5 truths about self-improvement and toxic friends

When you start making positive changes and improving yourself, you expect your friends to be excited and happy for you. No one expects a close friendship to turn toxic, but unfortunately it does. I can tell you first hand that it is devastating when once close friendships crash and burn during what should be an exciting time for you. Toxic friendships don’t always mean that your best friend is actively sabotaging you in a mean-girl fashion, they can happen when you’ve simply drifted apart and chosen different paths. Read my 5 truths about personal development and toxic friendships and see if anything resonates with you.

Creating personal growth in your life will not sit well with some friends

If you’re changing your life with positive changes, whether it’s gaining confidence, losing weight, maybe starting a new career, you’re going to lose friends. Period. People who are uncomfortable with change will have a hard time swallowing your evolving life, perhaps because it reminds them that they are stagnant in life, or perhaps they are not used to you standing up for yourself. Maybe your entire friendship was based on the negative behavior you put out. Self-improvement will expose friends who do not have your best interests at heart. Be prepared to lose friends, that it will hurt a lot, and then get over it and feel happy. Losing a friend may not seem like it, but it can be a blessing in disguise.

A toxic friend is not necessarily a bad person

The thing about toxic friends is that sometimes they don’t want to be toxic at all and are generally pretty good people outside of your shaky friendship. Maybe they’re just terrified of change and can’t understand your new perspective. Most toxic friends come in the form of people who don’t support your successes, talk behind your back, or judge your goals. I’m talking about the friends who make you feel drained, negative or depressed every time you see them. They are not bad people, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are toxic to your personal growth. Take a good look at your friendships and notice who’s trying to get you to go back to bad habits, who’s interrupting you when you say something you’re proud of, who’s telling you that you’re not a good friend because you’re not giving them all your attention. You don’t need such people.

Ending a friendship doesn’t have to be dramatic.

I can look at my former group of friends with love and respect for the time we spent together, but at the same time I know they are toxic to my improved self. I don’t spend time gossiping, but I used to be with them. I don’t like to have shallow surface conversations all the time, but sometimes I am with them. I don’t spend time complaining about the present while reminiscing about the past, but sometimes I am with them. I chose to be positive, work towards the future instead of being stuck in the past and stop making fun of people because it made me feel better about myself and unfortunately this caused some discomfort and distance in the friendship. People break up and choose different paths, and my path simply had no room for their negative energy. I’m not saying cut off friends who don’t agree with you all the time or who have different goals than you, I’m saying it’s important to have friends who are authentic. Ending a friendship doesn’t have to be a big, dramatic fight. You can try talking to them about how you feel if you’re interested in maintaining the friendship; they may not realize how they are affecting you and may change their attitude. If this is not the case, you have two options: you can directly say that you need some space, or slowly stop hanging out with them. Leaving on a good note leaves room to reconnect if you think they could grow in the future.

Letting go of toxic friendships will free up your energy and time to spend on supportive relationships

Here’s the hard part: even though they don’t mean to be toxic and are generally good people, they’re still toxic and you have to move on. Leaving a friendship is just as difficult as leaving a romantic relationship, especially if you still love and respect that friend. I had to do it and it bothered me for most of the year. I kept asking myself the same things “why my best friends don’t understand me, why are they so preoccupied with trivial and negative things”? I lost sleep over it, cried over it, shouted over it, but in the end I realized it was for the best. Now I only spend time with people who celebrate, support and love me unconditionally, and who I celebrate, support and love. It’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded by people who I know only want the best for me. I am happier, more confident, more fulfilled, more inspired! Great things come from ditching toxic friends.

Never hide your positive progress because a friend is not happy for you

Toxic friends have their own underlying issues that cause them to treat you unsupportively, don’t take it personally. This is an indication that they are not satisfied with themselves or their life, so it is not you but them. Just because people aren’t happy about your incredible progress doesn’t mean you should hide it. Shine like a diamond, yo, you’ve worked hard to manifest change in your life, don’t let a few doubters diminish your success. Surround yourself with friends who are proud of you and encourage you to be better. Assess your circle and only keep great people. Any friend who doesn’t leave you uplifted, supported and happy doesn’t have to be a friend, and life is too short to hang out with people who don’t appreciate the beautiful soul that you are. Just know that you are not the only person going through this. You may feel lonely now, but soon you’ll find people who will appreciate who you are and who you’re trying to be, and won’t feel forced or lonely. Always follow your intuition, if someone is constantly tearing you down, it might be time to reevaluate your friendship.

Have you encountered personal growth and toxic friendships? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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