Getting Rid of Unhealthy Friendships

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There's a group of women that I know (I won't mention any names). They are just regular people on the outside; if you don't know them very well, you would think they were normal, well-liked, unassuming women. However, if you know them well, you will see them for what they really are: jealous, phony, envious, rude, self-absorbed gossips! Why do people feel it is necessary to talk behind other people's backs? Then, they have the nerve to talk to you as if you are best friends when they see you in person.

I've known this group of women for several years now. Don't get me wrong, I actually met with them socially on many occasions. We had some nice times together; I guess I was more tolerant of their behavior then, but slowly I realized that I wasn't being true to my nature by spending time with them. Even though I did not participate in telling the gossip or talking about other people, I did listen to the conversation. I realized that I was being hypocritical, so I slowly eased myself out of my social relationship with these women.

Don't feel sorry for me, I have other people to be friends with. We talk about recipes, our favorite television shows, current events, etc. While we give our opinions on matters and don't always agree, we are not participating in that annoying gossip: who went where, who was wearing what or laughing at someone else's expense. These women talk about everyone. In a two minute conversation with them, you could hear it all. I don't care what someone else's child did; I care about my own. I don't care who has a new handbag and how much it cost or who was invited to a party and who was not. If I like someone's handbag, I will tell them so, I will not try to find it at the store or online to see how much they paid for it and then talk about it with others. Yes, they have done this! I don't care what name brand you are wearing. If I like what you are wearing, I will compliment you and if I don't, I'll just keep it to myself. I will not call you to tell you about the awful outfit someone was wearing. Yes, they do that too!

Through the years, I have heard them talk about many people behind their backs and then talk to them as if they were great friends in person. A majority of their conversations are gossip and then of course, the other part is the complaining! Why is there so much homework? My son has ten tests this week. It's not fair that my child didn't win the award or get the part he wanted in the play. Oh, how many times did I hear all of this before; I decided to make a clean break!

It didn't happen over night; I had to be subtle. I started to politely decline invitations for getting together. I kept face to face conversations short and sweet. Finally, the phone calls stopped. My house was quiet in the afternoons and evenings. There were not any more phone calls about "who did what to whom" and "you're not going to believe this" or "I'm so annoyed." I found that what used to be hectic afternoons of cooking dinner and kids doing homework, could be so calm without the barrage of phone calls.

Other people have noticed their behavior, but are more willing to put up with it because they don't want to miss out on the invitations and social interactions. I just can't be phony. My relationship with them was becoming too draining. They did not think they were doing anything wrong. I couldn't take hearing them talk about other people's children. They probably talked about my family too; nothing and no one was off limits. They even spoke about each other! Now, the three of them are thick as thieves. When they are engrossed in conversation, the building could collapse and they won't notice! That's how self absorbed they are.

I am still politely friendly with these women. I wish them well for birthdays and holidays and I will chat with them if I run into them at school or at a social event, but I am free of the craziness and I don't miss it at all. I still witness the phoniness here and there and I am sure that my "split" from them was a huge conversation maker between them and others who noticed. I don't care though because I know I can face people and talk to people without being fake. If I like your company, I will spend time with you; if I don't, I will be polite but short. Whether you are my favorite person or not, I can guarantee I won't talk about you behind your back.

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Comments 8 comments

jenubouka 5 years ago

Good for you, I am not so subtle...I pretty much lay it out if I am feeling a tinge of unacceptable behavior in the sense of bad mouthing and such.

I think that you did it the right way, but doesn't just tick you off how people especially women run a muck like a bunch of hens?


jenubouka 5 years ago

Good for you, I am not so subtle...I pretty much lay it out if I am feeling a tinge of unacceptable behavior in the sense of bad mouthing and such.

I think that you did it the right way, but doesn't just tick you off how people especially women run a muck like a bunch of hens?


bizzymom profile image

bizzymom 5 years ago from New York Author

Yes, it certainly does tick me off especially when I witness people talking behind someone's back and then two seconds later, they talk to the very same person they were gossiping about as if nothing happened.

Thanks for your comment.


leann2800 5 years ago

I totally agree with you. I can't stand this type of behavior. Its fine for some people but I prefer genuine people who don't talk behind my back and support my efforts. One of my favorite saying is "Small people talk about people. Big people talk about about things. Great people talk about ideas." I really don't know who said it or I would give them credit but it has stuck in my head forever. It's nice to meet a great person like yourself...I like your idea.


moiragallaga profile image

moiragallaga 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Great hub, and your story is a familiar experience for me too. I basically share the same philosophy that you have when it comes to matters as you have described. I find that type of atmosphere quite toxic and I needed to step away from it all for my peace of mind. Thanks for sharing.


bizzymom profile image

bizzymom 5 years ago from New York Author

Thank you all for your comments. It's nice to see that there are others out there who agree!


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Gossip is dangerous and interestingly enough the most harmful goes on between two people. One person tells another etc. You know the one you promise to never breath a word you share with just one more person.


bizzymom profile image

bizzymom 4 years ago from New York Author

You are absolutely right carol7777! Thanks for your comment.

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