Friendship is simply defined in the dictionary as being " the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends." but we all know there is a lot more to the concept than just that. What if your friendship was good, but now as turned sour, or if your 'friends' are nice to you some of the time, in certain situations but not others?! Or even, what if the people you call your friends, you really can't stand and would rather be on your own. All these issues fall under the topic of negative or fake friendships, something which is likely to affect us all at some stage of out life's. Luckily, my experience with this has not been too bad, however, my lovely friend Sophie has experienced it and she wants to share this and advice on how to deal with these kinds of friendships with you guys today. Friendship is something that affects everyone from infancy to old age, it is, therefore, paramount that it was included in my #SpeakUp series! Enjoy!
"Firstly I just want to talk about how amazing I think Nicole's Speak Up community is. I think it's a great idea, especially for younger people because people often dismiss our issues or concerns so it's lovely to have a supportive community to go to.
I decided to do my post all about fake friends because it's something I've really struggled with since I was in the first year of secondary school. For some reason, I'm attracted to the wrong people and I was always too shy to get out of them. However, I have and now I have amazing friends, so everything works out well. Also, before I start I just wanted to say that all the people I refer to are ok people but we just didn't click as friends and our personalities just didn't match.
Anyway, it took me years to realise that it's ok to leave people that make your 5 days a nightmare. I'd hate going to school because I just knew they'd make me feel crappy about myself; it was just constant digs or putting people down and just generally bitchy.
So what can you do?
Firstly, if you're not too shy, talk to these people. Tell them what they are doing and how it makes you feel. Obviously, this can be hard and they may not change but I think honesty is key.
If that gets you nowhere, start to distance yourself. Reach out to new people; you may think you have no one but try things like talking to the person you sit with in English class? Or speak to the girl you think dresses nice? Anything. There will be someone new to talk to and you just have to make a bit more of an effort.
I was in year 11 when I had these fake friends, so I knew I only had a limited time until I moved to college and did;t have to see them. I decided that for me it was easier to just wait but while doing this I also made more of an effort to get closer to other people, so I saw them on the weekends instead. This worked for me because I was able to spend less and less time with the fake people and build better relationships ready for college. If you don't want to wait you can do this but just start hanging around with different people and see less and less of the fake people, this way you drift apart rather than a dramatic falling out.
If these people bitch about you, it doesn't matter.
I know with the people I am talking about, they would bitch about anything and everything. They were very gossipy people and that's why we didn't fit as friends. I was constantly aware that they would be talking about me and this made it hard for me to take action against them. I thought that if I didn't stay with them they'd spread bad things about me. I think you just realise that what they say really doesn't matter; fake people will say anything to get a reaction but if they are bitching because you left them then that's their problem because now you will be happier without them. I don't know if I worded that in the best of ways but basically, when you don't have them in your life, what they say will not matter to you.
If you need to take yourself out of a friendship because you no longer feel it is positive of you then you do you! You may feel guilty for not wanting to be their friend because you're probably a nicer person than them but they won't care. I just think that there must be a real issue if you feel the need not to be friends with a person and that's how you know; if you can't cope being with this person, don't feel guilty. You've obviously reached your end and you can risk your happiness for this. Think for you and act for you and it will all work out.
I second everything Sophie says here! If you find yourself stuck in a toxic friendship that makes your week a nightmare you don't have to make a big song and dance about it if you are too scared. Year 11 gives you the perfect opportunity to take some time to yourself to do some revision or if you are in the lower part of the school, join a club! See if your school has an art club or a PE club that you may be interested in. By doing these things, you are more likely to meet new people, that are better and more healthy for you! Don't feel bad to let go sometimes, somethings just are not made to last forever and friendships are one of those things!
Thank you so much, Sophie, for this lovely post, I am sure it will support so many others in a similar situation!
If you would like to contribute to the #SpeakUp series by writing your own guest post on a topic you think affects young people's health and wellbeing, that you have been through. You can find out more details HERE or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you as soon as possible!
I really hope that lots of you will be able to join in with the Twitter chat between 8-9pm using #SpeakUp where we will be discussing friendship!
Have you ever had to deal with negative friendships? What did you do to get out of them? Let me know in the comments below!