“Be all in or get all out. There is no halfway.”
Relationships are something I care deeply about. And who wouldn’t? After all, relationships are basically the fabric that holds our worlds together. It is by interacting and forging relationships with others that we are able to determine our own place in this chaos of life. For we identify ourselves with respect to others.
That being said, it is important to know that relationships are not always permanent. Surely, there are people in your life who will remain until death do you part: from your partner to your parents. Of course, even that is circumstantial, but regardless, there are other relationships –platonic or otherwise– that come to an end.
Friendships and relationships are not unchanging. We are forever growing and changing and becoming different people, and that is normal. Likewise, these changes affect the dynamic of the relationships we choose to maintain.
I recently experienced this myself when I made the hard decision to take myself out of a six-almost-seven year long friendship. It was incredibly difficult for me to do, and in fact it took months of me trying desperately to compromise my self-respect just to figure out how to tolerate blatant dishonesty. There was a time when I was so emotionally exhausted that I could not even fathom looking at my ex-best friend, let alone sit next to her at lunch. Though we were once best friends, we ultimately ended up having grown up at different rates, and at some point in our friendship, one of us was left behind. The who depends on your perspective.
Putting aside the unfortunate drama that surrounds this “falling out”, if you will, I took a look back at the friendship and assessed it. Perhaps there was a wrong turn way earlier? Perhaps I had been too dramatic? Perhaps it was meant to be this way?
The exercise made me take a long, hard look at all my relationships, and I urge you to do the same every now and then. Ask yourself some of these questions to improve and redefine your relationships. Have the hard conversations, and keep everybody happy!
Who are the people in my life who make me happy? Who excites me? Who makes me laugh? Spend more time with these people. Appreciate them.
Who is making me sad? Who is making me feel self-conscious or insecure? Talk to these people. Try to pinpoint what about this relationship has got you feeling less than happy.
Are all of my relationships are 50/50? This is an important one. Being part of a 50/50 relationship does not mean that each person gives 50% of themselves. Rather, they should give equal parts of themselves. Ideally, everybody is all-in, but I know from experience this is rarely the case. Make sure you are putting in just as much to the relationship as you are getting. If it is imbalanced one way or another, redefine and rebalance your relationship.
Oftentimes, you will have a gut feeling when it is time to break up in a friendship (or a romantic relationship). My advice to you is to go with the gut instinct (assess it first, of course. Don’t go breaking hearts!). It is important to listen to yourself, but also be careful with the emotions of others.
Prioritize you and your self-worth. Know what you deserve and make sure that is exactly what you’re getting from all your relationships.
Goal: Reflect upon the relationships you have in your life. They are after all one of the biggest influences on you. Make sure it’s a positive one.