Monday, January 28

Toxic Friendships

As a society, we condemn abusive relationships and bullying but I think we've missed the mark on one type of abuse- and that is the toxic "frenemy" complexity that young women have created today. Friends, sisters, roommates, sorority sisters, small group members; to the outside people would guess 'friends' but in reality the fierce world of jealousy, confrontation, and passive aggressive arguments turns them into silent enemies. After going on four years in a sorority, I have seen this hidden world butt its' ugly head in several relationships in the sorority but most recently, my own relationships. There is something extremely hurtful about a fallout with a friend, but then when this ugly 'frenemy' dynamic rises, it makes it that more painful.

Friendship, according to the Bible, is a good and necessary relationship that bring humanity closer together. Do your friendships look like that? After over two years of friendship with a particular friend and a falling out, I looked to Scripture for advice. England changed me completely, from the inside out and it was time to lay issues to rest and move on. I was changed, and I hope she had too. Driving to dinner I was hopeful to hash out the past and move forward. Almost two hours later, I drove home feeling smaller than a grain of sand. 

"A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separate the best of friends" is a section taken from Proverbs 16:28. While I was driving home that evening, I vowed that this was the end; not because I was stubborn and thought she was 100% wrong, not because I didn't make an effort to extend the olive branch, but because she made me feel worthless, inferior and altogether depressed. I realized that her friendship was no longer worth pursuing because of the way she treated me over the years. I gave to that friendship more than I ever got back; I always tried to make her birthdays special, I stayed up with her hours while she vented about boyfriend issues, I defended her to others because they didn't understand what she was going through- yet here I sat at the end of it with the short end of the stick and completely alone. 

In the end of it all, no body should ever make you feel inferior, depressed, sad, hurt, ugly or just worthless. Women have such toxic relationships sometimes and continue to go back to "friends" that continually hurt them, and then we go to another friend, our mom, a cousin or a coworker and complain about them. My time is so limited here at UNCW that I don't want to waste one more minute of energy, time or emotion on a toxic relationship that will never go past the gates of college. Have more self esteem and self worth for yourself to stand up for yourself, your precious time and your mental health and walk away from these relationships. It's amazing how when you walk away from a toxic pond how the Lord will provide you with a fresh spring to invest in you.  "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend" Proverbs 27:17