Are your friendships stable? Are you struggling with knowing who is true to you and who is not? All of us go through tough times with our friends. That could mean that you are arguing, starting rumors, stabbing one in the back, or even lying. These can all happen throughout friendships and it is the most heartbreaking feeling. When you find yourself questioning the legitimacy of your friendship, it is important to know what these toxic behaviors look like as well as how to resolve them.
Are we going to argue about this??
When you and your friends disagree, is it over the little things? Do you bicker over what kind of shirt you are wearing, how your hair looks, or what grade you got on a test? If you find yourself arguing over the pettiest of things, your friendship is not going to grow stronger. Though certain disagreements are natural amongst people, constant arguing can undermine your relationship.
Rumor has it...
Rumor mongering is perhaps the most destabilizing behavior to curse a friendship. Rumors start when one person stirs up untruthful words about you and spreads these words amongst a chain of people. This can be very difficult to tolerate, but it is likely to happen sometime in your lifetime. Being ready to deal with this type of gossip head-on may end up preserving your mental health. However, when someone you consider a friend is at the center of a rumor, taking the actions necessary to tackle these rumors can be much more difficult.
Backstabbers - They’re not just in Ke$ha songs
Have you just ever had that ONE “friend” that repeatedly stabs you in the back? Yeah… I think we all have had that problem. Not only is it painful because they went and told someone something personal or intimate about you, but it is the fact that they dared to sit there, listen to your feelings, and ended up pouring it out so that EVERYONE knows. It hurts when someone you thought you could trust always seems to be working against you. While there is always the possibility of perceiving a simple misunderstanding as backstabbing, knowing how to confront your friend and resolve these issues can help to reconcile your conflict.
Now to the worst of them all: lying. Lying has to be the worst thing to happen to someone, because if you think about it; why can’t someone just tell the truth? Is it THAT hard to do? No, it isn’t.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If your friend is excited about wearing an ugly sweater their grandma made them, reassuring them with a little white lie is ok. Sometimes lying can have a good result, but the distinction between good and bad lies can be blurry. Unfortunately, even well-intended lying can be hurtful when someone not-so-invested in your friendship makes your dishonesty known to your friend. Understanding the difference between toxic lies and virtuous lies can be what strengthens or degrades your mutual bond.
Too Good At Goodbyes
Luckily, you can go about trying to resolve these issues with your friends in rather similar ways.
The first action you should take is to talk to your friend.. Talking with your friend first might give you a simple solution to why this could be happening. Maybe your friend failed to see how their behaviors could be seen as hurtful. Maybe you misunderstood your friend’s intentions and took them the wrong way. A friend that will stick by your side and not talk bad about you is rare, so taking the time to talk one on one before taking any drastic measures can save you from heartache later on.
Another thing you can do is to just take a breather and step away from the conversation. This can help you stay calm and avoid doing or saying something that you will regret later. There is a reason people tell you to sleep on big decisions; what seems like a good idea at the moment might not seem so clear-cut 24 hours later. If the individual in question is truly your friend, they will certainly understand your need to take a day or two to yourself to sort through what has clearly been a troubling experience for you.
If the offense is small enough, one other method to mend fences would be to just move on. If you’re the person who was lied to about wearing an ugly sweater, a lie of this nature shouldn’t destroy your friendship. That being said, be sure your friend is aware of your future expectations. Make certain they know you can handle the tough truths, and know whether or not your friend would want the same kind of honesty if the shoe was on the other foot.
Perhaps the best way to get help is by going to an adult. The reason why telling an adult could be helpful is because most adults have been there before. The adult can consider going to a school counselor or parent to address the people that are intertwined with this conflict. This could help to get the problem solved and could help both parties move on from what was said. Lastly, telling an adult what is going on could help resolve loneliness and sorrow because you should not feel alone in this. Letting someone else know what is happening could help take things off your shoulders.
Overall, I hope that most of you can relate to this and understand that, while not everything is always great, not all hope is always lost. I also wanted to point out that it's not just you! If you feel that you have no one to go to then talk to a trusted adult such as parents, grandparents, teachers, counselors, etc.
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