When I was 14, a new girl arrived in school. She seemed nice and had a wacky sense of humor like mine, and we hit it off immediately. We spent lots of time together both in and out of school and got our first summer jobs at the same time. Two years later, without explanation, she broke off our friendship. I was bewildered and devastated.
My older sister, however, pointed out some disconcerting behavior she had observed in my friend. She said my friend was moody and manipulative, giving me the silent treatment when she was upset, but without any explanation of what, if any, offense I had committed. She said that even though I felt hurt and abandoned by this friend, I was better off without such a person in my life.
Foolishly, at 19, I let this friend back into my life after she contacted me saying she was sorry for her previous behavior. She admitted she had been jealous of me, but said she missed our good times together. Naively ignoring the red flags my sister had pointed out to me three years earlier, and thinking maybe my friend had matured, I gave her another chance. Four years later, after a series of dishonest and childish behavior on her part I told my friend that if this continued, I could no longer visit or correspond with her. I didn't expect a pleasant response, but I was flabbergasted when in response she sent me cat feces in the mail! Yes, this actually happened! I broke off contact immediately and permanently. I decided then and there I would not waste any more time giving toxic people second chances.
Since then, I have chosen my friends wisely, and they are intelligent, caring people who inspire me to be as supportive, kind, morally upright and as reciprocal with their time, energy and friendship as they are.