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Have you been here before? Many times? Is it something you try not to remember? It’s definitely not a fun spot to find yourself in life.

Realizing you’ve been a “bad” friend or toxic in any relationship can be a place of shame, embarrassment and leave you standing in need of some serious soul searching. Accepting that you need to change your behavior and patterns because they’ve done damage to your relationships can be a hard pill to swallow. And if you’re like me (well, the former me) the thought of not being a good friend is something you resist because, well, ego. You resist the reality of being wrong. You try to rationalize your actions or believe people should be more understanding of why you’ve behaved poorly.

First of all, you’re not alone. I can attest to being in this place and I’ve witnessed this lesson unfold for a number of close girlfriends. I’ve felt the shame, faced it and allowed it to accelerate my maturity as a grown woman. But it was difficult AF and forced me to seriously examine the kind of friend — and even further, the kind of person — I want to be. Here are some tips I’ve acquired along the way: