Friendships: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

4 min readNov 11, 2020


Photo by Felix Rostig on Unsplash

People talk about emotionally abusive relationships, but what about friendships? They are the same, sort of.

I only recently woman-ed up and told a friend of mine I wanted ‘out’ in our friendship. There are endless stories from people who have gotten out of toxic relationships, but quite hard to find ones with friends — they sneak you up from behind and surprise you when you least expect it.

Friendships are just as important as relationships, and there will always be toxic behaviour entangled in both aspects of connections.

I’ve had my share of toxic friendships over the years, but only this time I made the move to tell the person why I wanted to leave.

Leaving a friendship for my mental health may be the most thoughtful thing I can do for my future self.

He was narcissistic and a manipulator. I would talk hours and hours giving advice and listening to him; but it would never be my turn to speak. As a friend, you’re bound to open up and get close to knowing their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, your true personality and who you are as a person. But it was exhausting listening to him talk crap about people I don’t know, I am not for one interested in listening on gossip or even want to listen on him back-stabbing his ‘friends’. It was draining, and boring; it was also taking a toll on my mental health.

He dehumanised acts of kindness, materialising his intentions by abusing his authority over you; it was like punishment. Knowing full aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Taking advantage of your weaknesses to put himself forward, using you as a stepping stone to his success. The more you try to stay afloat, the harder he pushes you to drown. He can’t save himself, that’s why he’s on you for support. Once you know him, on a personal level. You realise how emotionally and mentally unpredictable he is. He exposes the nastiness and the hard truth of himself to you. By that time, you’re in too deep to back out.

He has taken you hostage.

And you have no choice, but to follow his wishes.

You celebrate his achievements, while he disregards yours.

— you forgive him, always.

He shakes your belief, how you view yourself. He forces to change you, how you are. He obsesses over what you do, how you’re doing it and tells you what not to do. He slams your confidence and tramples over your pride. But, you know that he, himself has his own demons that eat him up. That’s why you stay.

All the times you’ve been holding back, cowering under his looming control over you. You’ve always wanted to say something, but you know that he is just as fragile and sensitive as you are. It’s his defense mechanism, threatening you with something you’d want to take back.

A family façade to hide the truth, childhood trauma which externalised his defense mechanism, long-term trust issues. Perhaps it can be explained by his childhood experiences and trauma, maybe even parental love, does he crave the internalised love he wanted as a child? He always did say his parents wanted it to be perfect, how they took control of his life, and now; how he dominated me?

Perhaps, it was a godly mindset of being on top of the world with everything and everyone revolving around him; including you.

He likes to play victim, lets you fall back into his trap; and it cycles again. He was emotionally and mentally abusive, and he was doing it to you. He manipulates your words, twisting the truth. But to be honest, he’s insecure, he’s fending off himself by controlling you. His demons are eating up himself with you in the mix.

He doesn’t admit his wrongs, and he talks you out of it. You acknowledge and try to accept it, by doing that, you know your own mental health is barely hanging on. He says he’ll change, over and over again; you’re disappointed.

“You can’t change someone who doesn’t admit to being wrong.”

So you move on, at least try to. You’re afraid that he’ll come back, once again destroy and trample over you. Until you no longer can pick yourself up again. The desperation of escape, he electrocutes your reality and secures you with a metal collar round your neck.

What’s good about technology these days, is that we’re able to block and delete this person in our contacts; where he was lingering, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Wechat, Gmail. I can just delete someone like that, with a push of a button, avoiding and running away. But, the day I see him in front me, the confrontation of something I haven’t found a resolution to is going to come soon, and that terrifies me a little bit because I know that I’ll give in, forgive and go back to it.

Confrontation had been useless so far, the more you think about it, the more you lean towards avoidance and running away. He is dismissal and tends to turn things and twists things to you. He refuses to understand, refuses to acknowledge it; and you part ways into thinking that this is better, what it’s supposed to be. And you’re feeling at ease, you’re relieved of your ‘duties’ and you can feel your heart beating again.

You chose to give up, knowing what’ll happen if you had stayed.

Some are worth giving explanations to, instead of ghosting and blocking; you can always choose to explain and talk about it. But some are not. If you tell them why and they refuse to accept then it’s not your fault, you’ve done what you can and you move on.

— it’ll always be your choice.




Writing about feelings, emotions and whatever inspires me. “Waiting for the universe to wink in my direction.”