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!
Friendships are really not that different from romantic relationships.
Which means that there needs to be a balance.
Speaking of hard times: They are not an excuse for your friend to treat you badly.
Do not let a friend consistently cause you to question your version of events.
Your feelings are valid even when your friend doesn’t agree with or like them.
You should never feel solely responsible for your friend’s mental state and well-being.
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.
You can only save yourself.
You are not a bad person if you choose not to be friends with somebody.
It is important to take responsibility for your part in an unhealthy friendship rather than place all the blame on your friend.
No one is “right.”
That being said, not all toxic friendships have to end in a friendship breakup.
Some things can’t be fixed and will not get better.
You are capable of ending a friendship, even if it feels impossible.
“Closure” does not exist, and searching for it is futile.
But here’s the good news: There are amazing friends out there, and you will find them!
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