Anxiety Diaries; Anxiety and Toxic Friendships

Hey Guys.

Today I am going to be coming at you with an Anxiety Diaries post and the topic for today is Anxiety and Toxic Friendships and how to deal with that.
Mental Health as a whole is something not everybody understands or wants to understand. There are people in your life that are good for you and other’s who aren’t.

During my course with Anxiety I have had some friends who have been wonderfully supportive and others who are not. Mental Health and Friendships are two things that are a big struggle for me and one which I have had to really learn about through trial and error. There was never a book or blog post that I could read to teach me how to deal with this and it’s something I think that needs to be said so people going through the same thing can see their not alone, so many of us are in the same boat.

I have had all sorts of comments over the years from ‘just get over it’ to be being called weird, stupid and just plain being made fun off for my OCD tendencies and Anxiety. Some people truly don’t get it. I’ve struggled with Anxiety for years and I finally have the courage to look at friends who are toxic in my life and say ‘you know what, this isn’t a good friendship for me and I need to end it.’ And that is something that is hard, I’ve only really had to do this 3 times in my life and all of which have been within the last 5 years.

So a little backstory…

The first was a friend who I realized was actually a bully. I was being given abuse daily by them and given comments about outfits and have lies spread. She would tell me others were bitching about me in the hopes I wouldn’t be friends with other people. I was being manipulated. I finally realized what was happening and I ended the friendship and it was one of my best decisions. I became so happy and more confident, I no longer was being the target of abuse everyday or being lied to.

The second time I had to cut off a friendship was with someone I thought was a best friend. This was a friendship where we knew each other for about 8 years throughout school and would see each other as often as we could accept once again, I was being constantly put down. I was being told who else I could be friends with. I’m the sort of person that hates confrontation and this girl knew that and she would regularly ignore me and make me feel so bad so I would apologize. The final straw for me was when I realized the extent of what was going on here when she said to me ‘I love pretending to fall out with you because I know I can make you apologize for anything because of your anxiety. It’s funny.’

How horrible is that? What sort of person says and does that? Someone I really don’t need in my life. Sadly I had let them get away with manipulating me for years but I finally woke up and realized and that wasn’t ok.

And finally the other one was recently. As mentioned I hate drama and confrontation and once again like the other 2 ex-friends it was happening again. Not the bad remarks to me but the lies, I was having things made up about me, having her make up that others had said stuff to me and comments about my mental health or how OCD is funny.

So how do you end a friendship?

There isn’t a right way. There isn’t an easy way. There is only the way best for you.
Luckily in my case, I’m out of school and go to university and work so my free time is very small so I wouldn’t run into these people often. I can imagine that ending a friendship is 200x harder if you do have to go to school with them, work with them or see them often for any reason but ending a friendship doesn’t mean you have to hate them. You can be civil, it just means you are looking out for you.

With two of these friends the ending of the friendship was blunt, it ended with an argument. Well it ended up with me finally putting my foot down and sticking up for myself something that the other person didn’t like.

The other friend I suppose I just stopped talking to all together. I phased them out of my life and that’s not as brutal as it sounds. I was always the one fighting for a friendship I suppose and making plans so I stopped and put that in their court. If they were going to message and ask to go out then they could. They did once and I was genuinely busy. Then it just ended, no big argument or drama and that’s the best way I think. I do wonder if they realize why… I would have loved to explain why but you can’t argue with people who find it funny to use your anxiety as a weapon against you. I actually did run into them last month and I was civil and nice and would you believe they laughed in my face because I was with my best-friend who they hate? A person they told me I wasn’t allowed to be friends with anymore simply because they didn’t like them.  I realized I made a good decision then.

The truth is, when arguments happen the other person who has treated you in such a way is shocked. They expect you to lie down and roll over again, take what they have to say and be quiet because of your anxiety and they never expect you to stick up for yourself. When you do it the first time, I promise you have this amazing feeling, as I say I hate confrontation my heart will pound and I will be shaking but afterwards I feel so proud of myself for going ‘enough is enough.’ That one moment of terror for me is just something I have to go through in order to be happy and not be put down.

Before you make a decision.

Ending a friendship is hard even when you know it is for the best. When you know they are dragging you down and toxic. Before you make a decision talk it through with another loved one, just explain how you’re feeling or even talk to that person. If they can modify their behaviour and realize what they’re doing so you can still be friends then that’s great. Sadly that wasn’t an option for me, so much had happened which I can’t get into but my only options were to carry on with that friendship and put myself through it still or end it.

Don’ts

  • Don’t be made to feel guilty.
  • Don’t let them manipulate you into thinking your sensitive or irrational.
  • Don’t let them make you feel weak.
  • Don’t let them decide who you can and can’t be friends with, how to dress, what to eat.
  • Don’t let them get away with their back-handed comments on your weight, outfit or passions.

Friends do criticize sometimes out of love when they’re looking out for you but there is a difference between love and a toxic friend. This person will find a way to make you feel bad about everything, second guess everything and everyone. You will know the difference.


This is something that I’ve dealt with and I’ve had to learn. It’s a hard journey, it’s not easy but at the end of the day you need to say to yourself ‘My happiness is the most important. This person is making me feel so down or such a way that I’m not happy. That I’m stopping myself from doing things that I love, or seeing people I want to see or becoming friends with new people and that isn’t ok.’
Your life is yours and nobody else’s. I was always scared I wouldn’t make new friends and I did and you will as well. There are people out there who do understand your mental health and even just you in general.

You don’t need to have a Mental Health problem to end a friendship, if you feel like you have a person in your life that is like I have mentioned then you too need to take a step back and think about if that friendship is healthy for you. 


 I hope that this post is helpful and it offers support to you or anybody going through what I have. Let me know in the comments, email me or DM me if you want me to do a post on anything else in particular. 

 

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28 thoughts on “Anxiety Diaries; Anxiety and Toxic Friendships

  1. This is such an important series on your blog and I think a lot of people will benefit from reading it! When I was still younger, I had this friend who I thought was my best friend as well. Like clockword, she would start a fight with me on the same day every week and somehow we would make up by third period or something. It was annoying, random and very taxing. I decided to change schools to go in a more specific direction with my learning and do something that would benefit me in the long run. Just like you, I kind of phased out of their lives and they didn’t reach out to me at all. I guess they thought I abandoned them. But then the girl changed schools as well and one day called me to tell me how sorry she was for never recognising how good of a friend I had been. At that point, I had moved on, I wasn’t really interested in giving it a shot anymore, but I also didn’t harbor any negative feelings anymore. These things are never easy. Friends can be the family you choose for yourself, but just like family can be very toxic, so can friends. Sometimes you just have to do the hard thing and do what’s best for you.
    I am so glad you shared your experiences, even if it was coupled with unpleasant parts of your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry you’ve had that experience as well Kat! But so glad you were able to move on from it and not that person effect you negatively any more. It’s also nice to hear how they realised what they had done. I haven’t had that with any of my experiences, in fact a lot seemed to get worse. So I’m glad I got out of them friendships and chose happiness.

      Like you say, it’s so hard when friends are like a chosen family but it’s definitely trial and error. Not everyone who comes into your life is meant to be there to stay, sadly we have to go through bad things to get to even better. I’ve been so happy since our chat on DM about my latest friend drama. I’ve had 2 days of no drama and I can’t wait for it to continue.

      X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I felt a little vindicated when she admitted that she had made mistakes. Like, it wasn’t all in my head, you know? I am sorry none of yours ever realised that, but as long as they don’t affect your life now, it’s for the better.
        I am also so glad to hear that you feel better since that drama is over!!! You really deserve someone more caring and less deceitful in your life!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a brilliant, important post, Hannah and one that couldn’t have been easy to write. Thank you so much for sharing and I am so proud of you for having the courage to do what’s best for you. I can’t believe that these pretended friends thought that it was okay to comment on your anxiety like it was something funny and not.. well, just brush it off like it was something that didn’t matter and was considered funny??? People are so, so inconsiderate.
    Thank you for sharing this, I am so proud of you ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you love! Luckily I have met better people in my life like you, I started really thinking about ending my friendships with them when I started blogging and becoming more active and I realized that I didn’t have to accept how I was being treated! Means so much to me to hear you say your proud, makes me feel stronger! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so true, and I relate so much to a lot of these! I’m so, so sorry you had to go through this, but you persevered, so I’m really proud of you! i’ve had my fair share of uncool friends (when it comes to the topic of being a decent human, I mean), so I emphasize :< Great post! Thanks for bringing attention to this topic!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s still kinda hard to cut out some people from your life especially when you love them so much but I am getting better at it. There’s absolutely a difference between love and a toxic friend but it took me some time to understand that.
    Nevertheless, I’m so glad that you made a long way up since then. I am proud of you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Poulami! It definitely is so hard and like you say it really takes some time to understand how love and a toxic friend are different. We have to go through these hard moments to get through to the otherside though, I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I kept them in my life… I don’t think I would be where I am today x

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Trust me, I too am going through this bumpy phase. The vibes are very very negative when there’s a manipulator or sadist masked as a friend and I certainly don’t want to keep in touch with such toxic people. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Do share your thoughts regarding my new blog post that’s about anxiety and backstabbers.
    https://wp.me/p9wG37-1n

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i have anxiety.. and i went through the same thing i was also told it was all in my head or stop over reacting..and i often felt people thought i was weird.. one time i had to leave a mall because of a panic attack out of no where.. and people was looking at me like i was weird.. i currently have a friend that i am trying to get rid of.. she is treating me badly.. always talking down to me.. she makes me feel everything i do or say is wrong.. im not doing this right or that right.. she is seriously under my skin.. i have tried ignoring her and avoiding her.. nothing is working!!!! shes all a “miss know it all” after 3 years of friendship i feel like shes really toxic..she does nothing for me but call me 600 times a day and THAT annoys me. i am not a phone person… i like my space.. shes not giving me my space… not sure how to rip this bandaide of tried. being nice.. i always hold back my true feelings.. it seems thats not working for me to well.

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    1. I’m so sorry your going through this but thank you for sharing! Apologies for not replying for so long, I had to be away from my blog. Ending a friendship is hard especially with a person who doesn’t understand you anxiety and panic attacks. If you don’t think talking to them could make them alter their behaviour then you definitely need to cut that person out your life, like I say it’s hard but your mental health needs to come first. I’m sorry I don’t have any perfect advice to do it easily 😦 I slowly rarely replied or had an argument with previous friends. But don’t let them make you feel like your over sensitive, you’ve tried and it’s not healthy for you. It’s not you being over-sensitive its them being not sensitive at all.
      x

      Like

  7. Yikes those ‘friends’ sound horrible! You made the right decision ending those friendships. Standing up for yourself can be so scary, especially to those you considered friends (I sound like Dumbledore haha) so I’m really proud of you! 🙂
    I had a best friend once who sounds pretty similiar to yours. She’d constantly put me down and told me what I could and couldn’t like, manipulated me etc. I put up with it for years until one day I got a VIP ticket for our favourite band and she didn’t and she tried to manipulate and guilt me into giving my ticket to her – she even texted me that if she wouldn’t get a VIP ticket she’d jump in front of a train. With help from my mom I finally realised that it was a really, really toxic friendship and just stopped talking to her (she lived in a different city from me and we mostly talked online so that helped)
    This is such a great, important post, thank you so much for sharing! ❤ A lot of us don’t realise when friendships are toxic and that it’s okay to break friendships off if they’re not good for you

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  8. It feels good that creating a log has helped me find people that i can actually relate to.It takes courage to write about your struggles,but i do it sometimes on my blog too.Recovery is possible!stay strong<3

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so glad you got out of those toxic friendships!
    I feel like as women we’re warned about the dangers of getting into abusive romantic relationships but nobody really warns us about the abusive relationships that come in other forms.
    I’ve cut out many a person in my life. When I was younger I used to just accept really bad behavior over and over until like you, I would finally snap and say enough was enough I’m done. Once I reached that point there was no going back. I’ve done it to several “friends” in high school, my father and my ex-housemate.
    I’ve since learned to continuously be assessing my relationships with people to make sure I’m not staying in relationships that are toxic and unhealthy. But it took me 20+ years to get to that point so you are not alone!
    I am currently having to work out if my one and only best friend should still be as such, just because we’re so different and I can feel us growing apart and I don’t want to hold onto a friendship that I shouldn’t be holding on to.
    The worst friendship I ever had was with my housemate and best friend. She was incredibly abusive both emotionally and mentally and it took my mother saying “It sounds like you’re in an abusive relationship” and telling me I had to move out for me to realize just how bad it was.
    If this had been a someone I was in a romantic relationship with there’s no way I would have stayed as long as I did!
    Though I should I have turned and ran the moment she had said “I want to see you break”. I mean talk about a red fucking flag…
    It’s hard realising a friendship is no longer healthy and its best to part ways, its even harder trying to part ways especially if they’re abusive and manipulative, but a lot of the times it really is the best thing for you.
    I’m so happy you were able to recognise when a friendship needed to end, a lot of people really struggle with that, you should be super proud!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your story with me. You are so strong and I am so sorry you have been through such experiences. Like you say it’s weird how nobody ever warns us against abusive friendships. You aren’t alone. In terms of your bestfriend, then sometimes people grow apart and you begin to not like the same things and I have been there but I haven’t ended those friendships, we simply drifted apart but there is still love there whenever we come together. Life gets in the way sometimes and people you used to speak to everyday or see so often, you start to see every once in a while. Don’t force yourself to hold onto something but also don’t lose what could be a lifelong friendship. It;s a hard one to navigate! x

      Liked by 1 person

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