While abuse is usually discussed in terms of romantic partnerships or family relationships, friendships can be toxic and abusive too. I understood this first-hand when I realized that I was in that exact situation with my (former) best friend.
1. OUR FRIENDSHIP BECAME CODEPENDENT AND POSSESSIVE. We’d been friends since we were kids and while we sometimes had fights or didn’t get along, generally we didn’t have any big issues. Thing started to devolve when we were both in college and figuring out our identities and new lives and finding new friends. We didn’t go to the same school and often went months without hanging out because of the distance. This caused issues and both of us became more possessive and codependent in unhealthy ways.
2. WE STARTED FIGHTING CONSTANTLY. Soon, I didn’t even recognize the friendship anymore. Mental health issues on both of our parts came into play and none of our interactions felt stable. There was rarely a day where we weren’t fighting, and since the fights usually happened over text or over the phone, they led to many misunderstandings. It felt like being on a rollercoaster, and the highs and lows were addicting even though they were frightening.
3. EMOTIONAL ABUSE CAN BE HARD TO RECOGNIZE. It’s one of the most insidious forms of abuse because of it. While all kinds of abuse are horrible, it can be difficult to know when someone is manipulating or gaslighting you, especially when the person abusing you is a close friend. It can be easy to get sucked into a cycle of trying to help them when they have emotional problems. While it’s noble to be there for your friends, it’s not acceptable for friends to take their issues out on each other. relationships,relationships,relationships