The amazing thing about humans is our ability to have strong, deep and meaningful relationships. We thrive on communication with others, and when we let our emotions show, it can bring us closer to the people we care about. Those emotions can range from happiness to sadness to contentment, all of which are perfectly normal in a balanced relationship. When both parties are giving and taking equal amounts, you have a healthy partnership that can last a long time. But what happens when the primary emotions felt are depression, anger, guilt, anxiety, disappointment or resentment? What happens when one party is a giver and the other is a taker? How much effort do you put in and when is it time to just let them go?
The relationships I’m talking about can be with partners, friends, family or anyone you’re close to. Maybe it’s a sibling with a drug problem who refuses to get help. Or a spouse you can no longer talk to or connect with. Or a friend who constantly flakes out, lies or hurts you. Whatever the case, these relationships can hurt and drain us over time. So why do we stick with them? It’s often because deep down we care about that person and we’d feel guilty if we left them behind. But it’s times like these when we need to ask ourselves, what am I gaining by keeping this person in my life? Am I sacrificing my own needs and happiness for their sake? I’m of the opinion that when a relationship of any type has run its course, you’ll know. You’ll know because you’ll have a primarily negative feeling (like one listed above) when you talk to or see that person. People come and go, just like the seasons. When you can no longer equate a positive feeling with someone, it may be time to stop holding onto that season.
Any good relationship will have ups and downs, but the ups should always outweigh the downs in a relationship. Consistent downs are a cause for concern, and you should trust your gut when it’s telling you to not waste your time on someone. And while it’s up to each of us to make ourselves happy, surrounding yourself with people who bring you down is just plain silly when we have such a limited amount of time on this planet to begin with. To put it bluntly, if a relationship is no longer serving you in a way that makes you feel positive, or if you are giving much more than the other person is, cut it off and move on. That’s not to say that person needs to be cut off forever, as people can change, but until then do what’s right for you. Because if you’re not happy with yourself and your life, you won’t be of good use to anyone else. Maybe this sounds selfish, but I think it’s okay to be a little selfish when it’s our well-being on the line.
Without a doubt, we’ve all had the person described above in our lives before. Maybe we still do, and maybe they’re still there because we’ve let them linger there for far too long. But we all have the same choice to make: let them stay or let them go. Make the choice that’s going to help you be a better version of you for the people that you do value in your lives. And don’t hesitate to make that choice now, because life is way too short to hold onto negative feelings.
Are you still holding onto someone who’s bringing out more negative than positive feelings? What has been the outcome if you’ve let them go?