All my friends were toxic

How can I stop feeling fed-up with people? Take heart, says our elder. 

Your school friends won’t matter for long. Stay true to yourself and you’ll meet great people.


Dear EWC

I am lately feeling really fed-up with people and their behavior. People who are rude to me for no reason and judge me all the time make me really angry, but at the same time I don’t know what to do. When I think about nasty people like that I feel fed-up. My ex-friend is another example of my desperation. We were ‘friends’ since middle school and once we entered high school she found other friends and completely stopped talking to me, trying to exclude me from the girls I hang out with and was a total pathetic bitch. I’m pretty sure she lied about me to make other people wary of me. When I think about her I feel fed-up. Thinking about my friendships, all five friends I had in middle school were shallow, toxic or miserable. Never in my life have I had a friendship that didn’t leave me heartbroken. When I think about my friends I feel fed-up. And making new friends isn’t easy, especially if the people around me have completely different interests and different personalities. Plus I’m extremely shy and reserved, but even when I try forcing myself to talk and being as friendly as I can, they don’t seem to be interested and only care about themselves. When I think about people I feel fed-up. So tired of their selfishness, unkindness, misery and shallowness. How can I stop thinking about people and feeling fed-up?


Good-Listener replies

I’m sorry you’re feeling so frustrated with your friends. These things can happen – and, by the way, you can feel that way at any age! From experience, I’ll tell you how I handled it, and maybe some of it will make sense.

First off – at your age (a teenager) things change constantly and people fall into all sorts of odd and often bad habits. Everyone is looking to “find themselves”, and feel important. So, often some people who may not be as gregarious or clamoring for attention, get left to the side. Sometimes we have expectations that can’t be met, so we’re left confused and hurt. My best suggestion is to try and follow your interests outside or inside of school if at all possible. That means joining activity groups (academic, artistic, sports… whatever fits) and being around folks that you feel most comfortable with, who will accept you as like minded. This won’t happen overnight, but you’ll get a better sense of self when you’re with others who share the same passions.

Believe it or not, some of those “friends” you have now may leave high school and fall flat on their faces. True, some will be major successes, and some who no one thought would amount to anything will shine. I know many, many examples of girls who snubbed me in high school, then wanted to be my friend after I graduated from college and got a prestigious job. I wasn’t mean to them at that point, but just had no interest in having any connection. But the point is for you to not rely on them for your self-esteem; to rely, instead, on our own accomplishments, however big or small and get your self worth from that. I found volunteering was an amazing way to meet people, even acquire skills, and have a blast. Just do something you believe in. Helping others is the best way to help you – and it rarely fails.

Take heart. Most of these friends won’t matter soon – and you’ll have others in your life who won’t disappoint. Try to expect less from them and consider them more as “acquaintances”. There are good and great people – just try to put yourself (through volunteering, other activities of your choice) in a position to meet them. Good luck. 

Article #: 477191

Category: Other

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