Cleansing Friends

I recently wrote about taking space from a friend. Ironically, I was listening to a conversation this morning where one person suggested making a list of your friends and evaluating their purpose in your life. This got me thinking because it was one step further than my post about taking space.

To me, taking space seems easier than letting go all together. I think this is because we are creatures of habit and we get used to the people in our lives. Even if they no longer serve a purpose, we tend to stay connected out of habit. But what if there really is nothing beneficial coming out of the friendship? What if every time this person calls, you hang up feeling drained. What if every time you go out together, there is always drama? They offer no happiness, support, growth, help, wisdom, and so on.

One person in the conversation found this idea to be helpful because it makes you evaluate the people you allow in your life and it also helps you evaluate your role in theirs.

The other person felt this was not acceptable. The idea of being “graded” by her friends made her uncomfortable. It also made her feel disposable.

Although I see how this idea can be awkward, I agreed with the first person. I also question why the person would feel uncomfortable with being graded. For me, I know what I bring to the table as a friend. I am loyal, honest, and supportive. Yes, I can be a bitch at times. I am not always easy to deal with, but I have a bleeding heart for the people I care about. I’m not afraid to be graded. The only people I would be apprehensive to receive a grade from is those I am not close to. These people may not know me that well and have little to base off of. But those people aren’t my close friends so the grade is somewhat irrelevant. Ultimately, if you are afraid to receive a grade from your core group of friends, maybe you should rethink how you build friendships.

In any case, I think it is healthy to evaluate friendships, relationships, family bonds, and so on. The reality is, there are people in life who will drain you and drag you down if you let them. In the conversation I was referring to at the beginning of this post, one person said they have a friend that only calls when they need something. That friend never called to congratulate her on having her baby, her new job, or anything relevant to her life, but does call whenever she needs help. I think we all have people like this in our lives. Maybe it’s time to evaluate if this person really serve you? What type of friends do you want in your life?

If someone is not brining joy, purpose, support, connectedness, or reason into your life, should you make an effort to keep them close?

The answer depends on many different factors and only you can answer it. For me, I’ve noticed that I usually take a break at first and then make the decision to cut off depending on how the break goes. If I don’t notice you’re gone during the break, then odds are, we will stay on break. If I notice that I feel lighter without you in my life, then odds are we will stay on break. If I feel less stressed or overwhelmed when you are not around, then odds are I will continue to not be around. If you are not understanding towards my feelings of needing a break or don’t want to fix the issue, then you’ve got the same odds.

You cannot leave bad energy in your life and expect to have happiness. Surround yourself with people who bring you up, make you happy, understand your struggle, support you, and want to help you and do the same for them as well.

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