If there is one lesson I’ve learned from binge watching the Netflix original series Stranger Things, it would probably be to stay far away from the town of Hawkins. No I’m just kidding. I’ve learned that “friends don’t lie.”
And I can say that I have lied. I have lied to my friends on multiple occasions. It’s not something that I am proud of. However, it is not something that I am not afraid to admit. I have lied for shitty reasons and I have lied for moderately good reasons.
Yet, I voice my opinion on a different topic of friendship today. One of my best friends and I, well, recently stopped being friends. We hit the big fat stop button on our friendship. We’ve been through a lot. Oh boy, we’ve been through hell and back. But I don’t mean fights. We rarely fought. I just mean that we both stood by each other through chaotic life stages. Life phases. Fuck ups. Breakups. You know, nothing out of the ordinary.
We were having a mildly heated argument over text. I wouldn’t even say it was an argument. I’d say it was more of a blunt and slightly hurtful heart to heart. Then all of a sudden, she dropped the F word. She told me she was done “fixing” me.
And that kind of fucked me up. After reading it, I didn’t know how to respond. To be honest, I apologized: “I’m sorry if you ever felt like you had to fix me.”
Friends don’t fix you.
Friends love you. Friends nurture you. They watch you grow. They help you grow.
A true friend warns you that you’re about to make a bad decision. The friend watches the bad decision in full action. Then the friend comforts you after the bad decision. The friend doesn’t critique you or threaten that she’ll stop being your friend if you pursue the bad decision.
A true friend stands by your side through the good and the bad. A true friend accepts your flaws, loves your flaws and, most importantly, helps you embrace your flaws.
I have learned that some people are more judgemental than others. If you continue to surround yourself with “friends” who only judge you, you’ll never feel good enough. It’s a miserable feeling of not only pure insecurity while spending time with these people but an internal feeling of pity.
No one can change who you are. You are in charge of your life. You do not need to be fixed. Every day you can become a better person if you want to. You take these steps alone. You accept sole responsibility of your mistakes. No one, not even your best friend, can interfere.
And for a long time, I thought that toxic relationships were strictly limited to lovers. However, I have realized that toxicity extends to all forms of relationships, including friendships.
Friends don’t drag you down. Friends encourage.
Friends don’t manipulate. Friends motivate and offer advice.
Friends don’t fix. Friends love.