Lesson learned: friendships (I)

Posted on: May 15th, 2017, in Lessons Learned.

I want to share with you different stories about experiences that taught me important lessons in life. I think all of us go through situations that give us important life lessons, lessons that will help us next time we encounter a similar situation so we won’t make the same mistakes. Today I want to share with you a story about a friendship I had and that I am glad I got out of. I am going to call this person “A”.

Me and A met each other in the first year of med school. We were a group of 4 girls and we always spent a lot of time together. It was fun for a while, but at some point I realized that the other two girls were way too mean and did a lot of things that in my opinion were wrong. Slowly I began to keep my distance from them and keep it casual. Despite all the things I didn’t like about them, I always had a good opinion about A.

After one year, A realized the same thing as I did, that those girls weren’t exactly a good influence for her. I guess, this thing brought us together, and we became really good friends. I liked her because she was very responsible about her studies, she was ambitious and she wasn’t acting like the world should be at her feet. I really admired her and always looked up to her, especially regarding school matters.

We have been friends for almost one year and half. We were very close, we spent all the time at school together, then, when we went home we would always talk on the phone, also we were always going out together. We were indeed best friends. The problem is that she liked to gossip and without even noticing I started doing the same thing. All the time we were talking about other people’s lives. Constantly and obsessively. I believe you realize how wrong this was.

I was always a person that is always involved in projects, that looks to improve herself, go out, meet other people, but in the year I was friends with her, I did nothing because I didn’t had the time nor the inspiration to do so. I was only going to school and then coming home and spending 4-5 hours on the phone with her. The worst part is that I thought that it was normal. We were thinking that we are perfect and everybody else had flaws. As I am writing this and images flash through my brain, I feel so ashamed of myself that I feel like hiding for the rest of my life.

Another thing that really bugged me was her behavior when we had finals. For you to understand why it bugged me a lot, I have to tell you that I had a really rough first year in med school. I failed three exams and I was on the verge of giving up because I thought that I am not qualified to be a doctor. At the time, I didn’t realize that for me it takes longer to make the transition from high school to med school which is hundreds of times harder. After my first year I was always scared that I will fail again and I had a very low confidence in myself regarding my studies. She, on the other hand, had a great start. She worked more than me, she knew how to study and she did great. That’s why I was inspired by her. She always managed to push herself harder and harder to get high grades.

So, during our individual study time at home in the finals month, we used to call each other to see how is it going with the studying. She was always like “I studied until 3 am last night, but I know nothing and I am scared like hell that I am going to fail”. Before some exams she was even crying and she was constantly complaining about it. After the exam her grade was always a 9 or a 10 (out of 10). For me, who I am was a hard worker like her and acknowledging who I am and what I can do, it freaked me out a lot. Because in my head I was thinking “If A can’t make it, how am I supposed to pass?”. And I was frightened before every exam. After a while I realized how bad of an influence this situation was to me and I decided to tell her how I feel. I asked her nicely to stop telling me she’s going to fail and cry about it because it affects me in a very bad way. Of course she got mad at me, she was always trying and turn things around and say that I am doing it too and why do I blame her for what I feel.

After our second year of med school we weren’t in the same group anymore (students in our school are divided in 15 groups of 70 students/group). Of course, I started spending time with other people. Then I realized everything that I wrote above. Also I realized how good I started to feel, how amazing it was to be more productive, less stressed and more sociable. I think my greatest accomplishments were in that year. I managed to do some volunteering, to involve myself in so many projects, to meet a lot of people and hear new perspectives and most importantly I stopped gossiping about others and being so frightened by my exams. It took me a while to realize what changed, but it became clear at last.

Of course, my life changed: I had other friends, I managed to go out with different people and enjoy my life. In May last year, we managed to get into a fight because she got mad that I didn’t included her in my plans. At that moment I told her everything that bothered me, without caring if she would do as always and try to make me the guilty one, and I decided to tell her that I want us to take some time apart.

We talk to each other once in a while (once in 4 months), but it is a short conversation and then we just hang up. Every time we talk, I realize that she hasn’t changed a bit. She keeps asking me about my friends secrets, but I made myself clear that they are secrets for a reason and I am not discussing them with her or anyone else.

What I learned from this whole experience is that I can be so naive at times. I let myself be friends with the wrong people, also, that I am very easy to influence. But knowing this flaw now, I prefer to be careful with how I choose my friends. I analyze what kind of people I am dealing with and if something seems wrong, I prefer to stay away.

Also I learned that a friendship is supposed to inspire you to be a good person, to love the people around you and to be the best version of yourself. I was not feeling like that. I used to judge people. I never thought that I should become better than I was and it didn’t even cross my mind what I really wanted to do with my life, because I though that everything was good.

I am glad that this friendship ended and I am glad that I never went back. It hurt so much back then to walk away, because at that time all these reasons weren’t enough for me to know if I made the right decision. Sincerely, at that moment I just felt that I had to walk away and I did, without being sure of anything. Now when I look back and analyze the whole situation, I know it is the best thing I could’ve done. It’s like I could see the world with whole new eyes. I strongly believe it is true what they say “you are the people you surround yourself with”. Well, now I am happy with the people I surrounded myself with. And yes, they make striving to be a better person and I like to believe that I am doing the same for them. Because love is a two way street.

I am sorry it is such a long story but I really felt like sharing this with you. If you feel like somebody is dragging you down and it’s making you feel like you are always the guilty one in every fight, walk away. You deserve somebody that loves you, supports you and makes you want to be the best version of yourself.

Have yo ever been in a toxic relationship? Did you walk away? How are you feeling now, after the relationship is over? Let me know in the comments below. Take care <3

It really sounds like an unhealthy friendship, kudos to you for being able to get out of it. :)
I met persons like A; half of my high school class was like that (and Italy you’re in class with the same people for all the 5 years of school), gossiping behind others’ backs and unloading their stress on their classmates (me and the small group of friends I hang out with in school) who got mocked by them as well. The latter is a teenage thing, and the other things too could be blamed on their age….and I agree it’s acceptable when one is 14-15 years old, but they kept acting the same way even at 18-19 and you’re supposed to be more mature by then.
That’s why I cut strings with them the moment high school was over and, though I’ve joined their Whatsapp group chat (because I’m a mature grown-up woman), I’m not gonna jump eagerly into things like have dinner or go somewhere together; they’ll have matured too (hopefully), but a person’s inner core rarely changes and their core was very similar to A’s.

Posted on May 16th, 2017, at 8:33 PM by Michelle.

It was unhealthy and I am glad you got out of it. Eventually you have to let go of those people that hold you back and that’s it because those feelings that they give you, will consume you and you can’t let that happen. I am happy to be your friend, always and glad that you are healthier in your choice of friends. Unfortunately, age doesn’t mean anything about maturity, sadly :( That’s why I respect people when they respect me and know that their age doesn’t mean jack shit in the scheme of things, but in the end, that’s how it is. We all mature if we allow ourselves too and some people are like that even with their personalities, you know? It also depends on the person that they are and people rarely change themselves unless they have a reason to. I am sorry this happened but never let obstacles get to you. We all struggle with things we don’t think we are good with. It is just finding our niche in the thing especially school. I am highly proud of you~!

Posted on May 16th, 2017, at 11:56 PM by Peach.

Thanks for sharing this. I had many sadly toxic and not so good relationships with people in my past when I was younger mostly. One I remember from high school and in this example I’ll call her G. G and I met when I was in my second year of high school. She was also younger than me and in her first year as well. We hit it off great I thought off the bat things were really going good then slowly things started changing she was more gossipy and sorta mean and withdrawn from people. I thought it was normal and went with it also but then I didn’t like it how it made me feel inside deep down so I stopped and asked her to stop as well. Politely. She didn’t like that and didn’t stop herself but I guess I stayed around her for a little while trying to give her a chance. True, I let her be her and do whatever but then got really concerned since over time she changed a lot about herself appearance wise and her attitude towards people more. Seemed dark a bit. I was worried for her and asked her whats up. She didn’t like what I had to say that I was worried for her since at the same time she got made fun off and people talked about her in school. I was trying to stand by her and stick up for her but she didn’t care. She made me feel bad a lot and thinking I was not being a good friend for her. We fought a lot and I kept trying to explain myself then one day I just stopped talking to her. Later on her and some other friends of her bullied me since we were close then stopped hanging out and talking to each other she sicked her friends on me saying I was a bad person. Got to the point I wanted to drop out but I didn’t and cried a lot because of it. Confused a lot as well.

She stopped bullying me since a teacher stepped after a bit and told us to let it go and move on. As what I remember. She still didn’t care much when the teacher told us to hug it out as well she rolled her eyes at me and barely hugged me. I knew she wouldn’t change and still be herself. But I did let it go and tried to move on and be civil to her if we passed each other in the hallways. Was hard but then I graduated and never saw her again. Glad I haven’t seen her since. Guess you don’t really know someone till your really get know them over time. I don’t hate her but dislike her and hoped over the years now she changed but who knows. But all you said in your last part is true and I agree. Guess that’s my little story. Hope your doing well please take care. <3

Posted on May 17th, 2017, at 2:38 AM by Brandy.

I’ve been in PLENTY of unhealthy friendships. The best thing to do when you’re unhappy with something is to walk away, and don’t ever look back!

Posted on May 17th, 2017, at 3:07 AM by Claudine.

Thanks for sharing this and I think it’s important that people know this about friendships! I’ve met several toxic people when I was younger too, and it was a very unhealthy relationship where all we did was gossip about other people’s lives and judging them like we were the only perfect people in the world. At the time, it felt kind of gratifying – and even normal, just like you said – but as time went by I just realized that I was getting nowhere talking about other people and I should be doing something more meaningful. Fast forward to college and post-graduation, they are all still the same; just that they have more drama accompanying the gossips now, and they’re even proud of it. I don’t want to deal with these kinds of people so I have already distanced myself with many of them, and to be honest I don’t mind if they don’t include me in their plans or whatever. I don’t need that kind of negativity.

Posted on May 17th, 2017, at 1:51 PM by Martin.

Aw, Cristina! *hugs*
Fortunately, I’ve not been in any toxic relationships, merely some “lackadaisical” ones.
I’ve been hurt in a few relationships, but I’m still moving forward in life, so Idc.
I really wish you weren’t so far away in Romania! I’d love to meet you one day!
Kudos to you for leaving the relationship and I hope you’re doing well.
Sometimes you just have to walk away from people (or things or situations) when you realize that ultimately they’re harmful. Some learn this lesson the easy way and some don’t. Consider yourself fortunate, my dear.
Until next time,