It’s Monday morning, and here we are yet again bitching on the TL about how Molly, Issa, or [insert problematic character here] pissed us off on last night’s episode of Insecure.
Needless to say, this season has been triggering AF; it’s forced many of us to audit our own friendships and whether to hold on or let go.
While most of the TL has unabashedly [and rightfully] jumped on the #F*ckMolly train, I respect the folks who also point out Issa’s missteps in the fallout. Why? Because it highlights a very necessary point: breakups are never one person’s fault.
There are no villains or heroes in unhealthy relationships–only enablers and abusers [who like to switch roles sometimes]. The road to a breakup is a two-way street, especially the friendship kind.
None of this is to say that friendships don’t have rough patches; everyone’s boundaries are different and it’s up to you to decide if and when to throw in the towel. But if any of the following things happen in your friendship, then an honest conversation is necessary to determine if it’s worth saving:
It’s draining to interact with them
The person you’ve grown to know and love now exhausts the sh*t outta you, aka your own personal emotional vampire. A lot of us have been (and quite frankly HATE IT) here.
We avoid their texts, calls, and cries for attention because all they have to offer us is drama. There might’ve been a time when we were more receptive to some good gossip, but it just doesn’t hit the same as before.
The sky is always falling and they always need to vent about it, but they never really ask you how you’re doing (and don’t even think about being unavailable, unless you love going on guilt trips.)
When Issa saw Molly in that restaurant on self-care Sunday, she left because dealing with Molly would’ve blown her [professional and herbal] high and she wasn’t ready for that yet. Though she’s still letting her passive ways win (more on this later) and a conversation is *vital* for their friendship, I’d like to think that she made the right decision for that moment.
She set a boundary and chose herself. She chose peace. If you have to avoid a “friend” to maintain your peace, then should you really consider them a friend?
When passive meets passive aggressive
Remember when I told y’all that being passive aggressive can ruin relationships? Well, I’m doubling down on that advice. But you know what’s more damaging than passive aggression? Being straight up passive.
One key difference between passive and passive aggressive people is that the latter is more in touch with their feelings.
Issa and Molly’s parking spot conflict is the perfect example of what happens when these two communication styles butt heads. We see Issa claim a spot and begin to back in, only to realize that Molly is pulling into the same one. The verbal miscommunication nearly leads to a collision, forcing Issa to concede and find another place to park (talk about a METAPHOR).
I think it’s safe to label Issa as the “passive friend” and Molly as the “passive aggressive” friend, even beyond this instance. The passive aggressive friend (Molly) keeps taking verbal [and physical] jabs for attention, and the passive friend (Issa) just eats them to keep the peace. (In this instance, Molly taking the parking spot is the jab because once Issa left, she did exactly what Issa attempted to, suggesting she knew she was wrong.)
Here’s why this communication combo is dangerous: both people know that there’s a problem, but neither party is working to address or resolve it. Leaving things left unsaid and unaddressed in friendships is a recipe for disaster.
Throws HELLA shade at your new relationships [that don’t include them]
If you get close to another person, expect to catch their shady remarks about it. When you excitedly talk to them about a new boo, they’ll likely respond with something like “are you ever gonna stop talking about them *rolls eyes*?”
We saw hints of this when Molly notices Issa and Condola forming a friendship, and it came to a head when Condola crashed their dinner date. Molly is [rightfully] wary of their relationship, but, to me, it felt like her shade stemmed more from not wanting to be replaced.
She should’ve trusted that Issa wouldn’t let Lawrence interfere with her professional relationship with Condola. [despite being the reason she met Condola] Molly never had anything positive to offer Issa about the partnership, even after the successful event proved her wrong.
Simply put, that’s what we call a hater, sis.
Yes, any friend should be cautious of you working with your ex’s new girl, but a *good* friend would give their input but reserve harsh judgement, let you decide for yourself, and help you pick up the pieces if it goes wrong.
Any friend who’s too blinded by their own pettiness to acknowledge when a new person is good for you is prob someone you should reconsider having in your life.
You can’t trust them
It’s a sad feeling when you realize that you can’t trust a friend with details about your life because they’ll likely use them against you. Or when they gossip about others SO much that you choose not share your business with them. But also: if they do this then are they even your friend?
When Molly blurted out Issa’s personal business in Trader Joe’s, I could tell that Issa’s feelings were hurt. Not only was it a low blow, but she did it in response to Issa giving her constructive feedback, which, I’d argue, is even worse. Why ask for their honest opinion only to attack them and deflect?
This one is pretty straightforward: if you can’t trust a person with your business or your emotions, then consider why you’re friends in the first place.
They’re only a good friend to you during the bad times
Everyone loves the friend who’s down for whatever, especially during the messy shit. Idk if anyone told you, but you might be trauma bonding with someone and not even know it.
When Issa cried on her old couch over her breakup, Molly was there. When Issa needed Daniel to leave her work event, Molly rose to the occasion to finesse him out. When Issa wanted to stalk Nathan, Molly was with the shits. I’m also willing to bet that she would’ve slashed a tire, did a drive by, or keyed a car all to ride for her best friend Issa.
My bigger concern is where is this energy during the good times? As Issa demonstrated growth this season, Molly didn’t know how to be her friend; they “didn’t fit anymore” because Isaa stopped needing her.
It’s also VERY important to note that neither one of them moved to mend their friendship until they were both experiencing heartache.
The larger point is this: real friends know how to show up for the wins *and* losses, even if they personally can’t relate. If all they’re good for is toxic shit and a pity party then what’s the point of the relationship?
Again, I’m not here to tell y’all who to be friends with and how, but I do urge you to consider these things if you’re uncomfortable or unsure where you stand with a loved one. I’m not even suggesting that you cut folks off and don’t look back.
The person we are today may be a stranger to who we are 10 years from now. (in the words of our girl Kelli) “You know what that is? Growth.”
People may not know how they quite fit into our lives when we change, and that’s fine (for a little while). It’s ok to love someone and not like them anymore; we should normalize outgrowing people and repurposing them in our lives, if necessary.
So, before you vent to a mutual party, hit send on that subtweet, or try to fight your best friend at her event (promise I’m done with the Molly shade LOL)
Ask yourself: is it time for a friendship breakup?
This was definitely eye opening and made me really think about the friendships I have. It really is about two people and not just one because it take two to tango. There’s always room for growth going forward. Thanks for sharing!
Wow! Where do I start? Packaged with such sage advice, I feel like I need to print this blog out and tape it to the wall of my office so that I can refer back to it periodically. Relationships are never easy – no matter the type. You are well beyond your year’s young woman. Thanks for sharing!