Growing up, I was pretty luck to find friends who were overall pretty great people. To this day, we are all still close friends. Sure, we don’t talk or see each other as much as we wish we did but we are all still friends. When I got to college, I finally experienced what it was like to be friends with someone who wasn’t a great friend. Someone who was always jealous but would use “self confidence” to put people down, who was mean to people, did a lot of cocaine, didn’t have any responsibility for their actions, and ultimately used my kindness and constant empathy as a way of trying to control our friendship. Needless to say, we’re not friends anymore.
Recently, I’ve been really focused on this quote from the Dalai Lama “Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” Looking back on my life and the time I’ve spent here in NYC I realize I’ve run into so many toxic people. When I moved to NYC, my family and close friends were still an hour away and I didn’t really have many people. I ended falling into a crowd. These people did drugs, I could barely smoke weed without becoming paranoid. They had one night stands, I was engaged. They partied all night, I was a “in bed by 11” kind of girl. My only saving grace was my Glenn. They alienated me from a lot of people because it kind of felt like constantly being in the VIP section or the cool kids table. But they were mean to people and made fun of a lot of people we knew behind their backs. They always pressured me into doing things. They always thought of themselves first and foremost.
I eventually saw that my life was sort of spiraling and I was here doing what I was meant to be doing which was acting. I know don’t let any toxic people into let alone run my life. I have a few tips to help you in this whether it be friends or relationships.
1. Anyone who is mean to another people for no real reason (like being provoked or treated poorly first). I can understand when people say things in anger though you should work on that too but just to be mean for no reason is kind of a red flag for me. Reason being that I don’t see why you would do that if you were confident in yourself.
2. Always being exclusive. If you’re circle of friends feels more like a private club that you need a membership for then you need to think about a few things. The first being what part of you are you sacrificing to be in this “club”. The second being who are you leaving out. There was this one girl who everyone was kind of mean to because well, she was absolutely gorgeous and charming. She would get special treatment but she was also nice (if she is reading this, she’ll know exactly who she is and I hope she messages me to confirm) but she would always say how left out she felt. I would always bring up inviting her out with us and they would always say no for one reason or another. They didn’t know her or how kind she was. They say the beautiful exterior and maybe that made them thing she was made of stone but she wasn’t. She was actually a beautiful vulnerable flower on the inside.
3. Are you being dragged to random places at late hours or being abandoned on a street if your decision is not to go? (This is not about you N, that was one time girl 🙂 ) This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker but it could be a sign. My friends now, if we go out we always have each others back. Generally, I have Will come pick me up. Then we get my friends safely into cabs and have them text me when they are safely home or at a boys. New York is a safer city than say 20 years ago but it’s still a city.
4. Open to emotions. If you ask a question about how they feel about something whether it be a boy who clearly broke their heart or something that happened in their family. If they deflect or pretend it’s completely fine that means there are clearly barriers in your friendship. I generally find that people who are really guarded have a hard time letting people in as much as they have trouble letting things out. It’s hard to get to know someone and make a true bond if they don’t let you know them.
5. Are they supportive of your goals and dreams? Tons of people will pat you on the back after a job well done but not many will help you keep going when you feel like you can’t. I have friends who said, “Well, if you’re tired of dealing with the bullshit of acting just stop acting.” No one has gotten to the top without dealing with bullshit. It feels like they aren’t very supportive.
Being able to live a happy and positive life also has to do with the people you surround yourself with. So think about how each person in your circle acts, treats you and others. If you aren’t happy with how your life is going, then maybe you need to choose to spend your time with other people. It will hurt and feel lonely at first but the pay off will far surpasses that period of time.