How My Life Improved Once I Stopped Relying on One Friend for Everything

My mom gave me the raw truth from the get-go: No one cares about the nitty gritty, day-to-day stuff you're dealing with, except (hopefully) your family and partner.

That sounds super harsh, but it's true.

Everyone has their own lives to deal with—and while, of course, your close friends should generally encourage you, be there for you in times of distress, and help with the occasional favor, you simply can't rely on a single person for everything.

I learned the hard way, when I became way too dependent on a friend of mine several years ago. When I first met them, they were more of a pushover—and I think my actions resulted from the combination of knowing that, and also hanging out with them nonstop and getting really accustomed to them being there for everything. I went through a phase where I became kind of demanding to this person and put so much pressure on them to basically be my everything.

Gossip Girl: Blair and Serena in an elevator

(Gossip Girl via The CW)

What began as a happy-go-lucky existence filled with constant laughter and fun morphed into one of the most toxic friendships of my life. While I won't take responsibility for all of it, I know my codependency heightened our issues. Once everything exploded, I came to my senses and realized this behavior couldn't continue—with anyone.

Here are five ways my life improved dramatically once I stopped relying on one friend for everything:


1. My Relationship With the Friend Improved

Most importantly, having a major falling out with this friend required me to take a step back and acknowledge my behavior. While in the thick of things, I knew I was driving myself crazy, but I didn't realize I could change my predicament. I was so wrapped up in the chaos that I don't even think I cared—even when they told me I was being too reliant on them.

I deeply regret so many moments in our friendship, and wish I could do things over again. Alas, no friendship has taught me more than this one. Since it all went down, and knowing how sad I was when we parted ways, I've never let myself behave that way towards anyone. It took a long time to recover from that major bump in the road, but eventually, the friend and I reconnected and have since done our best to put the past behind us and live out a healthy-ish friendship. It's easy to become comfortable with someone you're really close to, but any time I sense myself easing toward neediness, I catch myself before things take a dark turn.

It's important to note that there's a huge difference between depending on someone to fulfill your needs or happiness, and relying on them when they commit to you. A person who flakes on you regularly or leaves you hanging with uncertainty isn't a true friend—and, yes, it's okay to call those people out or not bother with them anymore. The friend I've been referring to in this post is incredibly reliable, and I know I can always depend on them when they've committed to me. I just can't expect them to put my needs before theirs, or to be there for me on demand. And that's okay.

Gossip Girl: Blair and Serena laughing together

(Gossip Girl via The CW)


2. I Gained a Powerful Sense of Independence

The combination of no longer desperately relying on this friend (or anyone, for that matter), living alone and being single has really morphed me into one heck of an independent young lady. Okay, to be fair—my parents live close enough to where, if I'm ever truly in a bind, I so gratefully have their support and comfort. Without them, I don't know if I'd feel as strong as I do.

Even so, losing that codependency with a friend has taken a huge weight off my shoulders and has really shifted my energy. I go into every situation expecting to fend for myself. Of course, there will be times when I want plans or need something here and there, but I no longer have the expectation that anyone will be there to complete my needs. There's something really empowering about doing so much on my own.


3. I'm No Longer Distressed Over Whether This Friend Will Pull Through

When you're reliant on someone, you're constantly by your phone, in agony, over whether or not they'll come through. It can seriously feel like you're waiting to hear back from a crush because you're so dependent on their response.

Now that I don't expect anything from anyone, it's actually exciting if someone does come through for me; whereas before, it felt like life or death. Now, I've trained myself to go into situations planning to do things solo, and if something else happens, it's an added bonus. It's the biggest relief.

Serena staring at her phone looking sad in a scene from Gossip Girl

(Gossip Girl via The CW)


4. I Understand the Value of a Favor

Because I've grown to do things more independently, I also know how to pick and choose when I ask people for favors. TBH, it's not like I was ever that girl anyway—I think it was more just with that one particular friend. Even so, I'm way more selective when it comes to asking people for things. I pretty much only ask if I know there's no way around something. If I'm having a party and we've run out of ice, I'll ask someone on the way to kindly scoop some up; if I need a tall person to hang something in my apartment because I'm short, I'll ask. And when it comes to big favors, I always offer to thank friends with a small payment.


5. I Feel Better About Myself Overall

Ultimately, no longer depending on someone has increased my confidence. Changing my focus has given me the ability to get to know myself so much better and become comfortable in my own skin. When we're too dependent on others, I think part of that is our natural way of avoiding things about ourselves we don't want to address. I look back at the time in question and remember thinking I was so self-aware—but, my gosh, I wasn't at all. Since losing that codependency, I've really had to face my issues head-on, deal with them as best I can and learn to truly love myself.

Of course, there are days I feel lonely, or hope and pray a friend will come through for me in whatever way—but when I relied solely on one person, I felt so trapped. Letting go of that dependency is freeing. Not only does it take away an emotional burden, but you start to give off and welcome new energies. I still have a ways to go, because you should always be growing as a person, but looking back on where I started, I feel a world of difference.


(Gossip Girl via The CW)


Feel like you may have a toxic friend in your circle? HERE are 10 signs that may be the case!