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Have you ever felt this urgent need, this undeniable thirst, this great desire to just…remove people from your life?
Ever since I was a child, I’ve heard the adults say, “The older you get, the smaller your social circle will be.”
And I would just laugh to myself and think that they’re nuts! I wanted many friends to play with, many children with the same interests as me. And when I turned into a teenager, I longed to have an endless contact list on my phone and large groups of people I wanted to get to know because I just loved socializing.
But this was all in my head.
I didn’t have a long contact list. I didn’t have a large and crazy sweet 16 birthday party (those are overrated anyway). I didn’t go to clubs with more 20 people.
I mean, at school, I knew my classmates, and mostly, we were nice to each other, but my close group of friends consisted of no more than three girls. And I was really happy with it.
The older I got, the more I realized how complicated people can be. They don’t have to be bad complicated; we all have baggage. But once I was over 20, conversations took a deeper meaning, and worries were no longer limited to school tests and how our parents were going to drive us to the movies.
We all had different layers of “adulting” experiences and struggles, and each dealt with it differently.
Slowly, some of my old friends and I drifted apart, some completely disappeared, and others are still my friends, and our friendship is stronger than ever.
I’ve met new people who played a major role in my life, people who became the closest people to my heart, and I’ve met others who left a negative mark then left.
Anyway, the point is that people come and go. But there are some who refuse to disappear and make it their mission to stop us from finding our inner peace. And these are the types of people whom we should let go, the people who should find a beautiful life…far, far away from us.
Why do we need people cleansing, you ask?
It is always better to have few true friends than have a bunch who don’t give a rat’s ass about our well-being.
Quality over quantity. Period.
Whether these people are “close” to us or just someone we have to still see in our lives, here are five ways we can start cleansing our social circle and boosting our positive energy:
Friendships are somehow a give-and-take type of relationship between two people. This doesn’t necessarily mean financial help. It’s about getting/giving support or advice, having fun together, being there for the good and bad times, and so on. But if the give-and-take balance is not a balance anymore, and we find ourselves always giving to the point of getting drained, then some red flags are flailing.
A true friendship should bring happiness to both ends, not make one happy and the other miserable for always being expected to continuously give and give and give.
Don’t get me wrong. We need to be there for our friends and help them out, but they need to be there for us as well. It’s not a one-way thing.
Think about it. Do you have that one friend who only contacts you when they need a favor?
Checking how we feel after spending time with a friend is extremely important. This is mostly crucial if that friend has been making us question ourselves or messing with our feelings for a while.
If we end up getting mad or irritated or even triggered every time we have a conversation with that friend, it means that we are not on the same wavelength. They might not be wrong in the way they think, but sometimes, our priorities change. Thus, we cannot connect on the same level anymore, and the conversations become draining.
Or even sometimes, they wouldn’t understand us or what we went through. They might end up saying hurtful things that they believe are not hurtful when we point them out.
I reached a point where I just don’t have the energy to make time and effort with people I don’t “vibe” with anymore. If I’m going to spend my “social time” with someone, they need to care, understand, and wish nothing but the best for me and vice versa.
I’m not talking about friends here. I’m talking about acquaintances. I’m talking about coworkers. I’m talking about people we are frequently in contact with, but they are not essential in our lives and aren’t really our friends.
Simply said, if we have to be in contact with those people (but we don’t feel comfortable doing so), it’s better to limit our “contact” time with them. We don’t have to go on after-work outings to have drinks and gossip about other coworkers. We don’t have to strike up lengthy conversations with an annoying friend of a friend. We don’t have to pretend to enjoy a chitchat with a distant family member who hasn’t asked about us in years.
We don’t have to do something that isn’t natural to us.
Checking how someone treats us is underrated these days. Most of us are thirsty to be liked by everyone that, sometimes, we may fail to notice how they treat us.
Do they boast? Do they make us feel inferior? Do they enjoy feeling that they are better than us in everything they do? Do they not enjoy our success?
If it’s an affirmative answer to all those questions, those people are most probably not our friends, and they need to go.
When people are obsessed with talking about themselves, they rarely know anything about us. Whenever we try to tell them something—our problems, good news, small victories, or general stuff happening in our lives—the conversation somehow changes, and the focus is suddenly on them.
Do we want to spend our lives in someone else’s shadow? No. We want to spend our precious time with people who have the same interests as us. We both care about each other. We both support each other. We are both interested in each other’s lives. Our time together makes us feel happy. We don’t feel like sh*t whenever they open their mouths.
It’s time to think about what’s healthy for us and cleanse our social circle from all the toxins.
Do you have other suggestions on how to have healthier friendships?
Here’s a video by Psych2Go that may help you spot the five types of people we should stop being friends with: