To my fake friends, thank you for showing me the value in understanding people for what they are. Thank you for taking all of my good qualities and turning them into something negative to fit your narrative. Whereas a real friend would see my effort not to judge others and allow others second chances as beautiful, you saw me as easy to manipulate and easy to control. Where a real friend saw my habit of ensuring our relationship is okay by asking honestly, “Are we okay?” when I sensed any sort of discomfort as honest and looking for a way to amend things if they were wrong, you saw it as a sign of weakness and instead, never told me until things came to a resentful head. Where the best of my friends would look at my habit of apologising and immediately trying to make amends as the quality of a kind and genuine person, you deliberately saw it as something to exploit by making me feel worse and worse every single day by never telling me what was wrong but bitching behind my back.
Initially you must have surprised me.
Your kindness, or your (false) giving nature, something about you must have truly made me think the world of you. You see, I’m the kind of person who will love you genuinely or not love you at all. I don’t play games of in-betweens and I certainly don’t pretend to be friends with someone if they are not someone I care about. The truth is, without you, I would not know who my real friends are, nor how to value them. I would not have learned that some people thrive on being unkind. I would not know how to handle those who look for reasons to dislike me, rather than the other way around. I never understood insecurity for what it was. Because I am a highly self critical person and tend to focus on what I have done wrong rather than anyone else.
Without you, I could not have learned how to look outside and understand that other people are flawed too.
I would not know how to stop being so hard on myself. I would not grow from being a people pleaser to choosing the people I love carefully and with consideration. You taught me how to appreciate that I am a person worthy of love, and forgiveness and kindness, by treating me the opposite way. You taught me strength by showing me that when I was in my greatest pain, the person I needed to rely on most was myself because you were only going to be unkind and orchestrate more pain in my life.
Thank you for that. Thank you for every lesson you have taught me. Because I could not be prouder of who I am today, and it is you that I have to thank for that.
Nikita Gill is a poet and the author of the book
Your Soul Is A River.
Your Soul Is A River is available as a physical and electronic book. You can buy it here.
We have all known that one person. The person you know who seems so awesome, like such a great friend, but at some point you find out that they really are not all of the amazing qualities and the greatest friend. My mistake was making them my best friend, only to find out that when the relationship crashed and burned, I did not mean as much to them as they did to me. Now this was a while ago, but it is something I still think about from time to time and it still really gets to me, so I decided to write this form of “letter” to this person, in hopes that it may help out someone else who is living through a similar situation.
To my fake friend,
I would like to let you know that you do not define me. Your fake caring, just so you can later ask for a favor, does not make me stupid to believe. It may make me feel stupid now and then, but I am not a stupid person. I am a trusting person. I trust people until they prove me wrong. This may be naive, or childish, but it is the way I prefer to live.
I prefer to live my life accepting people and giving them a chance, instead of being cynical and never opening up until I reach a certain point with someone. This will not change, and you did not change that. You do not get the benefit of knowing you ruined how I care for my friends. You don’t, simply because you didn’t.
I still love my friends with all of my heart. I still trust them, and yes sometimes my trust waivers when something seems a little off, because I do not want to have to go through the same situation you put me in with someone else. But my trust problems do not change how I am, and I hope you know that.
I would also like you to know that I have learned what being an honest friend means. An honest friend listens to you when you need it, they do not cut you off. They will drop anything and everything for you, they don’t simply tell you that what you are saying is unimportant right now. They stick up for you, always. An honest friend is there from the time you need them and will even be annoying when you don’t, just to make sure you’re okay.
You were not any of these things.
You were selfish, self absorbed, hypocritical, and most importantly, a liar. I do not do well with liars. I do not do well with users, who use people for their benefit until that purpose is gone, only talking to you when they need something, or when they have bad news.
I have had a number of crappy friends in my lifetime, but let me just say you were the worst. And if that is something to be proud of, then go ahead. If someone else’s misery means your happiness, then so be it, I will just wait for the day that everyone else realizes it. I also don’t do well with social climbers, and I truly believe that is what you are. People who use others so they don’t have to be lonely while they climb the social ladder, are some of the truest liars I can think of. And I am not to be used for that, and no one else is either.
My point here essentially, is just to tell you that no matter what you did to me, I am not at all going to change because of it. You may have broken me down to my core, and I could do nothing but hide it, but you did not ruin me. I learned a lot from you, including that I can take a lot more crap than I used to know. I deserved better than that, but that’s a mute note.
I am better than that.