Why It's OK to Let People Go
A few months ago, a long lost friend came out of the woodwork via social media. It wasn't that we lost contact after high school, and all of a sudden found each other. I had seen this person within the last couple of years. We were tight, like two peas in a pod. But then we moved on, to different cities, different careers, different lives. I made many efforts to maintain the friendship. I took vacation, paid for airfare, sent cards, wrote emails, phone calls, etc. But then, I realized that I was putting in 95% of the effort with no reciprocal value. We exchanged birthday wishes via Facebook, but the connection was lost. In other words, I was getting no ROI on my friendship.
So, after years of trying to keep our friendship on life support, I decided to pull the plug. If the relationship was important enough to them, then they would come to me. So what happened? Well, as expected, the airwaves went silent.
This may sound like a sad story, but I like to think of it as an empowering lesson. Sometimes it's ok to let people go. We all have friends, family, co-workers that we hold onto, thinking things will get better. We put up with their shit, their criticisms, their silence. But who suffers? You do, not them. If you're not getting a ROI on your relationship, then what's the point? Here are a few situations that will help you start thinking about weeding out your contact list.
YOU'VE OUTGROWN EACH OTHER
I know many people that are still friends with those they went to grade school with. They’ve grown into adults together, and compliment each other well. That's cool.
But if that's the only reason you're still friends, then it might be time to reevaluate the relationship. If that person is constantly bringing up your past that you'd rather forget about, criticizes or embarrasses you rather than supporting you, then let go.
THEY LOST YOUR TRUST
I think the title says it all. If someone has wronged you, and you see no reconciliation, or worse, they're not apologetic for their actions, time to move on.
Trust is a major player in any relationship. And if someone has dishonored your trust to the point of no return, then it will always be a topic of concern. If you don't feel that you can't trust someone again, especially if they are unwilling to make the efforts to regain your trust, then lay the discretion and relationship to rest.
The other side of the coin is that you have done the wronging. And hopefully you have done everything you can to try to mend the past and regain the trust of your friend. But if they can’t forgive you, let the person breath. Maybe one day they will come around, but there is no point causing yourself any more agony over something that you can’t repair no matter how sorry you are.
YOU DON'T FEEL IMPORTANT
Going back to my story, you should be getting a ROI on your relationship. If you're putting in all the effort, but don't feel important, time to rethink your situation.
Let's put it this way. If you had a friend that was always complaining about her boyfriend that rarely came around, made her feel less than what she was, only to consume her free time, what would you say to her? I know, you'd say, "You're better than him." So why can't you take your own advice.
THE RELATIONSHIP IS BAD FOR YOU
Mmmhmm, the tittle gives it all away. Like I said before. If you have a friend in a bad relationship, what are you going to tell them? You deserve better. So take some of your own advice.
You don't deserve to be dragged down by someone else. And worse, if it is abusive in any way, then it’s time to pack it up! You should never stand for a person that makes you feel less than you are worth. Remember, you are a beautiful, vibrant person that has something to give to the world. If someone isn't giving you the love and support you deserve, leave!
YOU CAN'T MAKE ENDS MEET
Sometimes, you just can't see eye to eye. If that is the case, you can't have that shit hanging over your head for the rest of your life.
Prime examples are usually family quarrels. You have that parent or elder that you loathe seeing because you're always going to butt heads. They don't agree with your lifestyle or company, and don't care to learn why you make the choices you do, because they're not the choices they'd make for themselves.
You don't have to just agree to disagree. If it's affecting other relationships (read: you miss family gatherings because Aunt Jo is going to be there) then cut it out.
YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE PUTTING IN THE EFFORT
Remember what they say, it's a two way street. But if you feel like you’re on a one way to nowhere, or if you're the only one putting in any effort to maintain the relationship, then it's time to let go.
Maybe that person will see what it's like to not have you in their life and finally make the changes necessary to be a 50/50 partner. Maybe they won't. But you shouldn't have to carry all the weight to keep the ball rolling.
THEY'RE NOT YOUR #1 FAN
I'll admit, I'm pretty lucky, my husband is my biggest supporter. When I decided to start my own business, he was right there beside me, cheering me on. He believes in me, and because of that, I'm successful.
You too deserve nothing less than a cheerleader from your nearest and dearest. If someone is putting you down, telling saying you can't instead of you can, then show them the door. A sinking ship takes everyone down with it. Don’t become a casualty because of the relationship.
In the end, remember you are an amazing individual. Relationships are important, but you are 100% all by yourself. A friend or partner does not complete you. We don't walk around this earth as a half, waiting to be fulfilled. You can support, inspire and care for others, but never ever consider yourself a piece of someone else.
Now go out there, clean up your contact list, and do something awesome for yourself today. You deserve it!