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Jul 18, 2013, 07:40AM

Breaking Up With Toxic People

I'm just not that into you. 

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Dear Toxic Person(s) in my Life:

I know, we all have toxic people in our lives. Sometimes, they are family members and we're stuck with them, but when they are "friends" or acquaintances, I don't think we should have to put up with their soul-sucking bullshit.

So, I'm breaking up with you. Honestly, you probably won't even know I did it. Simply un-following you in my Facebook news feed may do the trick, though it won't stop you from commenting or liking my stuff, so if your thumbnail photo face still makes me want to punch you, I will go ahead and block you on social media so that I can pretend you don't exist in the real world, where I will do my best to avoid you.

You, with the passive aggressiveness. You're never really happy for me, or for anyone (even yourself) though you put on a fake smile for the world. People who are real get sad and mad and glad and express a whole range of emotions, but you have a shallow pretend-act, like a wooden marionette in a puppet show, where people think from a distance that you are happy, even though you are really miserable inside, normally lying listless at the bottom of your box between shows. Often with a bottle of wine.

You are a taker. You pretend to be a giver, but you're not. In a relationship with me, or with anyone else in your life, others exist to serve you in some way. Whether with material things or simply as another body at the table so you can pretend you have close friendships, you're constantly in it for what you can get out of it.

You are not honest. If you don't like me, then act like it. I'd respect you more. I don't want to be in the meaningless collection of people you call friends; people you keep on your chat list like a shelf and take down once in awhile to dust off and have tea parties with, are no more human to you than creepy dolls with vacant eyes. I don't ever want to be in a "friendship" that exists only to serve the egomania of another. I’m sorry you’re lonely, but the way you hold back love and intimacy from others because of your bottomless, ridiculous pride is why you are unhappy.

I refuse to spend time with you and the toxic cloud that follows you around like Pigpen in the "Peanuts" cartoons. I won't pretend anymore to like you. I won't try to make you happy when all you do is make me unhappy. I have many faults, but brutal honesty is not one of them, and even though I don't have the courage to face you and tell any of this to your face, I can allow myself the luxury of pretending no longer.

Life is too short to spend time around people who are miserable and spread that contagious misery around the neighborhood like a bad cold. There are too many people who bring me joy, and these are the people—the ones who make me laugh, the ones who accept me for exactly who I am and not who they'd like me to be, that I want to surround myself with. You were never really there for me when I needed a friend anyway.

I honestly wish you all the best in your future. I wish you a mirror, so that you can take a good hard look at yourself and the reasons why you're lonely. The common denominator in all the relationships that fall apart around you is you. You could fix it if you wanted to; you're not stupid. And neither am I.

So goodbye, toxic friend. As someone who grew up in a dysfunctional environment, it was natural for me to make an effort to be a part of your life. My own lack of self-confidence made me vulnerable to you. I did my best to have a relationship with you, but now that it is over, I won’t miss you.

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