There are fabulous friendships, and there are toxic friendships – the latter of which can have adverse impacts on a person’s physical and mental health according to a clinical neuropsychologist. But there is a way to help salvage a faltering friendship.
Watch Insight’s episode Friends Forever via SBS On Demand.
Diana and her best friend were “like sisters” and did all the “usual girlie things” together- shopping, makeup, smoking. But as the girls, who’d been best friends since they were about five years old, grew up, Diana felt there was something remiss in their friendship.
“She was bossy and quite controlling. I felt that we had gone (our) separate paths and I didn’t feel she valued my friendship,” Diana, 47, told SBS Insight.
But Diana put up with it, because of what she now understands were underlying mental health issues from trauma in her childhood.
“I didn’t have any confidence in myself, no self-belief, no self-respect… I didn’t want to lose that friendship either, so I thought I’d just settle with her, that I just should take what I could get.”
But Diana wasn’t blameless. When the best friends were in their early 20s, her friend went overseas for six months and asked Diana to “keep an eye” on her boyfriend.
That’s when the real trouble began.