We all lead busy lives and it’s increasingly difficult to find the time to forge and maintain the deep friendships which anchor our lives and provide safe refuge when the wheels come off. True, lasting friendships are precious and should be protected at all costs; our friends are our first line of defence when besieged with all that life can throw at us. We depend on them, they are our be all and end all.
Or are they? When does a friendship reach the point where it becomes toxic and damaging to us? When we are faced with the decision of cutting off all ties and moving on without someone who had previously been a mainstay in our day to day existence? It’s a tough, painful decision but sometimes it has to be made for the sake of our own sanity. Boils need lanced before they poison us from within.
Today, I’m writing about one way friendships, the type you give everything to, but are left feeling that the sentiment is not reciprocated on the other side of the fence. The friend who you only ever hear from when they need something, the friend who reads your messages but it’s beneath them to actually respond. The person who is oblivious to the serious damage they can cause via their apathy and indifference.
Friendship is not a one way street. It’s a living, dynamic relationship requiring commitment and interaction from both parties. Yet, for some that seems like way too much effort. They exist in a bubble of self, immune to the sad soul looking in, craving even a crumb of their attention. I see these people everywhere I go. They are vacuous, insipid and narcissistic beyond repair. They seek your adoration but don’t be bringing any problems to their door.
They won’t answer the door in the dead of night, when you come desperately in need of their aid. They will parade their perfect, airbrushed lives in front of you via the numerous social media platforms they inhabit. They will hug and air kiss, hearty handshakes and booming laughter aplenty. But step beyond the classroom, church or workplace and you are dead to them. Until next time, that is.
I’ve been on the receiving end of such faux friendships and, believe me, it hurts. You’ll hear from them the second you aren’t fulfilling your side of the arrangement but unwilling to lift a finger when the shoe is on the other foot. For that would be awfully tiresome and they’re far too wrapped up in their own soap opera existences to afford you the time of day. They are parasites, leeches, devouring your self worth and confidence.
Cauterise and cut them out. For otherwise they will bleed you dry, discarding the hollow husk that was your soul by the roadside. Unfollow. Unfriend. Do whatever it takes to squirm free from their incestuous influence on your life. Driving down a one way street can only end in calamity and chaos. You will be left trapped in the wreckage, battered and bruised, while they saunter off without a mark on their bodies. They will not look back, for they care not.
Some fires, no matter how much time we afford to them, will splutter and die. They flatter to deceive until you are left with nothing but a wisp of smoke when the heavens open. Some plants will wither away, no matter how much we water and tend to them. The clock is ticking. We are all running out of that most precious of commodities, time. Don’t waste yours on the one way friendship.