ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Overcoming Bad Friendships

Updated on May 10, 2011

Did you have many friends growing up?

See results

Growing Up When Others Can't

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company.

-George Washington-

Though a friendly enough person, I have never been an ace at making friends. I make acquaintances with little effort. People say I have a kind face and a voice worth sticking around to hear. I rarely remain alone in a social situation for long. Still, I can count the number of true friends I have on one hand.

Growing up, I attended a normal amount of classmates’ parties. As weekends have always been a sacred time in my house, I had to pick and chose which parties I went to/was allowed to go to. More often than not, two classmates would have a party in the same weekend. My mother would decide which party, if either, I went to. As you may assume, this behavior did not make me the most popular girl in class. While my real friends understood my situation, the brats in the class would tease me, calling me a snob or saying that I was a baby for letting my mother have so much control over my social life. Honestly, I don’t know what seven year old kid’s mother doesn’t have such control.

As I got older, my friends gradually discovered the art of spreading rumors. By the time I hit junior high, they had it mastered. Each week, there was a new rumor. Someone had kissed someone else behind some building. Someone’s mother had gotten into such and such trouble. These rumors, though obviously false, caused piles of drama. Being the quiet kid that I was, my name stayed out of the rumor pool for the bulk of the school year. Yet, at one point during the final months of sixth, seventh and eighth grade, my name would surface. I had supposedly said something ridiculous about someone else using vocabulary that I had stopped using in the third grade. I was involved in one form of illegal behavior or another. When your mother is a popular teacher at the school, people will do anything to bring her down a few notches. When her daughter was as sensitive as I was/am, it quickly becomes clear that you bring the mother down by way of her child. These kids, who I believed to be my friends, were vicious, stopping at nothing to do harm.

In high school, I had far more positive relationships with friends. While there was still drama, I was lucky to remain out of the bulk of it. On the rare occasions when I did get involved, it became clear how silly the charges were and the drama dissolved quite quickly. I enjoyed high school mostly because it was the first place I went to that I could be myself without the fear of letting someone down. I could share my opinions with my friends and not have to worry if they would start a rumor or make me feel inferior to them. As I watched my classmates follow the same pattern that the kids at my old school did, I suddenly had perspective. It was there problem, not mine. They weren’t my friends.

College was the middle ground between elementary/middle school and high school. Up until a couple of years ago, my alma mater was a single-sex school. Though I hate to admit it, women aren’t to each other what women’s lib groups would have you believe, at least not in this case. We didn’t band together. We fought against each other, each trying to overpower the other. If you excelled at anything, you were looked down upon by a large portion of the student body. People who excelled were snobs, single-minded and old-fashioned. If you did not fully embrace the college lifestyle i.e. low grades, drinking parties and smoking pot, you were an outcast. The rumor mill was constantly spinning. Too many good people were brought down by people with nothing else to do, but cause pain. Though I commuted and took part in few activities, I was brought into a rumor each year. I lost several people because of these rumors, forgetting the difference between a true friend and someone you hang out with. While I finally got to associate with people, one in particular, who believed in the same things I did and viewed the world through the same lens as I, I also befriended too many people with low self-esteems and big mouths. Having had a couple of years to consider things in, it’s clear that these people weren’t my friends either. Though both my elementary/secondary school and college are Catholic institutions, many of the people I met at both places were not very Christian.

Though now an adult, I still have nightmares about elementary school. While I have a clear, solid vision of who I am and am respected by many people, just one dream can send me back into pre-teen panic mode, re-evaluating my life and everyone in it. How does someone allow themselves to make new friends after they’ve had such negative experiences?

The key is to be able to separate yourself as an individual/the person you know you are from the self they’ve turned you into/painted you as. I know I possess good qualities and am a valuable member of society. I know I am kind, perhaps to a fault. I know I am intelligent, though not when it comes to relationships. I know I am worth having as a friend, but I need to pick and chose who I become friends with more wisely. I know I will continue to gravitate towards the people I shouldn’t gravitate towards. I know I will continue to open myself up to more frustration and harm. Yet, I firmly believe that everyone deserves a friend. You can’t stop being nice to people just because you’ve been hurt. If you do, you’re letting the mean-spirited people win. How do you continue to bounce back each time someone brings you harm? It’s the realization that there are good people out there who have the same goal as you do. If you shut down before you meet them, you’re only cheating yourself.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • katyzzz profile image


      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Very meaningful, LowellWriter

    • LowellWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      L.A. Walsh 

      9 years ago from Lowell, MA

      Thank you, Miri. I wish the same for you! :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      The worst is when you believe you've made a good friend, really believe it, only to discover that when their friends call you "weird" or "strange" for not dressing like them or looking exactly like them, maybe because they are jealous of you, or don't like you... this friend who really valued you before - abandons you. It's hard to open up to someone only to realize that you've made the same mistake again. Some people are very good at convincing you that they care, but they really don't. But.... What you say is true... If you shut yourself off to the world, you shut off the good people like you who are looking for a good friend as well. That's really good advice! Thank-You! I hope you make good friends too that are loyal and true, that compliment your personal style and good outlook and bring out good qualities in you. Real good friends are important and may you be blessed to find that always!

    • LowellWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      L.A. Walsh 

      10 years ago from Lowell, MA

      Thanks for the sympathy and for your comment! :o)

    • spirituality profile image


      10 years ago from The Netherlands

      I would not call this behavior frienship - I'd call it bullying. Sorry to hear you had such bad luck finding good people to hang around with in your school years.

    • LowellWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      L.A. Walsh 

      10 years ago from Lowell, MA

      How true! :o)

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      10 years ago

      Yes indeed there are good people out there and unless you give them the benefit of doubt how will you ever find them? :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)