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    16 Things I Learned From My Toxic Friendship

    No one teaches you this stuff in grade school!

    Friends are some of the most influential people in our lives, especially as we enter adulthood.

    But some friendships can be...well, draining. Some can even be toxic. There's a lot of focus when we're growing up and in media on romantic relationships and what good and bad relationships look like — but what about good and bad friendships?

    While I have my own experiences and insight from therapy, I also wanted to talk to an outside professional to help me create a list of things to know about unhealthy friendships. To get the lowdown, I spoke to Jordana Jacobs, a New York City–based clinical psychologist.

    Here are 16 things I think every young adult should know about unhealthy and healthy friendships!

    1. Friendships are really not that different from romantic relationships.

    two hands holding

    2. Which means that there needs to be a balance.

    two friends on different sides of a scale, with one weighing the scale down more than the other

    3. Speaking of hard times: They are not an excuse for your friend to treat you badly.

    one friend talking to another friend, who looks sad and uncomfortable

    4. Do not let a friend consistently cause you to question your version of events.

    a head with a tangled web of arrows inside

    5. Your feelings are valid even when your friend doesn't agree with or like them.

    a crying woman putting on a mask of a smiling face

    6. You should never feel solely responsible for your friend's mental state and well-being.

    a person carrying their friend on their back

    7. Which brings me to one of the most important lessons I've learned in my twenties: You cannot change anyone else, and you cannot save them.

    a woman holding onto their friend, who has fallen and is dangling

    8. You can only save yourself.

    a man putting on an oxygen mask from an airplane

    9. You are not a bad person if you choose not to be friends with somebody.

    a person looking at a contact on their phone, about to click the "delete" button

    10. It is important to take responsibility for your part in an unhealthy friendship rather than place all the blame on your friend.

    two people playing tug of war

    11. No one is "right."

    a gavel pounding

    12. That being said, not all toxic friendships have to end in a friendship breakup.

    two people building a brick wall together, smiling

    13. Some things can't be fixed and will not get better.

    a flower pot with a crack in it and dirt falling out

    14. You are capable of ending a friendship, even if it feels impossible.

    a photograph with one side/one person ripped off

    15. "Closure" does not exist, and searching for it is futile.

    a person staring at an empty chair

    16. But here's the good news: There are amazing friends out there, and you will find them!

    four friends linking arms