Friendly Destruction

I’ve always wondered how women (or men for that matter) can somehow keep going back to significant others that treat them so badly. I never understood the concept of letting a lover treat you so badly and to keep going back for more.

Turns out, however, I do the same thing but with friends. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve had at least one friend out of a whole group that bullies me and makes me feel bad about myself. Quite honestly, for years this was really all I knew about friendship. I’ve mentioned it so many times but I am really fucked up when it comes to friends, I’ve been through the wringer so many times I wouldn’t even know where to start.

Apparently it’s not a good thing if you are afraid of your friends. It’s also, surprisingly, not a good thing if you are always walking on eggshells around them because you don’t want to say or do the wrong thing. I also had no idea that all conversations are not supposed to turn into a temper tantrum. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?

There are a few friends in my life that fit this mold. Some have been this way, then for a good period of time turned around completely. I will almost forget things were ever bad between us and then suddenly the shit hits the fan again.

So I’m just as bad as people who keep going back to destructive boyfriends and girlfriends because somehow I keep going back. Something about these people I just can’t walk away. Is it ingrained in me from my years of the same thing or is it just this kind of person I am drawn to, someone aggressive and strong in a way I am not.

I don’t even believe it’s just them, I know I am a big part of the reason. If I stood up for myself more or stood my ground more. If I didn’t bite my tongue so much, if I were more honest even when I knew it would be the hardest direction to go. People can walk all over me because I continually let them.

My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me. ~Henry Ford


  1. Linwood's Girl

    September 29, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I have this issue with only 1 friend but we have been friends since birth (our mom’s were taking a night class together while pregnant)…..I think that is why I cannot walk away. Are these friends of yours long-term friends? Newer friends of mine have been easier for me to weed through and let unhealthy ones fade……but that one who has been with me my whole life…..I just can’t.

    1. Robin

      September 29, 2009 at 2:36 pm

      @Linwood’s Girl, it’s always longterm friends and years and years of problems.

  2. Maureen

    September 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    There are so many reasons why you (or anyone) get into a pattern like this. It’s like any other bad habit we have – half of the work of breaking the habit is figuring out why you do it (the other half is figuring out how to address that issue in a healthier way).

    Probably the most important thing to remember is that those friends, when they’re good to you and when they aren’t, are going through their own personal issues all of the time, too. That’s what makes any interpersonal relationship so complex, I think, figuring out ways to mesh my life with my problems (and strengths) into your life with your problems (and strengths) and come out the other side with both of you having fewer problems altogether. That should be the goal, anyway.

    1. Robin

      September 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm

      @Maureen, I totally agree. I have friends that I have problems with but in the end I feel we both really care about each other and are both willing to work to come out better on the other end. I also have friends that it’s just a repeated thing, over and over and over. a very unhealthy pattern, on both ends. It’s figuring out which people it’s best to work on it with and which ones you need to walk away from. Sometimes it’s best for everyone to walk away.

    1. Robin

      September 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm

      @Barb, wow, what a site.

  3. Stacey

    September 29, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    I tend to attract truly toxic friends. It took me a long time to learn to sever relationships that aren’t good for me.

    I think in most cases though, there needs to be good communication. Each person should at some point make it clear what she needs and wants out of the friendship. It seems sort of cold and businesslike, but it puts everything out there.

    1. Robin

      September 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm

      @Stacey, good communication is imperative in any relationship. i will say that the newer friends i’ve made i’ve made it a point to be more honest and straightforward.

  4. Gwen

    September 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I can’t and won’t promise a lot of things, but I will promise you this – I will NEVER be one of those friends.

    1. Robin

      September 29, 2009 at 5:43 pm

      @Gwen, well I should hope so, you signed the contract.

  5. submom

    September 30, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I have the tendency to “latch” onto somebody and be loyal to death. Therefore I am scared to get close to anybody. I have been a loner since I left grade school by choice. So, yeah, I think I know what you are talking about…

    1. Robin

      October 1, 2009 at 9:20 am

      @submom, i don’t think i’m scared to get close to somebody, i’m scared to let go and regret it so i hold on for way way way too long.

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