, the best thing is to stop dwelling on the past and start looking towards the future.

Pandora, I say this with all my heart, you are honestly and genuinely one of the kindest souls I have ever met. I know that you will do anything to go above and beyond what is asked of you to help someone out. I truly feel that you are a beautiful person both inside and out. I just wish that you could see that for yourself instead of relying on others to tell you. I wish that you would let your guard down and let others see you for the amazing person that you are. Unfortunately, all of your wonderful qualities are often overshadowed by your negative attitudes and unwillingness to listen.

I understand if you never want to speak to me again. Honestly if that's what you want, then I welcome it. But I will tell you this, I recently saw a movie and as corny as it sounds, the instant I heard them say these words, it reminded me of you. Take from that what you will.

I am not going to be the goody-bag at your pity party anymore.

I know that misery loves company, but I don't want to be in your company anymore if this is how you act.

I mean this in the best way possible, but I honestly and sincerely recommend that you seek professional help. Whether it be a counselor, a therapist, or a psychiatrist, I think it would benefit you to share yourself with someone outside of your social circle.

I wish you all the best and I look forward to hearing from you (only if you let these words sink in).


If you're wondering why I decided to change this person's name to Pandora, I felt it was the most fitting name to describe this person.

PANDORA (Πανδώρα): Greek name composed of the elements pan - "all" and doron - "gift," hence "all-gift." In mythology, this is the name of the first mortal woman whose curiosity unleashed evil into the world.

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1 comment:

  1. Ciao, I think it's too hard live with toxic friends, have toxic friend. I know very well the problem. I wish you all the best, and to your friend too. Ciao, Italo.