Warning: Some submissions include topics involving violence, suicide, and sexual assault.
Hello people of Buzzfeed! Today, the topic is TOXIC friendships
It all started when reddit user u/DisastrousAnomaly asked the question: "People who walked away from toxic friendships, what was the final straw?"
1. "[My friend] got angry because I didn't loan him money fast enough. I've been without money before so I understand I was in a situation I could pass the favor on. I said I'd help him out in a few hours when I was free. He got angry."
2. "My best friend of 7 years sided with my ex who physically and violently attacked me in my home. She had known him for 3 months. He was manipulative and she was weak minded so his tactics worked on her. She told me 'his character doesn't suggest violence' and called me a liar, said I fabricated the whole story to get him out of my house. She ended up letting him move in with her and her fiancé.
About a month or two later we met up to talk and she admitted that I was right about everything. He turned out to be a complete free loader. Ate them out of house and home, didn't clean up after himself, didn't pay a single dime to be staying in their apartment. She apologized and we parted on decent-ish terms but we haven't spoken but maybe 5 or 6 times since it happened 3 years ago. Seven years of friendship down the drain. I lost a huge part of myself by walking away but there was no way to come back from being stabbed in the back like that."
3. "Her joking about my friend who died in 2019 who thought his suicide was funny to joke about especially after she asked if I had a skeleton in my closet since he hung himself in his closet."
4. "I realized that he was actually a bully and not a friend when we moved from our small primary school, where there were only 5 boys in my class, to secondary school (around age 12 in the U.K.) where there was much more people to impress through making me the butt of his jokes.
Final straw was when he made some joke about my dad not loving me and I, not joking, told him that at least my dad loves me enough to stay. He challenged me to a fight after school, I told him I was ready now, nothing happened. Nor did anything ever happen again."
5. "There was this girl in my extended social circle. We (a group of 8 or so girls) were all in undergrad together and basically became friends on our first day because we lived in the same dorm. This girl was visibly insecure about herself because our friend group had a silly high school-ish reputation for being the 'pretty girls' and she felt that she was included only by association. This was not true in the least, but you try telling that to somebody that only sees ugly in themselves.
She projected those insecurities onto everybody around her: hit on friends’ boyfriends or tried very hard to maintain some sort of “irreplaceable friend” status that basically forced her presence onto the boyfriends. Hit on pretty much any guy that showed interest in any of the rest of us. Put down the more meek, timid girls in the group in a backhanded way and definitely triggered the start of an eating disorder for one of them.
Last straw for me was when she made a joke about me having cheated on my PoS ex in front of him so that she could gain attention from him. I was sexually assaulted. She knew. She saw me breakdown and go into suicidal spirals more than once. She did it anyway.
The entire group has distanced themselves from her now for similar behavior over the years."
6. "A constant borrower. Final straw was when she borrowed my sewing machine for a week but it was 6 months later when I had to ask for it back to use it. Got it home and plugged it in and it wouldn't stitch. She refused to take any responsibility for a repair of it. It took me that long to work out that she was an opportunist."
7. "[My friend] physically assaulted her boyfriend. Afterwards she called me hysterical, told me what happened and all she could really say for it was 'thankfully he’s not pressing charges.' I told her she needed to stay away from him and take time for herself to process this and figure out what went wrong but within 24 hours she was saying he took her back and everything’s good now.
Less than 6 months before that I had driven another friend half way across the country to get her away from her abusive boyfriend. I couldn’t just stand there and watch someone manipulate their way into being right and remaining with their relationship when they’re the abuser, so I cut all contact.
I honestly didn’t even realize until a little while later how toxic our friendship actually was. It sucks because I thought we were so close and she was so important to me, but over time I realized she manipulated our hangouts to get what she wanted (free rides, food, cigarettes, weed, etc.)."
8. "He was one of my best friends for almost 20 years. After I got divorced, after finding out my wife was cheating for years, he called her constantly to make sure she was ok, never called me."
9. "I got a Canon camera for Christmas one year. It was a huge gift and I was thrilled. My friend who 'knows cameras' wanted to see it and made some rude comments about how it’s far from top of the line but good for 'a beginner.' He ejected the memory card, then forced it back in, breaking the little metal prongs that hold it in place. It never worked again and he absolutely refused to take responsibility for it. I’d had it for less than a month."
10. "I had a friend who always put me down and I always put up with it because..... I honestly don't know why. I would say that she was not the worst. We did have some good times, but every opportunity to put me down, she took it. I always asked her to stop and she always said I was being too sensitive. One day, I snapped and lashed back at her and she got angry at me for that one thing.
That is when it hit me, she had normalized being mean to me to the point where, when I hit back, I was being abusive. Then again, I was right there when she was being mean and nasty and I took the abuse. Over the years, I would say something, but she would dismiss it as me being sensitive.
I realized how much I had been there for her and how little, if at all, she had been there for me. On top of everything, she was abusive and insulting regarding my appearance. I was there for her when her her abusive boyfriend left her, through her divorce, when she needed a babysitter, to help her study, but when it was my turn to need just a little bit of kindness, she already had a good job and a stable relationship and could not be bothered to be there for me.
Funnily enough, all I needed her to say was, 'I'm sorry, I'll do better to be there for you,' instead she said, 'if it was so bad, why did you stay?'
That is when I realized that she did not see me as a person with feelings and needs, rather as a tool that she can use for comfort and advice and a free babysitter for when she didn't have money and a punching bag for her stress and the shoulder to cry on during bad break ups and family deaths.
It was time to leave."
12. "I broke off a 3 year friendship with this girl around a year ago (June 2020).
She was kind of nice, but then she turned manipulative and controlling asf. I could never do the things I wanted to, it was always her. She'd get mad at me if I killed her in a video game, and whenever she said she had to go, I'd find her playing another game. She got pissed at me for killing her in a game for the 3489758574898th time, so we got in a fight and broke it off. She tried to get my other friends to leave me, but it didn't work."
And last but not least:
13. "He blabbed all my secrets; the major one being that I’m a girl who has interest in other girls by telling everyone that I was a lesbian even though the main reason I begged him not to say anything was because I didn’t feel sure of that yet. Even worse he was gleeful about telling me that he had told someone knew. 'What the f*ck? I asked you not to do that!' 'No it’s fine. It’s not like they care.' Yeah… not the point.
I tried to just brush it aside but the anger and violation I felt just kind of grew and grew and grew. I started looking back on a lot of his actions and behaviors over the years and realized how manipulative and controlling he is. He was a pathological liar and if there was a scale of one to ten on how frequent and severe it was, he was an eleven.
The final straw was when I got a text from a mutual male friend who expressed that he had interest in me. Before I even had a chance to respond, he shoots back another message apologizing.... 'oh, nevermind what I just said. I support and respect your sexuality.'
That was it. I was done. I sent toxic best friend a screen shot of mutual male friends text and ripped him a new asshole how he was a horrible person and an even worse friend and that I was tired of him manipulating me, gaslighting me, lying to me, and controlling me because he felt bad about his own inadequates. He made my private life into a very public three ring circus that I had no control over even though it was my life and decisions alone.
In an even bigger dick move, he just never responded which is unforgivably cowardly. Nice to know our 10 years of being best friends really meant nothing to him.
That was 5 years ago and I’ve never looked back.
Sorry for the text wall, but it was one of the biggest, emotionally tumultuous experiences of my life and he deserved to be dragged through the mud every chance there is."
Now that you've read this messy list, do you have any stories about how you left toxic friendships? If you do, let us know in the comments!
The US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. The Trevor Project, which provides help and suicide-prevention resources for LGBTQ youth, is 1-866-488-7386. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line. Find other international suicide helplines at Befrienders Worldwide (befrienders.org).