I Didn’t Realize How Toxic My BFF Was Until I Cut Her Out Of My Life

My best friend in college was beautiful, fun, vivacious, and insanely smart. It took me a long time to understand the weird sensation I felt when I spent a lot of time with her. After we went our separate ways, the fog cleared and I was finally able to put my finger on the problem: she was totally, unequivocally toxic.

  1. It was a friendship like no other. My ex-BFF and I met when I was a freshman in college. She was my age, but I looked up to her like she was an older sister. She held herself to such a high standard and I respected the hell out of that. I’m the oldest out of all my siblings and don’t have any sisters of my own, so this was a new experience for me. Unconsciously, I started to mirror her actions.
  2. She constantly reminded me why I needed her. The end of my first semester was a little rough. My roommate had decided to allow her new boyfriend to move into our tiny two-person dorm room that was half the size of my bedroom back home. My new BFF offered to let me move into her dorm just down the hall since her roommate had transferred schools. It was a kind gesture and I took her up on it right away. She never let me forget what she did for me and held it over my head in such a way that I felt like I owed her a debt for the rest of the school year. That’s the thing with toxic people — they never let you forget the little things.
  3. I started trying way too hard. As I mentioned before, my new BFF was super smart, gorgeous, and loved to have a good time. At first, I found her presence to be a really positive thing. I studied harder, I was more social, and I picked up some bomb makeup tips. After a while, though, I realized I wasn’t doing any of these things for the right reasons. I was burning myself out just to keep up with her.
  4. I didn’t notice my other girlfriends pulling away. I have a tendency to friend hop, depending on my mood. If I felt like partying, I’d go to a certain frat house with certain people. If I felt like studying, I’d meet up with my more studious girlfriends at the library. My BFF and I started doing just about everything together and it took me a while to realize it was cutting into my one-on-one time with other friends.
  5. I didn’t recognize the impact of her subtle digs. No matter who I was dating, what he looked like, or how sweet he was, my BFF would always have something negative to say. When she and I would meet new people, she’d always pull me aside and whisper something hilariously but nasty. I found myself making snap judgments of people, and that was never something I did before.
  6. I mistook her ego for self-confidence. She was absolutely stunning, there’s no denying that. Being a perfectly average looking girl myself, I’ve never walked into a room of men expecting to turn heads. She always did. Of course I was envious, but I was also proud that someone so beautiful and confident wanted to be my best friend. One night, however, she had an absolute meltdown. A guy she had hooked up with a few nights before totally snubbed her and started chatting up another girl right in front of us. It took weeks of me placating her and agreeing that there must be something totally wrong with this guy before she stopped talking about him.
  7. She was mean to everyone except for me. My other friends couldn’t understand my dedication to my new BFF. She was known around campus for being really judgmental and bitchy, but she never actually directed that behavior towards me. Yeah, she made fun of my boyfriend’s haircuts, but she never put me down personally. Later on, I’d come to understand that this type of behavior was just another piece of evidence of her toxic nature. She treated me just well enough, like I was a minion.
  8. She was only around when it was convenient. My BFF and I went our separate ways sophomore year. I moved off campus to more affordable housing, and she moved into the sorority suite. It was as if we were going to schools in entirely different states, even though my apartment was a four-minute walk away. If we hung out, it was always somewhere on campus.
  9. The rules didn’t apply to her. My junior year, I moved back on campus into the sorority suite with my BFF. It was as if sophomore year never happened and we were attached at the hip again. This year was a little bit different, however. We were both in pretty serious relationships with guys from our school. Due to my disastrous first roommate, we had always agreed if we wanted to have sleepovers with our boyfriends, we’d go to their place. Dorm rooms were just too small to accommodate three people. I kept my end of the bargain, while her boyfriend constantly spent the night.
  10. She made sure I knew that I’d been replaced. Luckily for me, my BFF graduated a little early and I spent senior year living with two amazing women and realizing what I’d been through for the past few years was far from normal. I tried to keep in touch after she left, but a small argument between us blossomed into the total silent treatment. She quickly plucked up another unsuspecting victim and touted their closeness on social media for the world to see. At first it hurt, but I know I’m much better off now that she’s out of my life for good.
Jessica is a proud Pittsburgher that loves to drink tea and adopt cats in her spare time. She is a self-proclaimed Slytherin and would like to visit Harry Potter World as soon as possible!