Minimalizing your friends and family

Titles like this can be interpreted many ways….but I can guarantee you will actually be much more happy and develop more meaningful relationships in the long run if you chop the ties.

Let’s take a look at all your friends. You can usually classify them accordingly.

  • Old time friends
  • Work related friends
  • New friends
  • Family

You have your friends you trust and acquaintances you know little about. You might have a big group of friends or a small group. 

Now lets look at facebook. Some of you have 10 friends some thousands. Some are relatives or cousins you never talk to.

Do you really need all of those friends? Why? Does everyone need to see your status? Pictures of your adventures or Selfies?

It is time to do a little decluttering that does not require an explanation. If you are cornered just say, “I felt the need to declutter my friends list and get back to the core friendships in my life.” 

Why do you keep people around? There are givers and takers and you need to be very selective of your friends, especially if you have children. You pick up mannerisms from your friends. That may be a good thing or a bad thing. Let’s take for example a woman who has friends that she shops with. But finances are becoming tight and you need to tighten down. Will those friends understand or give you the cold shoulder if you stop shopping with them?

If you need to dissolve a relationship ask these questions: 

  1. Is this person encouraging me to pursue my passions and goals?
  2. Does this person uplift me or bring me down?
  3. When this person and I communicate is it a one way street?
  4. Does this person share others secrets (chances are they might be sharing yours)?
  5. Does this person truly care for me or are they keeping you around because of how you care for them?
  6. After you are with this friend do you feel exhausted or energized?

Many types of relationships are in cycles. Some are abusive whether that be physically, mentally, and emotionally. Stop wasting your time and resources on relationships that are not good for you! You are so much better that being used as someone’s doormat. You do not owe them an explanation for wanting to be happier.

How to stop the bleeding is entirely up to you. You can stop it cold turkey, remove them from social media (or you can remove yourself from social media). You can stop all communication and hope they get the hint and dissolve themselves. Most acquaintances and friends will give up and move on to their next target. Some will not.

What about the family member or stalker like friend that doesn’t get the hint? Try establishing firm boundaries. Limit your phone calls. If they call thirty times a day, answer once. Then limit it to every other day. Once a week. Twice a year. Limit the time you have with them to shorter lengths. 

Above all….you have to get them out of your head. The stuff they did to you, said to you….you are in charge of your future and you wouldn’t keep a friend if they treated you in a bad way, why keep relatives–you owe them NOTHING! Do not become a victim, choose to own your time.

Do not let them guilt you into visits. If you cave in, make sure you meet in a public place and when its over, its over. Do not dwell over it. Some days they will get you flustered or you will take one step forward and stumble back down the cliff. Being self aware of your toxic relationships are the first step in getting out of the cycle.

It is ok to have 40 friends on facebook and to become more withdrawn socially. I have made the rule, if they are someone that I talk to on a regular/semi regular basis I will keep them on facebook. Do their parents need to see what I am doing? No. My kids’ friends? No. Co-workers? Do you have a relationship outside of work? If you do not, they do not need to know about it through social media. Chances are you will waste time looking at their social status….when you didn’t need to. Let it go. You do not need to know what your so called friends are doing if they aren’t doing them with you.

Guard your time as though you will never get it back….because you won’t. Say no to people that drain you of your time and resources. 

Now that we got the excess cluttered friends out of your schedule…how much time did you free up?

Now develop the relationships that matter to you. Nurture the positive, healthy relationships. For the young ones, cultivate meaningful time with no distractions so they too can learn to judge if their own friendships are meaningful or not. Lead by example. Be that change you want to see in the world. I am all for meaningful, uplifting relationships!

Bullies will always be a part of our society. Just choose to isolate them from your life. Do not talk to them, do not engage them. Just avoid them like the plague. Now I am not saying do not let them walk over you. Stand your ground but do not let them ruffle your feathers. Chances are they will become bored of you and look for more dramatic acquaintances that they can wreck deeper. 

Do not be sucked into their guilt trips. Does your ideal best friend make you feel bad? Of course not. Chop your friends list, you will be so happy you did!

This is Danno. He is my top dog. He is quiet, non judging, helps me out, is happy to see me and spend time with me, allows me to love him and help him out, and he loves me. All I have to do is give him my time. 

Friendships can be as simple as that.

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