Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier news editor
There’s an old saying that’s haunting me this week: fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I keep making the same mistakes and the same results keep happening. You would think that I would finally learn from my mistakes, and stop making the mistake. Yet here I am, week after week, disappointed.
I struggle sometimes finding friends who are honest and real with me. I always tell people that I talk so much, I could talk to brick walls. I could walk into a room, and leave twenty minutes later with a new friend. I am just a people person, and I love that I am. But where I struggle is finding the people who I know are going to last, finding friendships that I can grow with, and not just stay at surface level.
I let myself open up to people, let them know about my life, my secrets, my most vulnerable parts, and in return I’m told that I’m not good enough to be their friends. I am kicked out of the group chat, my invitation to their friend group is revoked and I am left wondering what went wrong.
Immediately, I start thinking of the thousand different ways that I screwed up another friendship. I wonder for hours about what is wrong with my personality. I nitpick every single aspect of what makes me me, and question it. Am I too bossy? Was I too clingy? What can I change so that they like me more? And at the end of this long trail of horrible thoughts, I always end up feeling like the whole situation was my fault. It’s my fault my personality did not blend, my fault that I was too different to be a part of the group.
It’s even worse when you finally confront the friends in question and ask them what’s going on. They know exactly how to twist your words and make you think that whatever happened was actually your fault and not theirs.
I’m here to tell you one of two things. It is not your fault, nor will it ever be your fault.
You don’t need to change who you are as a person for someone else. If your closest friend tells you that there is something about you they don’t like, then that’s their fault, not yours.
Second, don’t base your self-worth on what your friends think about you. You are so much greater than the labels these “friends” put on you. Understand that what one person says about you is what they think. They might be saying or acting certain ways out of jealousy.
The hardest part about friendships like these is deciding when it’s finally been enough. I am such a people pleaser that when I make someone upset with my actions or words, then I’m distraught. I try instantly to rectify the situation and rebuild the bridge between us. It eats at me until I tell them how I am feeling and I ask them how I can fix what I did wrong. But at some point you have to realize that what is happening is toxic, and it will only continue to hurt more as you desperately try to fix the relationship. You have to establish that this “friendship” is no longer worth saving when it makes you think negative thoughts about yourself.
Unfortunately we all might have an experience like what I am talking about. To be honest, I am still trying to make the clean cut. But it’s hard. And it’s scary to think that by breaking that friendship, you will no longer have them as a friend. It’s actually terrifying to think that you are going to be alone. But from what I have learned, it’s better to be alone than to be with people who are making you think that you are not worthy enough for them.
This is your sign. Think about the friendships you have in your life and ask yourself, are they worth saving? Or is it time to rethink why you are friends? Trust me. I’m sure you all have that one group of friends who will stand with you through every storm that are telling you to leave that toxic friendship you have.