Toxic vs. Lifelong Relationships


Emina Hergic, Writer

Many of the friendships we’ve developed over the years critically impact our daily lives. Most of the ones we’ve built on to after years of communication, comfort, and connections. Connections in sharing the same interests, or through a mutual friend. Regardless of what forms these relationships, they have a profound effect on how we feel, and reflect who we are as people. They characterize us, and influence what behaviors we engage in, in addition to decisions we make out of impulse. That being said, it can be difficult to distinguish between what a healthy, and toxic friendship looks like, especially with people you’ve spent practically your entire life with. The primary cause of this difficulty associated with letting a person go is the consequence of fear. Fear of being alone, or fear of relinquishing feelings associated with emotional attachment to someone, or of an uncertain future.

In a genuine and healthy relationship, you should typically be able to rely on the other individual for comfort, support, or advice. Not to the extent where you become dependent on the person, but to the point where you can actively approach situations of conflict in a mature manner without harboring true feelings and thoughts. You should consistently be working against the problem together, to acknowledge what’s wrong and resolve it. Taking into consideration and understanding the other perspective even if you don’t necessarily agree with the opposing point of view. Although it can be difficult to obscure arrogance or stubbornness, and step up to be the bigger person, it’s necessary in order to move forward. Holding resentment against someone out of anger, or envy, or jealousy is so destructive for us, and it completely interferes with our ability to remain at peace. Forgiving someone for their actions doesn’t justify them, or make them any less wrong, it allows you to grow and provides you with closure. Holding grudges over a long period of time in efforts of holding someone accountable for their actions just prevents you from progressing.

We’re so quick to criticize, and to judge over the media, or through mendacity and half-truth fabricated by gossip. It’s become such a normalized habit, we aren’t even fully aware of when we’re doing it, or we do it solely for the purpose of entertainment. If everyone just focused on pointing their finger at themselves, and accepting their wrongs, instead of constantly condemning other people or shaming them for their faults, the world would be a much better place. It’s deceitful and unnecessary to engage in it, or surround yourself with people who derive friendship from it. Friendship built off of lies and gossip is nothing more than a short term connection you have with someone who shares the same malicious intent of talking negatively about someone that you do. Gossiping is this destructive way of making yourself feel superior, regardless of if you’re consciously aware of it or not. And we’re naive to admit it when we do it, or accept it when we’re exposed to it, or we overlook the negative consequences associated with misconception. It’s in our human nature to believe the best in people, or conflict with truth, but it’s prominent we identify when this is occurring. And stay true to what we deserve, and distant from what’s disrupting a healthy way of life.