Do You Know when It’s Time To Clean House? Relationships, That Is ……..

Do You Know When It’s Time To Let go?
Friends from my high school's yearbook staff.
My high school’s yearbook staff during a late night of editing, before a deadline. We used to have a lot of fun together but I have lost touch with all of them.



People come and go in our lives all the time but do you know when it’s time to let go?  Many of us don’t, but sometimes it needs to happen.

Maybe this person has been a part of your life for a long time, or maybe a short time. Either way, they’ve been around for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them stick around.

At some point, you have to stop watering dead plants.

I’ve shared in previous posts that, although I am outgoing and will talk to anyone, it isn’t easy for me to make friends.  I have an extended passel of acquaintances but very few trusted friends.

I’ve been burnt in the past, many times, which probably explains my reservations about forming close friendships.  Yes, trust issues.

my two daughters with the neighbor girl.
My two daughters with a neighbor. The three of them became the best of friends until she moved to Maine. We traveled to see her the following year but then they all lost touch.

I came across something the other day that reminded me of a friend I haven’t thought of in years.  We became friends when we were very young and remained friends as we navigated high school, college and into our thirties.

Still, to this day, I don’t know why she made such disparaging remarks about me.  I first learned of her practice, to belittle me behind my back, in high school and then it progressed to snide and unkind remarks directly to me.

Time to clean house.

I also had a very good friend in junior high and high school who would ask me to lie for her, usually to a boyfriend or her Mother.  When it happened after she was married, with children, I couldn’t continue to “have her back.”  Deceit does not look pretty on anyone.

I thought I was being a loyal friend but, what I was being was ………. used.

More house cleaning.

I believe in giving people second chances, and third, and fourth in certain circumstances ……….. but I allowed both of these relationships to hold significance in my life long after they had run their course.  Nostalgia, maybe?

For whatever reason, we sometimes hold on to toxic relationships, that don’t serve us well anymore.  There comes a time when you need to figure out if they should endure.

Have you evaluated the people in your life recently?

Not everyone has to go, but you might want to consider their importance and demote them or, more positively ……… promote them.  And, you may need to consider termination for those who continue to cause difficulties for you or if they frequently stretch your moral compass.

My friend, Trudy and I.
My friend, Trudy and I at Roscoe’s Coffee Bar. We became friends when our daughters became friends. Ironically, our daughters don’t stay in touch but Trudy and I do. We don’t get together often but when we do, it’s like we’ve never been apart.

You might not have realized it at the time but you probably have been demoted or terminated by someone.  Sometimes it’s obvious and at other times, you may not see it until much later.  As with all relationships, if one person isn’t “feeling the love” ………. it’s most likely time to move on.

Reasons To Re-Evaluate A Strained Relationship:
  1. Nothing in common –                                                                                                       Maybe you had common interests in the beginning but you’ve evolved in your life and you don’t have any shared interests anymore.
  2. You feel uncomfortable –                                                                                                 When you begin to, consistently, feel as if something isn’t right or you just can’t be yourself around someone who you previously used to “click” with. Or maybe you never really “clicked” with them but became friends through mutual acquaintances.
  3. Creates problems in your other relationships –                                                           When someone makes it difficult for you, by interfering or gossiping, to retain or nurture other connections in your life.
  4. Makes disparaging remarks – If they cannot be considerate or repeatedly treat you unkindly.
  5. Your gut tells you they can’t be trusted –                                                                                          Just because you’ve been friends, doesn’t mean you should stay friends.  Listen to your gut because it usually knows.

Personal relationships need certain elements available, to pull from, to be sustainable.  Only you can decide what those qualities will be in a person from whom you seek a closer connection.

Trust happens to be at the top of my list.  And, at the risk of sounding like “The Donald,” loyalty in my close relationships will also be paramount.  Mutual respect is important to me.  I want to surround myself with people who inspire me to be better, encourage me, are joyful and have my back.  Don’t ask me to lie for you ……… and I will not ask you to lie for me.  I guess that means integrity is critical for me, as well. 

Ask Yourself ………………..

What do you value in a relationship?

  • Authenticity?
  • Ethical?
  • Happy?
  • Nurturing?
  • Spiritual?

Maybe you just want someone to be goofy with?  Or maybe you want  someone you can tell your innermost secrets to and know, unequivocally, that they will not spill the beans?

It’s all up to you.  You can choose your friends. You get to decide how important the role they play in your life.

Or ……… you can completely revoke the “friendship card.”

I also believe that if we set our standards too high, we may never find that bestie or significant other that will fit the bill, however, some characteristics would be “deal-breakers” for me.

Of course I am not perfect and  DO possess unfavorable traits and, as much as I wish I could deny them, they  will appear now and then.  (Most likely the reason I’ve been demoted in the past :() Some traits in friends that would concern me are:  Rudeness, it is never justifiable.  Arrogance doesn’t get far with me either.  Dishonesty, intolerant, negativistic and superficial are hard for me to digest as well.  

What are your deal-breakers?

“They might have a season pass into your life but that doesn’t mean you have to give them a lifetime membership.”                           –  xoxo, Katy