I am going to try to keep this piece as short as possible and get to the point without rambling on forever. I have years and years worth of stories that would leave your jaw on the floor, but we’ll save that for another time. For confidentiality purposes let’s call this ex bestie “Julie.”
PSA: If find yourself relating to my position, ditch the friend now. If you find yourself relating to the negative qualities of “Julie,” well..lets hope your friend doesn’t read this.
All jokes aside, lets jump into this because it really is serious and my ex best friend consumed my life for about five years. When I tell you everything in my life revolved around her, I mean everything. Let me paint a quick picture of our relationship before we get into the details.
‘Julie’ and I became best friends in eighth grade and our friendship took off fast, we barely hung out with anyone else and we never hung out, or went places, without each other. My horse show friends who never knew her before would be shocked if they saw me without her and even my family would wonder why she wasn’t with me, even on a regular week night. Julie came to horse shows with me, came on family vacations with me, celebrated holidays with my family, and even came around when I wasn’t home. My sophomore year of high school I transferred and Julie was not happy; I admit at the time I was very upset about leaving her, too. My brother still went to school near Julie so he would drop her off and pick her up during the week and drive her to our house so I could still see her almost every day. Not long after I was gone, Julie decided to transfer as well, she literally moved to a different state to go to school with me. We were more than friends, we were sisters. This is a girl who I would do anything for and who’s back I would always have no matter what the situation was.
When I look back at these five years of friendship, I don’t regret them because I really did have so much fun with her most of the time, probably because I was very oblivious to her negative qualities. I am not calling myself perfect because I really am far from it, but the qualities that make someone a bad friend she most definitely had, and I did not. The main qualities I finally uncovered that made Julie a bad friend and someone I needed to get rid of were resentment, jealousy, and lack of loyalty.
Resentment can come in many forms: you can resent someone for their nice things, for their happiness, for their success or whatever is bothering you that they have or do. Resentment and jealousy are often tied together and some may think are the same thing but I hope these few stories can paint a picture of the difference and possibly help you identify a negative friend in your life. One day on the way to school, Julie was following me and got a speeding ticket. I was miles ahead of her so I had no clue about her getting pulled over until she called me as I was pulling in. When I tell you she was mad, I mean she barely spoke to me throughout the day and would still get heated if people brought it up weeks later. The funniest part about this entire story is that she was not mad she got a ticket, she was mad I did not get one too. What Julie did not understand was that the cop was not there when I passed and that I am not responsible for her foot on the gas pedal. I was not giving her directions and I did not tell her to speed. She was 100% sure that I did not get a ticket because I drove a nicer car than her. She was positive that because my car “was more expensive” I did not get a ticket and that just was not fair. The funniest part about all of this to me is that she actually called my father to get help BEFORE she even told me she got the ticket. Oh, and did I mention she got another ticket the next day when she wasn’t following me? Julie was jealous of me in many ways and always tried to get attention, but more than anything she resented me for having things that she did not. She resented me for getting “privileges” that she had made up in her mind that I received from people for having those things or being who I was. She would often mention how it wasn’t fair that people knew my family, as if that is my fault. There are definitely advantages when someone has a family member who is well known and can pull strings but there are also disadvantages. I am speaking on behalf of all people who are in the public eye, not just my family who is known around town.
As far as jealousy is concerned, I do not have too many specific stories that I feel comfortable sharing but I can give a few examples. For years I would take Julie to Colorado with me to snowboard on vacation. Every year we would snowboard with one of our family friends who is a private instructor. He could not fathom how someone could take private lessons for a week, year after year, and simply not do the simplest tasks or retain any skills. I wasn’t aware at the time but he had already decided in his mind that she was jealous of my snowboarding skills and wanted the attention he was giving me to try and make me even better. One year we sent her with a separate instructor for the day so he and I could work on a few things alone, big surprise, she did just fine when she was separated no longer trying to take the attention off me. The most classic and old school form of best friend jealousy is “the boyfriend.” I had suspicions throughout my relationship that she was jealous I had a boyfriend and she did not because she would always go places with us and be a third wheel. Not until after he and I broke up did I realize just how far she would go to try and take something from me that she wanted. Although I must admit the details of that story are juicy and jaw dropping, I’ll have to save that for another time and leave it up to your imagination for now.
I am the type of friend who will be by your side no matter what and I will never let anyone go
through anything alone. I am never one to try and blame others when I get in trouble or try to make excuses. Julie was one of those people who never got in trouble with her parents and never learned how to own up for her mistakes. If Julie were to get yelled at or simply punished for a week, she thought the world was going to end. Julie and I were friends in high school, that means sometimes we did things we weren’t supposed to. It was never anything major but things just like lying about where we were or who we were with. If there was an opportunity for Julie to throw the blame on me, or someone else, there was a 100% chance she would. Lucky for her my parents were never the type to call others peoples parents and rat on their kids. It was punishment enough for Julie when I got punished because that meant she could not do things with me and she really had nobody else. There were also times when petty drama was going around school for completely irrelevant issues and if her name was involved, she would shift the blame or story as quickly as possible to isolate herself from the situation and throw the blame on someone else. There are so many scenarios of her being an unloyal friend to me and others I could write a whole article on just that. This whole piece is already way longer than I had intended it to be so I will leave it at that. Loyalty is very self-explanatory and if you have a friend who is not being loyal, quit making excuses for him or her and move on.
Sometimes ending a friendship or relationship is so difficult not only because you are losing someone who has been a part of your life for so long, but because you may feel lonely or lost without them. We also often keep people around for the wrong reasons just because we are or scared to move on. There will always be better friends to be found and new people to meet, sometimes you have to branch out, but sometimes you may find a friend in a person who is right in front of you that you never knew you would bond with. I understand in high school and small towns it is more difficult to meet people but your life is in your hands. We all have different opportunities available to us which can make things easier or more difficult in life. One thing I know for sure is we often don’t push ourselves to our fullest potential. If you are unhappy and keeping someone around in your life for the wrong reasons, quit being lazy and do anything and everything you can to meet new people. It can be as simple or difficult as you want it to be. On the other hand, if you are someone who just read this and had an epiphany about how similar your best friend is to my “Julie,” well, I suggest you have a chat with that person tomorrow.