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Spilling The Tea: Cutting Toxic People Out of Our Lives

Spilling The Tea: Cutting Toxic People Out of Our Lives

(Post 1)


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Hello hello!


Welcome to a new series called ‘Spilling The Tea’. In this series, I’ll be giving ‘the tea’ about various life circumstances,and fleshing out the best possible route to resolving various dilemmas that we all might face at some point or anothe. Think of this as agossip/advice fusion that Carrie Bradshaw would do in Sex in the City — except, more gay, more ,melodramatic, and more personable (and not all about dating).

For me, I sometimes experience a lot of zany and outlandish situations where I don’t necessarily receive any sort of closure or validation. With this series, I'll give myself the closure I need by writing these stories. As I find my own closure, maybe it can help you, the reader, find some sort of closure with a similar shared life experience as well.



To launch the very first ‘Spilling The Tea’ series, We’ll be going over something that has become more prevalent in today’s society: Cutting toxic people out of our lives. 


I did this recently. A few weeks ago, I said goodbye to a near two-year friendship. 


This friendship started two years ago when someone local to my area reached out to me on Instagram. They followed me, and I followed them back. Shortly thereafter, we started talking and became social media friends. Her name was Lilly (well, for the sake of this story, that’ll be her name), and Lilly was very supportive of my blog and my tea journey. However, last year, we started entertaining the idea of going out tougher. We’d make plans to meet for tea, make plans to meet up to go out to the club, etc. Every time, she’d cancel. Some of the times, she’d cancel the day of. Two of the times, I had pulled up to the tea shop when she canceled. One of the times, I went to the tea shop, waited for an hour, and didn’t hear back from her until that night/the next day. 


I was becoming weary of this friendship. Though, after some time had passed, Lilly and I talked again and made plans to go to a nightclub together. A week later, that same day, she canceled. When I asked her when she’d be free next, she said, “Oh, I’m leaving for Nevada for the summer, I won't be back until September/October (4-5 months later).

I went to her profile, went to block her, and hovered my finger over the block button. Before blocking her, I remember thinking about how I didn’t have any friends in Colorado yet. I also remember how I wasn’t in a position to cut off one of the only connections I had here — despite it being a shit one. So, I went to her profile and muted her profile instead (so, I wouldn’t be able to see her posts on my feed) and moved on.


Months would pass, and she’d react to my stories or comment on my posts, and I wouldn’t respond. I wouldn’t reply. I had just moved on. 


Eight months had passed (now the spring of this year) and I got a new message from Lilly. She said that she and her boyfriend had rented an Airbnb near the tea shop I frequented (the same tea shop I had been stood up by her previously), and insisted that we finally meet for the very first time. After letting go of some of the flakiness of the past, I decided to give it a shot. I had nothing to lose anyway, right? 

So, on the day of, I arrived and got a table for us. Half an hour later, and right when I was packing up to leave, I looked up and Lilly was walking in. 

She finally arrived.


Hot damn. She was a real person, and not just a winter flake that fell from the sky after all.


Long story short, we had a great time.

We hung out for several hours, and after, made plans to hang out again. To my surprise, we actually hung out again. We got breakfast, went shopping, and created a new memory. 

Another time after, Lilly brought one of her best friends along, and we all three hung out.

And the time after that, she brought another few friends. Before I knew it, I had a small group of friends I could call on, hang out with, and socialize with. 


A few months later, Lilly announced that her job was relocating her for the summer, and she’d be leaving again. She worked for a branch of the government. Essentially, she would take contracts, but, would have to temporarily move across the state/country to fulfill these contracts. 


This actually explained why she would disappear for months at a time, but despite so, she had made promises to us in the group that she’d come back and visit. She made promises that we’d all get to see her. Since she had been consistent in our friendship up to that point, I had no reason to doubt her. 


Except, some of her friends and I had made plans to drive over to her new temporary home, and visit her for a very specific weekend.

We planned on going on the first weekend of June because the first weekend of June is the anniversary of my dad’s passing. This time of year is always hard on me, and for over the past decade, I have always spent this day alone. Or, I’d have no one to call, talk to, or spend time with, on this day. My dad died tragically, and every year on this day, it comes back up again and I'm reminded how much I miss him. Every year on this particular day, I struggle. 

However, I was now going to take a mini road trip with Lilly's friend instead of spending it alone. I'd be surrounded by good company, and I wouldn't be left to wallow in it.

For the first time in over a decade, I wouldn’t be spending this day alone.

I took two days off work for this trip, and a plan was set in motion. 


Except, it didn’t happen. 


The week of, on Wednesday, Lilly announced that she’d be driving down to the city instead. So, her friends and I made plans to hang out on Saturday and do something as a group instead. We'd have a game night.

With a new plan in motion, I asked her on Thursday if she and I could go to the lake together on the night of my dad’s passing (Sunday night). She said she’d love to and would message me later to verify the time and place. 

I texted her Friday to verify plans, and she said she was busy at work and would message me later. 

Saturday arrived, and I still didn't hear from her.

Saturday night arrived, and I went to our friend’s house for game night. I asked if they heard from Lilly, and they said she canceled on them and would be coming Sunday instead. 

Sunday arrived, and I still hadn’t heard from her. 

On Sunday evening, I opened Instagram and saw she had posted to her story. On her story, Lilly was paddle boarding with a friend up near where she lived.

 

My anxiety and anger instantly spiked. 


I sent her a text and told her that she had hurt me in our friendship. I told her that I felt really hurt that she’d texted our other friends about her plans while standing me up. On top of that, I told her that it hurt because she had told me she’d be there for me, on a very important day. I had taken PTO to spend time with her, and she backtracked our plans, stood me up, and left me hanging. 


She replied and said, “I understand why you’re hurt, but I never verified a time with you. It’s not like the plan was solidified”. 


I texted her a screenshot of her text that showed that she agreed to spend time with me. She replied and said, 

“Look, I texted the other friends in our group because when I visit, they’re who I’m staying with. I had to let them know if I was coming. I spend all winter building friendships with people because when I go away for work over the summer, it’s hard on me. I messaged them because I need them, and they’re helping me by letting me stay with them. With my job, my schedule changes and I can’t help it. This is the way that it is.” 


In one last ditch effort, I replied and said, “I’m just asking that in the future, you communicate that with me. I know you can’t help your work schedule, but I’m just asking that you communicate if you have to cancel on me so that way, I’m not being stood up. For our friendship, moving forward, this is all I’m asking. Just basic communication.” 


After a few minutes, she read my text and didn’t reply. 


Fifteen minutes later, I started to question why I had responded in a way that I did and gave her an out. Why did I accept that I’d allow a friend in my life to admit to me that they didn’t see the problem with standing me up? Why was I so forgiving, that I was okay with letting her ghost me and stand me up? Why did I let it be okay, and have to bed for something as simple as a text message? 


Did I lower the bar so low for myself, that I had allowed myself to become desperate for the friendship and approval of someone who took no issue with hurting me in such a big way? 


I sent a final text, telling her that I was moving on from our friendship. I then did what I should have done a year prior — I blocked her on all social media and blocked her number. I removed myself from her life, and I moved on. 


Later the next day, I was talking with a mutual friend of hers, and he mentioned that my friendship with him or any of her friends would not be affected. But, he said, “It sucks that you burned that bridge with her. I guess you can’t go back.”


This is the moment, I started to re-analyze the idea of cutting people off from my life. Was I wrong to cut off my friendship? Was I wrong to say goodbye, and was I wrong to burn that bridge? 


First, I want to say:  I did not burn that bridge.


I tried to fight for this friendship, and when I was met with resistance, I walked away. That doesn’t mean I burned the bridge. 

The bridge burned when she stood me up and ghosted me. The bridge burned when I rearranged my work schedule and used PTO to dedicate time to this person, and they couldn’t even send a text message back. 

She burned the bridge when she explained to me that she felt justified in ghosting me and standing me up…


Second, it is not our responsibility to make amends with the people who hurt us. We sometimes feel the need to reach out to someone who hurt us, and give them grace, because sometimes it’s easier to give someone grace than accept that they could actually hurt us. 


This will now make me ask: What’s broken within us, that we feel the need to give grace to the people who hurt us?


To that, I have two answers: 


First, we sometimes accept negative and toxic behavior with friends because it is sometimes better to overlook someone else’s flaws, than it is to criticize them for it. We are all not perfect, so why would we judge someone else for not being perfect? 

But, does that make us desperate? For me at least, I've struggled to make new friends in Colorado since moving here. So although I’m not despite, I sometimes overlook things I know I shouldn’t, because I have nothing else.

(Okay, maybe I am a tad bit desperate).


Second: We sometimes give grace to the people who hurt us, because sometimes, you don’t want to see someone you love self-destruct and hurt the connection you have with them. You don’t want to see the other person in your relationship throw away your connection so easily. 


However, I’ve concluded several things from this. 


We can’t be so forgiving to someone else that we end up forgetting to forgive ourselves.  

You can give grace to people, but not so much that you end up hurting yourself instead. 


Some connections are worth saving. With some connections, it’s more than worth it to be forgiving because these people enrich our lives and add value to our souls. 

If you want to know if someone deserves forgiveness, ask yourself this: Did forgiving them take effort?

If you’re showing someone forgiveness, and they truly deserve forgiveness, then forgiving them won’t feel like it took any effort at all. It won’t even feel like the act of forgiveness. 


However, if someone hurts you, then it’s up to YOU to love yourself.  You have to leave that connection and take care of yourself.  

You simply can’t make a friend appreciate your connection with them, and above all else, you can't make a friend keep loving you. 

If a friend stops loving you, then it’ll be up to you to give yourself the love that you should be receiving, instead. 


I’m not perfect, and neither are you. People are complicated, but hey, so are we! I will ask of you, dear reader, to do something that I’m still practicing to do: Love yourself, be kind to yourself, and advocate for yourself for the love thatyou truly deserve. I

f you ask me, “How do you be kind to yourself? How do you love yourself?” 

Then I’d tell you, I have no fucking clue. But, I’m still trying. Although we don’t know how to perfectly answer that, the best we can do is keep trying. 


Until the next segment of Spilling The Tea, I’ll work on coming up with an answer to that, but you can work on it too. We can compare notes with each other once we figure it out :)


Until next time,


~Cody 

Aka The Oolong Drunk

“Blissfully Tea Drunk"

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