Letting Go: The Art of Removing People From Your Life

As you have a conversation with a person you once knew, you find yourself trying to figure out why you still take the time to be in their presence. No longer are you able to relate to them. The conversations feel forced. Or maybe you are moving up in the world and you find that your relationship with them is weighing you down. When you start having thoughts about no longer having a relationship with them, you begin to feel bad. But should you?

These thoughts have crossed my mind on a few occasions. I decided that I shouldn’t feel bad. It comes with the territory. Friendship is not always going to feel comfortable. In some instances, I accept the fact that my friend and I are growing apart. This is the first step in deciphering how to move forward. Okay, so you’re different. So what? Depending on the relationship, it shouldn’t matter. You built a friendship with this person for a reason. But that reason may not be enough.

Some people are only supposed to be in your life for a season. They were there to teach you something new, or for you to be a blessing to them. The term ‘friend’ is used way too loosely. I realized shortly after my freshman year of college ended that many of the folks that I considered friends in high school were more like associates. It was easy to let some of those relationships go. But what about the people that you truly consider friends? Here are a couple signs that it is about time to let a person go.

They are adding no value to your life. Rather, they are bringing you down.

Friends are supposed to make you better. When you talk to them about a topic, they are supposed to give you feedback. They are supposed to be honest and tell you when you are doing something wrong. And when you are struggling, they are supposed to be on the come up with you, supporting you. If you’re okay with not moving up in the world, go ahead and keep this friend. If not, let them go after you have a talk with them. Maybe they are going through something and don’t have much to be positive about. That’s fine. We all have our moments, but if this a reoccurring thing you may want to let it go.

When they ask to hang out, you try to find an excuse about why you can’t.

You tell them you have to wash your hair when they invite you to a concert that your favorite artist is headlining and you don’t even have to pay them back. That’s crazy. If you feel the need to avoid a friend like a plague, there is definitely a problem. Ask yourself, “Why don’t I want to hang out with this person?” If it is a reason that is a one-time situation, you’re good. Maybe you just don’t feel like going out. If it is because you just don’t like them or no longer enjoy being around them, let them go.

These principles can be applied to all types of relationships. If you have a toxic relationship, be okay with no longer investing in it. Not everyone is supposed to move with you through life.

How do you end the friendship? That is up to you. There’s the approach of just hoping they get the hint after avoiding them for months. You can also just be up front and say something to the affect of, “This friendship is no longer fulfilling to me. I still care about you but I may have to move on without you.” If neither of these work, you can also just let stuff build and eventually blow up. This could look like a big argument that ends in both parties not talking to one another, or something bigger. It also may lead to the friendship never being repaired.

Friendship is valuable. It’s okay to be selective with who you want in your circle. Not everyone will make the cut. What are some instances that you’ve been in that have made you want to end a friendship? How did you do it? Or did you just let it blow over?

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One comment

  1. Thank you Deonna for this amazing post. I actually have struggled with this concept a lot in the past because I really value friendship, or at least I valued what I “thought” to be a friendship. However I can honestly say that in these last couple of months I have been able to let go and move forward in life with the people meant to be in it and I am very thankful for those moments of clarity.

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