Toxic Friendships

Friendships often change when we become a widow, some friends drift away because they were part of your couple friendships and some drift because they just can’t handle your grief. In both cases, let them go.

But what about the friend that stays, but you find yourself in a toxic situation with them. They turn against you without notice, make snide comments, stand you up or expect you to pay whenever your out.

It’s confusing, and we don’t know what to do. We don’t want to lose anyone else, but their hostility puts us into emotional confusion – something we don’t need while we are grieving. Part of us seems victimized and we start feeling sorry for ourselves or we rationalize their actions by saying that we are being oversensitive and should just shake it off. We simultaneously want to give them a piece of our mind or just forgive them – but we can’t do both.

This toxic friendship can make us feel powerless, make us blindly deny that anything is wrong or banish them from our lives forever. But, maybe there is another option and that is to talk calmly to them about your feelings and hopefully you can resolve the dispute in a loving manner.

The real trick is to know yourself – find a way to peacefully exist with old friends now that your life is forever changed. But never compromise yourself to keep a friendship that is toxic, instead let it go so that there is room in your life for new friendships that help you grow into your new life.

For more on Relationship check out my Guide “Our Relationships – How Do We Keep Them Healthy?” Guide # 3 on Relationships

2 Responses

  1. Catherine
    | Reply

    What if those “toxic” friendships are family – like a sister? – It’s not that she expects me to pay when we’re out – I wish she’d invite me to go out – It’s that she’s never here for me. She swears up and down that she is but I could literally use the fingers on my one hand to count how many times she’s called to say hi in this past year and it wouldn’t be 5. I lost my amazing and handsome husband on Jan 2, 2017. It’s been almost 14 months and to me it feels like it was yesterday. I was 48 and our daughter was 14. My life is in shambles. I can’t seem to get a job – it’s funny how everyone says I’m too young to be a widow but I’m not too young to be discriminated against by potential employers. I’m holding on to my house but I don’t see that happening for much longer. My widows benefits will cease in 2 months and everything around me it seems is crumbling. I want to be positive for my daughter but it’s almost impossible most times. And then there are friends and family who disappear which completely took me by surprise. I guess for them it’s something that happened to nice people a while back. And while it hurts from friends whom I consider ex friends now, it sure is flooring when this comes from family. I don’t expect much from people. I was always the giver and I don’t want to play the part of the victim but WE ARE victims, aren’t we? Why would you expect a widow to be the one to baby people, and call, and be the proactive one in making plans and so forth? I’ve spoken to her about it here and there but it just doesn’t sink. My daughter sees pictures of them on social media just doing their thing, being at parties, taking road trips and not that we are jealous but you’d think that they’d be more sensitive in trying to include my daughter at least once in a while? Instead, we are treated like we have some contagious disease and I have to be so careful in talking to even my parents sometimes about it because in the end it is I that is either too sensitive or misinterpreting things. They just don’t want to hear it and I find that when people nonchalantly say to you “Be Strong” they truly have no idea what they are saying – How can they? Along with your husband, the house maybe, your life as you knew it, You not only loose people you thought were your friends whom you’ve done so much for but you loose family too. If the tables were turned God forbid, I truly do not think in a million years that my husband and I would act this way. But I guess for some, being supportive even in small ways every now and then is just too much to expect. One thing is for sure, I wasn’t expecting all of the terrible and overwhelming extras that come along with loosing your husband in death. Isn’t loosing a loved one more than enough already? Too bad that widows or widowers only will read your blogs and the comments. Someone should really invent a way to get this info to the people around the widows and widowers so that maybe they can get some sense knocked into them. Thanks for listening.

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Dear Catherine – I’m sorry that family and friends have not been there for you. It’s sad that when we need them the most, they disappear.

      We can’t control others but we have full control of our own decisions. Seek out some positive new friends and help your daughter to do the same. Control your environment by keeping it as positive as possible with less negativity, tv and more about what you still have. What a blessing that you have each other and that your both healthy. You have the whole world in front of you. I believe in you – you can heal and find your way. Mary Francis

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