It's not me, it's definitely you…

IMG_7024We need to talk… I have broken up with many an elementary school boyfriend, such a skank... I was dumped exactly once by my middle school love, Matt. This kid, who I know for a FACT liked me, was told by an asshole popular kid that I wasn't pretty enough to date, so Matt informed him he did it "for tongue" and dumped me... Tongue?!? Are you kidding me Matty?! And yes, I totally made out with him at a middle school dance-- with tongue. I went on hating him for years, until junior year of high school when we had math together and he got me a Christmas card depicting Santa with a reindeer up his ass. There was one sentence written in gnarly frat boy scribble, "I'm sorry I was an asshole" So he was sorry he was a jerk, I was in love with The Captain, I let it go. I think he has a wife and 5 kids now. So we've all moved on.

Annnnnyyyywho. The Captain and I started dating when I was 16 and we never broke up, so I haven't had to dump anyone since the 90's. Lonnnngggg time ago. That is until a few years ago. After nearly 4 years of questioning and second guessing myself, it became very apparent to me that I had to dump my "best" friend. I use quotes because she was never really my best friend, she was an insane megalomaniac who helped me through a tough time in my life to secure her manipulative claws in me. Whoa. Serious shit. Well, The Captain had man advice for me, "just ignore her, she lives on the other side of the country!" Men are the worst. I proceeded to say that if he broke up with me by "just ignoring" me I would have stalked him, threatened him, and eventually punched him in the junk. I knew I had to end things like an adult, but where to start?!?

IMG_7026My good friend and expert advice giver, Christina, had some sage words of wisdom for me and it truly helped me through a pretty difficult talk. Plus, I had some helpful chats with my ma, Sandy, who is always very insightful. After discussing this very subject with a friend earlier this week I thought it might be helpful to spread the knowledge. We've all had that toxic individual in our life that holds us back from happiness!! So, here's my advice on how to break up with a bestie.

1. Pray about it. I was literally scared to death of this chick. When my phone would ring I would seriously start sweating and my pulse would race. That's a special kind of crazy. Sandy would tell me that I had a spirit of fear and that wasn't what God intended for me. So she offered up many a bible verse and I just dove into it. I prayed daily for God to share his wisdom and peace with me.

2. Take your time. There's no reason to rush into this. Don't string the person along, but you don't need to pick up the phone or respond to texts all the time. Be guarded with your responses because the thing is this isn't supposed to be intentionally hurtful. If your situation is anything like mine, you wish you could help your friend, but [for me] after years of denial I realized that she didn't want help. She was content to lie and manipulate forever and THAT you can't do anything about. So pray and take your time.

3. Have a script. This was where Christina helped me majorly. You can't just go into this hoping to wing it. Emotions are high and you don't want to start a fight, you've probably already had plenty of those. You want freedom. So have a few prepared sentences that help you communicate that you wish to no longer be friends. They will start up with the "what did I do wrong!?" and "why don't you want to be my friend!?" and it's hard… You are less likely to break or to start "working through things" if you have your script. Ask that they hear you out before responding. Something like this, "I have been spending a lot of time praying about our friendship. I hate that it has come to this, but I think that it is best for both of us if we no longer communicate. I feel that our relationship is not based in a healthy place and it believe it is in my best interest that we are no longer in contact."  When they ask questions, just repeat the part of your script that fits. The call should be short, no longer than 5 minutes. I know this seems cold, but if it's coming from a place of honesty and prayer your heart will be at peace.

4. You don't have to explain. Or apologize. This was hard for me. Clearly I'm long winded… [see above] and I hate not explaining things, but chances are if you are to this point no explanation in the world is going to change how this person acts/feels/is. It was very hard for me not to apologize, but Christina explained to me that was admitting fault or guilt and repeat with me "You've done nothing wrong!!"

5. Don't get sucked back in. I hung up the phone and never spoke with her again. No texts. No emails. No calls. If you are dealing with certifiable then it's not a bad idea to block them on social media, but a simple unfollow will usually suffice. You don't need to be sucked back into that black hole. Forgive and move on completely. I think it's also important that you guard your heart and avoid making friendships that could lead down this path. I know you can't always spot a crazy right away, but the signs are always there. Constant complaining and other attention seeking behavior, never close friends with more than one person at a time, has more than a dozen "super secrets" that you have to keep, has imaginary boyfriends… Yeah, you get the idea.

IMG_7035Friendship, just like life, has seasons. And it's okay to realize that yours is in a place that doesn't serve your heart of joy. Moving on is hard, but I think at least speaking words of honesty to a person who was once a friend is important for both of you. I'd love to know your experiences! Do you have any advice for someone who finds themselves stuck in a toxic friendship??