I used to have a friend who’d bark bitchy comments and everyone took it. They just wrote it off as the way she was. In fact, many people would almost kiss up to this person, as if they were afraid to elicit her wrath, but no one shied away. They kept coming back for more.
Sometimes in life we keep people around when we shouldn’t. Perhaps we think they can help us, or perhaps it goes deeper and we don’t realize the unhealthiness of a relationship. Whatever the reason, usually it takes time and distance to see clearly and understand that it’s not the right place for you.
Over the years, I’ve had relationships in two bad categories: one, where they needed me to be needy, so they felt important; and the other, where they were domineering and mean and I took it. I understand that’s where I was on my journey, and those relationships were meant to teach me something.
When I filed for divorce, I no longer appeared as “needy” and so some friendships dropped away. That’s the way the cookie crumbles – I was strong, confident, excited by my new horizons, and friends who needed me to need them were no longer interested in sticking around.
The other kind of person has cropped up again and again. Most recently, a person who had asked loads of me over the years, and I willingly gave, showed how one-sided the relationship was. And that was it for me. Done. Gone. No longer of interest.
It was so easy to erase the relationship from the face of my life. Unfriend on Facebook. That’s all it took. It’s not someone who lives nearby, so I don’t worry about our paths crossing.
But we’re talking years. Years of putting up with bad behavior for what reason? Years of making excuses for what is really inappropriate, and why?
The older I get, the more I believe there is no answer but kindness. There is enough work to go around, enough money, enough friendship, enough love. We do ourselves no favors when we get competitive and shut the door on others.
Take a look at the people in your life. Are they all worthy of being there? As a New Year’s resolution, consider eliminating the unfulfilling, or damaging, or abusive relationships once and for all.
Have the courage to say goodbye to relationships that don’t serve you, and make space for ones that do.
It’s just like when a client is finished working with me on public relations, I know that it is time for a new one to arrive. It’s that easy. It’s that peaceful. If you just believe.
As babies, we operate by instinct, but as we age, I sure hope we all come to a sort of reckoning in time when we start to live deliberately, and with meaning.
We collect relationships through the years and hold onto them because they’re familiar, but many times it is relationships with others that cause us the most strife and stress.
Why, then, not be deliberate in whom we engage with? Analyze and assess all the people in your life and decide who should stay and who should move along.
There is no weakness in that. Only strength.