The older I get, the more I value being at peace and maintaining balance in every aspect of my life. I’ve learned that sometimes, those we keep in our social circles could play a big role in what makes our lives out of whack. So every now and then I reevaluate the company that I keep to find out who I need to let go.
Who to let go
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a rather reserved person. I never had a lot of friends, but I was friendly and could fit in with large groups. When I started college, that didn’t change much, but I was interested in all the new people I was around. So I had a lot of new social circles with each activity and extracurricular involvement I took on. Soon after that, I was part of unnecessary drama and conflicts. That’s when I noticed for the first time, I really had to start learning how to let people go.
First, if anyone is taking up space in your life that doesn’t make you feel good (whether directly or indirectly), I think it’s time to cut the cord. We all possess some degree of discernment so you know those “friends” I’m talking about. The ones who are negative, can never reciprocate your effort, or just a person that’s seriously lacking morals and ethics. Those people are the ones you don’t even need to have a conversation with. Just remove yourself fro
m any situations that you’ll be involved with them, including on social media.
I had a few situations my freshman year where I had to deal with people close to me that ended up being no good for my inner peace. It doesn’t help anyone to try to have difficult conversations with those who aren’t on the same level of maturity as you. Or ones who simply lack the morals to understand how they may have hurt me. Or the ethic code to care that they did. But not everyone fits into this category. Some people you really have to think about whether or not that person is bad for you.
How I do it without being a jerk
For people who fit in between the “good” and “bad” list, I try to let the “in-betweeners” go as quietly as I can. There’s no need to hurt someone’s feelings if you don’t have to. So I’ll mute or remove them completely on my social media. And if you are worried about that person reaching out to you after they’ve been removed, don’t worry – they won’t say anything. I’ve never had anyone reach out to me about being deleted from my social media.
I also go ahead and delete that person’s number from my phone and limit my social interactions so I don’t have to bump into that person. I guess, in a way, I ghost people (lol).
If you have a strong or close relationship with someone who you’re thinking about letting go, then it may be a little more difficult to ghost them, especially if you can’t avoid them. A coworker might be a great example. I would still try to be professional and friendly with them. But keep conversations short and keep yourself busy so they don’t feel too comfortable approaching you with the mess. Hopefully, they’ll get the message and go on with their lives.
If they aren’t taking the hint, then a conversation might be necessary. Another thing you may want to consider before having the conversation is honesty asking yourself is there a way to get to a better place with that person without having to cut them off completely.
Who to keep
If you are really unsure whether you should let that person go, don’t rush into it. Take your time. Just try to take some space from that person to reevaluate. I do this often. I will withdraw myself from friends/family that I feel threathen my peace to see if it is just a season of space or if I need to make a permanent decision.
Oftentimes, I’ve learned that with those who I’m closest to, I just need space. If you love and care deeply for someone, try to be honest and transparent with them about how you’re feeling about your relationship with them. It can be as deep or as light as you make it.
If you’re considering cutting someone off for doing something that offended you, try to forgive first. Lead with empathy as difficult as that may be. You don’t want to lose someone that brings joy and happiness to your life. 100% believe that difficult conversations can only be effective when emotions are out of the way because they can cloud your judgment. To start that conversation, you have to be vulnerable about your feelings. Don’t worry about who is right or who is wrong in the situation. Just let that person know how you felt when they hurt you. Be calm, cool and collected. If you don’t have a good hold of your emotions, please wait to have any important conversations. You don’t want your message to get lost in your reactions.
Hopefully, they will care about your feelings enough to apologize, validate your feelings and make the necessary adjustments to not hurt you in the same way again.
Be optimistic and positive that things will get better, but be prepared to let them go if they don’t receive your concerns the way you intended.
When was the last time you did a social media cleanse?