How many of us have had a close friendship, that ended because your friend wouldn’t leave a toxic relationship, or just didn’t seem to want to reach the potential that you knew that had? It’s an uncomfortable topic because we often don’t know what to do. After all, this is your friend, someone that you admire and love. But at the same time, their attachment to toxicity, is really killing the vibe of your friendship. When you love someone, it’s natural for you to want the very best for them. However, when they don’t seem to want the best for themselves, that leaves you in an awkward position. Should you stay and try to help your friend see the positive light, or should you distance yourself from them and their toxic attachments?
Most of these instances occur over bad romantic relationships. Your good friend is dating a guy who is abusive, mistreats her or just plain doesn’t deserve her. However for some reason (whether its money or blind love) your friend can’t seem to let go. You’ve spoken to her about it on multiple occasions, almost always practically begging her to leave the relationship and demand more for herself. But it seems all your words of advice continuously fall on deaf ears. What do you do? Continue to give advice in vain, everytime she comes to you in tears or detach yourself and watch her suffer or just simply walk away from the friendship?
Or what about those instances where it has nothing to do with a toxic relationship, but everything to with your friend simply not willing to reach her potential. Maybe she’s a smart girl, who has no direction or ambition and would rather immerse herself with less than intelligent ambitionless people. Do you keep trying to make her see reason and motivate her, or do you distance yourself?
It’s a tough call to make, and it’s one that is contextually based and requires a lot of thought. But in making a decision, it’s important to remember that we cannot love someone else more than they love themselves. In the words of the most cliché saying “you can take a horse to the river but you can’t make it drink”. It is entirely up to your friend, to decide that they want and deserve better than what they have chosen to resign themselves to. It is also essential that you also think about yourself, and draw boundaries as to what you will and will not endure. Because at the end of the day, while you’re giving out love, you have to engage in self-love. And unfortunately, self-love sometimes means distancing yourself from or breaking up with your best friend.