Toxic friendships

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songbirdrosa

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Toxic friendships
« on: June 09, 2017, 04:05:39 PM »
When I was a child, I was very outgoing, vivacious, and made friends easily. Not so any longer. Right now, I can count the number of friends I have in my town on one hand. The problem is that since I've started my recovery, I'm beginning to see just how bad for me most of them really are. One is a self-professed sociopath (more on him shortly), another is a walking ball of anxiety who radiates tension so palpable you can almost see it, and yet another is a chronic depressive who is always talking about the evils of society and how she wishes World War III will eventuate and destroy everything.

Whenever I hang out with them, discussions will inevitably end up in some philosophical/political rant session about how the world is so corrupt, democracy doesn't work, and we're all going to die. It's so frustrating because they're so blinkered and they think that they have the solutions for every problem faced by humanity! But enough on that, it's tertiary to the point.

The self-diagnosed sociopath is probably the most destructive of them all. He seems to take a perverse pleasure in making me flustered by "playing devil's advocate" when I dare to express an opinion (really he's just using it as an excuse to be a jerk). He'll contradict things I say, deliberately try to confuse me, talk over me, and interrupt me. He tries to play it off as a joke, but he's always doing it! He toys with me like crazy! And it seems like he thinks he's intellectually superior to me because he doesn't do it to anyone else.

There are a couple of others in the group who are good people, and who I get along well with but trying to see them separately is quite challenging. Particularly as they're both dating others in the group.

I want to try to fade out of that circle, but they're the only social interaction I have in my immediate area (I do have a few other friends who live elsewhere), and I don't know if being alone all the time would be better or worse than hanging out with them. Especially given the ones who I feel are worth being around. I'm also scared that if I see some and not others, they'll start asking questions about why I'm avoiding them, and I don't think I'm ready for any kind of confrontation on that. I'm so torn as to what to do. I'm planning on moving at the end of the year as well, so part of me thinks that finding new friends would be a little pointless at this stage. I need help.

 :fallingbricks:

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sanmagic7

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Re: Toxic friendships
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2017, 12:50:04 AM »
songbird, it sounds to me like this will work itself out given time.  if you're moving at the end of the year, it may take care of some of these dilemmas for you. 

i learned once that confusion is a growth indicator.  it means that you are questioning where you've been (or who you've been with) but aren't quite where you want to be.  it's a transition thing, and transitions are usually messy and disorganized. 

as you change, as you grow healthier in your expectations of the people around you, your relationships will naturally change.  time and patience are what's needed when we're confused.  i think this will get figured out for you.  best to you with it all.  big hug.

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clarity

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Re: Toxic friendships
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 09:28:27 AM »
Hi Songird  :wave:

Currently I have one friend.  He is the only one who has been honest and steadfast for over a decade.  I have no female friends, due to the horrendous blueprint for female relationships that was laid down from birth.  This is ok.  I have both ended friendships and been discarded over the past few years, AS I have begun to heal.  It has been so important to remember that until I get to know and befriend myself properly, then my friendship radar will be malfunctioning... making it virtually impossible to connect with women in a sustainable way.  There is no trust in me,  And this is totally understandable.  Which then means I have had to learn( still doing) to be alone in a healthy way ... so self care without wallowing in self pity and self sabotage as I used to do, and can still do a little on bad days.  To parent myself yes, but also to be that proverbial 'best friend' to myself ( sometimes I talk to myself out loud and enjoy it - if there is nobody but me here, then what the *!).  it has astounded me how much capacity I have for this self care... once I saw the value and sheer necessity of it, then I was able to give myself permission to go for it.  And love myself with all of the love that was ignored and thrown back in my face from my FOO and incompatible friends.   I love the story of The Little Red Hen.  As a child I was spellbound by this book, with the message of the hen who asked for help and reached out, to be shunned but who did it herself and then reaped the benefits!!  It was curiously contrary to the messages of 'selflessness' that I was being brainwashed with, and something deep within me knew that it was important.....now at 50, I smile at that and raise a toast to the author for providing me with such a vital emotional lifebelt when I was so young. 

Friend is such a vague word. I like to use the phrase 'loved one'.  If they are not, then they have no business cluttering up your life!
And to be your own loved one.... make this your mission first and foremost.  Love begets love..... and love and loneliness can exist side by side within you.... and sometimes the loneliness simply dissolves away altogether, and those are lovely moments indeed.

 :hug:

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songbirdrosa

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Re: Toxic friendships
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2017, 03:53:26 PM »
Hi Clarity,

My psychologist was saying very similar things in our session this week, so it seems that this is the message I'm supposed to be getting right now. :)

It's a little funny how these things work out, because the 'friends' I was talking about in this post appear to have started to fade away from me as soon as things started to turn. I told them all that the treatment I'm doing would change me, and that things were going to get worse before they got better but they still ran anyway. I've not heard from any of them in two weeks as of today (though that's probably a good thing as I've been REALLY unstable lately). Truth be told, I'm not sure if I should be relieved that they made my choice so much easier, or sad because they abandoned me at the first real sign of trouble. I'd hoped they would be better than that. But if this is what their true colours are, then I guess I'm better off without people like that in my life right now.

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clarity

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Re: Toxic friendships
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2017, 05:18:35 PM »
They choose to avoid imagined difficulties or the needs of another person, because they have no empathy and find that too ugh .... its all about them. They really do reveal themselves when they do this, not us.   

It is only our training to feel blame that triggers us to take responsibility for their weaknesses....

So then - the silly duffers actually made some beautiful space in your life for new people who will appreciate you.  They will show up in time!!
Meanwhile, take care of lovely you...  :cheer:

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songbirdrosa

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Re: Toxic friendships
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2017, 07:10:04 AM »
You're very right Clarity!

I tried reaching out to one of the more reasonable ones in the group today, to mixed success. She agreed to meet for coffee later in the week, and I suggested one of the more secluded cafes so that I wouldn't get spotted by anyone I don't want to see. Her immediate reaction was "That place is super bourgeois". What does that have to do with anything? So it's a little bit upmarket, how is that any different from the cliquey hipster places she frequents? They're the same price, only one of them isn't decorated with broken plates and burlap sacks! I'm starting to regret asking to see her...

Sorry for the rant, my psych is away this week, so I needed to get it out somewhere.