Let me start by saying that none of my current friendships are toxic. The people I have in my life right now are bloody amazing. They're kind, funny and caring. They're absolute true friends, and I couldn't have asked to have surrounded myself with better people.

That being said however, my friendships have not always been that way.

From a young age, I was desperate to be liked. I wanted to fit in, be 'cool' and conform to the mold of what was supposed to be. I would try everything, and do everything, to do just that.

The problem with that is: if you're different, you're different - that's just the way it is. And, unfortunately, people could often smell my desperation from a mile off.

The weird thing was however, apart from the odd occasion where I experienced your stereotypical 'leaving me out of games' and 'calling me nasty names' bullying, these people who didn't actually like me, pretended to like me. They kept me close and pretended I was their friend.

I'd be invited to houses, or to go to the park, and when I'd arrive, there'd be no one home or no one there. I'd be included in games or asked to sit with people at lunch, just so people could try and get information out of me. I know that it was all a big game to people now, but at the time I really believed these people were my friends, because I was so desperate for that to be true.

I've even had a best friend (you know, that person who's meant to love, have fun with you and be your friend unconditionally?), who made me constantly feel like shit. This person would make fun of me in front of other people, or simply just when we were alone, to my face. They took the mick out of the way I spoke, acted and my facial expressions (something I still constantly think about today because, well, I use my bloody facial expressions all the time), and they made fun of my weight and would ask me stupid questions like 'why do you have stretch marks and I don't?', just to make me explain that I was a bigger size than them and make me conscious about myself.

And, that ladies and gentlemen, is not a friend.

I know that now.

I often see people talking about toxic relationships, but never really toxic friendships. And, the thing is, toxic friendships can be soul destroying.

Friends are meant to accept you, love you and look out for you. Friends are meant to keep secrets, give you advice, cuddle you when you're sad. Friends are meant to stick up for you and never stab you in the back.

I see too many people surrounding themselves with people who are hurting them, and friends shouldn't hurt you.

"People will stab you in the back and then ask why you're bleeding"

So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is. Look at who's around you. Who are you surrounding yourself with? Are they benefiting you? Are they hurting you? Do they make you feel good or bad? Do they talk about you behind your back? Or do they constantly sing your praises and want to shout their love for you from the roof tops?

A friendship should be 2 sided. Equal love and support from both people. No one should be tearing another person down or betraying another person's trust.

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