Dear Tita Pacita: On Toxic Friendships
Dear Tita Pacita,
What do you do if you don't want to be friends with someone anymore because they're toxic but you font want to be a shitty friend who hurts other's feelings? LOL any advice? 😂
Anne, 19, environmental advocate
You’re so young! Anyway, here are my thoughts:
LET GO, LET GOD.
I have experienced this many times myself and it made me realize that sometimes, your being there—constantly there, despite your friend being a difficult person, can actually negatively affect him. However sincere your intentions, it could be an unhealthy way of coaxing his toxic behavior.
My personal rule is always this: you’re not his mother or lover nor are you his creator or savior, which means that you are not directly responsible for his life. It’s good to keep in mind that he is a full-grown adult and should be able to handle life on his own.
SET YOUR LIMITS.
What I often advice is that, always be there to lend a helping hand, ear, or whatnot, but only as long as you are willing and feeling like a good friend that day. If, however, you foresee that your being there will only put you in a bad position, then don’t. It might only make matters worse.
Time and time again, Joon Jae in Legends of the Blue Sea, Episode 4, has reminded his Cheong:
BE TRUE TO YOURSELF AND YOUR FRIEND.
You’re friends for what reason exactly? If he is treating you so horridly, yet still insists on calling you a friend, then what do you think are his reasons? Maybe you can spend some reflection time and think through the impact your toxic friend has been having on you.
At the same time, listen to yourself. On one hand, you might really be concerned with your toxic friend’s well-being but maybe a bigger concern is your being a “shitty friend” in the case that you decide to go FO. I am not saying that this is the case, but it also may be possible that you are more concerned on how being a friend-leaver will reflect on you.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But knowing your deepest and truest concerns will help you make your decision. Think about it.