At some point you have to realise that some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life. – Unknown
For many years, I associated with people based on convenience. Those people are what I’d like to call emergency friends.
From the outside, looking in, people would think that they were my closest friends, as they were the ones closest to me and I gave people no other reason to think any different! However other than location (school, work, networking buddies etc.), we had very little in common. We didn’t share similar values or beliefs—the bedrocks of any worthwhile relationship. In fact, in many cases we didn’t even share any common interests – seriously! As soon as we left the proximity that we were in, it was as if we had nothing else to say to each other and would at times ignore one another. Very weird! Or is it..…?
When a relationship is birthed out of proximity or chemistry alone, it is bound to fail. We need more than a person’s physical presence to maintain a meaningful connection, but we routinely keep people around simply because they’re already around. This is pointless – as they may not be adding to you, similarly you may not be adding valuing to them. Both people must do their part to grow the relationship—only then will both of you be satisfied with the relationship you’ve built.
Recently I ended a very close relationship I had for many years. Internally, I needed to release a lot of emotions and expectations about what I wanted out of the relationship, and what this person wanted from me. It took a lot of time and effort. Part of my strategy was being an observer and noticing how I felt around this person. Another part was writing about my reactions and feelings when I spent time with them or they said things to me. I spent ages doing this (without their knowing) and after looking at all my scribblings, I realised it was clear. I consistently felt rubbish around this person and conversations with them consistently revolved around other people, so I had to let the relationship go. This was hard, like very hard, as I am not one who actually likes confrontation, in fact I hate confrontation, but I knew I had to do it!
I had the hard conversation, after a few weeks of pondering how I would say it. If I am honest, this ‘friend’ of mine wasn’t there for me at a time I thought they would be, during those weeks of ‘pondering’. This is what pushed me to get rid!
Not only did I feel huge relief when I woke up the next morning, I felt joyful. An emotional weight had been lifted. I no longer had to pretend. And even though there was some sadness letting it go, I KNEW my heart was in the right place because it felt lighter, clear, and calm. Feeling this way about something is how you KNOW that it’s trustworthy.
It’s hard to grow with someone if you’re both growing in opposite directions.
So I urge you to examine your friends/friendships. If they’re not in line with who you want to be, then something needs to change. Ask them what they’d like to change about the relationship. Ask them how you can add more value. Listen attentively, act accordingly.
If you’re unable to change the relationship, end it. This is difficult, but it applies to any relationship: family, friends, lovers, co-workers, and acquaintances. If someone is only draining your life, it’s perfectly acceptable to tell them: “This relationship is no longer right for me, so I must move on.”
You owe it to yourself to move on. You owe it to yourself to be happy in your relationships.
Be happy. x