I can’t speak for everyone else, but I’m the type of person that doesn’t like the idea of giving up on others. I find myself giving people the benefit of the doubt and believing that people are fully capable of change (if they want it bad enough for themselves, of course). Turning my back on people, cutting them off, or walking away from them just doesn’t feel right. I simply don’t have the heart to do it; especially if that person has had a significant role in my life. I have attempted to justify the actions of others, but I realize now that I was making excuses for them because I didn’t want to see what was clearly in front of me.
Unfortunately, in doing so, it has resulted in a handful of instances of painful heartbreak. People have taken advantage of this quality that I feel good about, and they’ve almost succeeded at making it an ugly thing for me. At times, the actions of other people have led me to question whether I should possess a caring and compassionate heart for other human beings. After careful thought, I chose not to let the actions of a few bad apples spoil everything for the whole basket. Instead, I have decided to let go of these people and only dedicate my time and effort towards people who can reciprocate what I have to offer.
So how do you decide when it’s time to move on from these people?
- They aren’t adding any real value to your life. You find that you feel weighed down by them. These are the type of people that take and take, but don’t have anything to offer you. For instance, this person may always seek you out when they need something from you, but when the situation is reversed, they are nowhere to be found. They’re unreliable, inconsistent, and unstable. One saying I repeat to myself when attempting to determine if someone is worth keeping around is, ‘If you aren’t adding anything to my life, I’m subtracting you.’ It’s as simple as that.
- They negatively impact your psychological or physical well-being. You feel bad about yourself when you’re around this person. You experience more unpleasant moments in their presence. You may find yourself angry or crying after encounters with this person. You feel the emotional toll from the friendship/relationship, and you feel exhausted. This person greatly contributes to unnecessary stress while being in your life. This person harms you or puts you in dangerous/risky situations that you don’t want to be in. Being with or around this person does more damage to you than good. It’s an unhealthy situation to be in.
- They don’t value you as a person. This person’s actions or words will tell you that they don’t care if you’re around or not. They treat you as though you can be replaced at any given moment. In order words, you are an option for them and not any sort of priority. Remember, others will treat you how you allow them to, so know your worth and what you expect from other people.
- They aren’t meeting you halfway. They aren’t willing to put in the work to make the friendship/relationship work even after you have expressed what you need from this person, and they continually neglect/ignore that. Relationships/friendships require effort from both parties. The weight of this shouldn’t rest on one person’s shoulders, and if that’s how it feels then you have to figure out how to have an equal share of responsibility when it comes to making things work. Once you stop trying, you may find that the whole thing falls apart, which may mean that this person was never helping you at all.
“Let go of relationships that do not serve you. That means negative people, dishonest people, people who don’t respect you, people who are overly critical and relationships that prevent you from growing. You can’t grow as a person, if you don’t have people in your life who want to grow with you.” —Unknown
I have struggled with the idea of giving up on people, but I have found that my happiness and sanity is more important to me than theirs. When it comes down to it, I have to choose me. I learned a lot of these lessons the hard way. I hope that my experiences give you some guidance and lead you to re-evaluate how other people are influencing or impacting your own life.
Relationships and friendships with other people can be difficult and complicated at times, but I firmly believe that they should overall inspire growth and positivity. Settling for anything less than that is only going to lead to a life where you’re surrounded by people who serve no purpose for you other than holding you back from the opportunity to reach a healthy, happy, and successful life. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice that for anyone. Let go or be dragged, the choice is yours.