LPT: Teenagers, if you have a toxic friend, cut them off.

And the earlier you get rid of that toxic "friend" the better, even if it's scary to do so.

I grew up bullied, because I was the "coconut" (brown on the outside, white on the inside) in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood where nearly everyone (but me) spoke Spanish and paid homage to their roots (which my family did not do). I made one friend (we'll call her Betty), which was more because our parents were friends. Betty wasn't exactly nice, but she was the only person who would talk to me, play with me, and have sleepovers with me. Still it hurt when she would talk behind my back and laugh with the other kids at school.

Fast forward to middle school, we were mostly not in the same classes, and we only shared one of the lunches together (there was A lunch and B lunch). So the lunch I didn't share with her I ate alone. The lunch I did share with her...well I might as well have stayed alone because Betty would talk to her other friends in Spanish. But I dealt with it because again, I was unpopular, depressed, and not very good with people.

But one day I walked by two girls during the alone-lunch, and overheard them talking about Card Captor Sakura. It wasn't much to go on, and I stuttered through asking to sit with them - but they welcomed me and talked to me. From then on alone-lunch was now let's-talk-about-anime-lunch. Things became difficult afterwards though, because my new friends were on the same schedule as me, but Betty still demanded I sit with her during the lunch we shared. I started to get bolder (courtesy of my new friends who actually respected me and encouraged me to speak my mind), asking if they would talk in English, which they would for a few sentences but then go right back to Spanish.

I don't exactly remember when or how it all ended, but one day I decided, I wasn't sitting with Betty anymore, regardless of what anyone said. I remember being scared, worried because I still had only known my new friends for a couple months, and I was still insecure about people not actually wanting to be my friend, and it would be a big change and change is scary when you are 13, unpopular, with low self esteem. But Betty didn't make me feel good, while my new friends made me feel wanted, and despite not knowing what would happen later I decided feeling wanted was much better, even if it turned out to be temporary.

Well that "temporary" is now 12 years (going on 13) and the two new friends has expanded to a dozen extremely close friends who make me feel loved.

/r/LifeProTips Thread