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Messages By: callrachel

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July 24, 2005, 10:26 pm CDT

Is this a toxic friendship?

I have known J for 20 years. She's funny, artistically very talented, and has been a good friend to me and to my husband, as we have been to them. About a year ago, I took up a particular artistic pursuit, and although J and her husband didn't have the funds for her to participate, she really wanted to take the class, and we arranged that J's husband would do some renovations for us, and we would pay for her to take the class.  We didn't have much money at that time (or now, for that matter), but it seemed a reasonable way to say thanks for J's husband's help, which I know he would have happily given for free.  Both J and I really enjoyed the class, and both decided to continue on. 

Long story short, although J has brought a high level of creativity to her work in this medium, she hasn't attained the same level of skill that I have. I'm not tremendously creative, but I've mastered the mechanics of the work quite well, to the point that our instructor has invited me to be (the most junior) part of his "build team" for creating his own work.

Six weeks ago, J and I were both given the opportunity to attend a workshop in another city. I booked a hotel room, and offered to share it with her; she refused very ungraciously, staying in college residence for about what the shared room would have cost. While we were there, she was quite cool to me, and refused my offers to work with her, though I solicited her help and both sought and accepted her advice on some of my pieces, J was scathing about my apparent desire to "go home with a lot of product".  I actually don't think there's anything wrong with product; I have sales for some of my pieces, and that in part has offset my costs in this medium. 

I'm hurt by her behaviour, and although I'm trying to realize it's not necessarily about me, it's hard not to take it personally. I value the friendship -- am I a chump?

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July 26, 2005, 8:35 am CDT

Ending Toxic Friendships

Quote From: nicole984

me and my friendhave been friends for 8 yrs. we met my freshman year in high school, her sophmore year. about 2 years ago, she changed a lot. she became very boy crazy, jelouse, and she started to steal. she would hit on my boyfriends, and even changed her clothesinfront of them and me. She slept around a lot. and my new live-in boyfriend, cant stand her. we get in to arguements about her all the time, b/c he doesnt like her in our house. i actually cant find anybody that truly likes her. she doesnt take care of her self, and has bad hygiene, and is overwieght and wears clothes that are way to small. she got arrested for stealing, i bailed her out, and now she stole again and is back in jail. everytime i talk to her she makes me feel so guilty. and i feel i should help her. but i know that if she gets out, shes going to want to stay with me, and i dont want her around my b/f. not really worried about him. she has no where to go b/c nobody wants her living with them.... not even her parents. should i just leave her in there? maybe this is a lesson. i dont know. i want to help my friend, but i dont think its s good idea for me to assossiate my self with her anymore.. that sounds awful, i dont know.

Maybe the way to help your friend is to put her in contact with some counselling.  If you keep bailing her out, she won't need to change her behaviour, and that's what you're after, I think.  Why do you feel guilty?  And, for the record, I think your instincts about not wanting her to live with you are good ones.


This is very hard.  I know you want to help, but by picking up the pieces for her, you're making it possible for her to continue to mess up without having to face the consequences, and that's no help at all, really.  Though she probably won't see it that way.


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