They seem to disagree with everything you say or do. They don’t reciprocate your loyalty. They drain your energy. You’re obligated to overlook the way they’ve made you feel time after time. They’re your family members or long time friends.
I’ve always been against cutting ties with family members or friends, believing that estrangement from them is immoral. God forgives me time and time again; I should do the same for others. But there’s a difference between forgiving people and continuing to be a subject of their contempt. In the end, I’ve learned that hanging on to people that aren’t in my corner can do a lot of harm.
I’ve resolved to never turn my back on these people in my life if I can help them, and I wish them all the best. But I’m removing their permission to come in and out of my life as they please causing whatever type of impact they please. I need that energy it’s taken me to rebound from every episode with them to do something more productive. To my those that have not supported me or have not shown you care, you are now officially screened. I’ve diverted my attention to people and things that have proven their value.
My screening checklist to measure value or lack thereof, as you’ll see, is very short. The reason for that is that tolerance is important to me. We all have shortcomings, we all need to be given the benefit of the doubt. However, the following things will get you placed on my love-you-from-a-distance list very quickly.
☐ 1. You disappeared or were unreliable when I wanted to spend time with you.
I had a close family member that repeatedly would come from far away into town and not visit me even if I asked, make plans and break them, and be flaky and inconsiderate all around. After many instances of displayed lack of consideration, I started to catch on. I didn’t overreact when she asked me to take time off of work so that she could drive into town a Tuesday for us to have a family lunch, but I did politely decline. And when she invited me to network with her on social media, I also declined. If you’re not interested in my in-person friendship, a cyber friendship
is not an option for us. You didn’t care to see me when you were able, so I’m skeptical about your motivation to see what I’m interested or engaged in on Facebook. Frankly, I don’t want to find out.
☐ 2. You’ve gossiped about me.
If you have no sense of confidentiality or don’t respect me enough to protect others’ positive perception of me, your message is clear. And so is is mine: You’ve got to go.
Nothing further to be said.
☐ 3. When you’re around, my gut warns me.
I get a sinking feeling when you’re around, and that most likely is because I’ve caught vibes of contempt, envy, or some other ill intention. Now, I’ll second guess this feeling the first time, but I won’t ignore it if it’s recurring. The human race hasn’t survived for this long by ignoring their instincts, and neither will I.
☐ 4. Habitual complaining and a constantly negative outlook.
Not everyone is as strong as the next person, that’s the reality. Everyone deals with their issues in their own way. But if every conversation we have is about you and your problems or feels like a confrontation, we may need to walk slightly distanced parallel paths. I support your hopes and dreams but if you make me feel like yours are the only ones that matter, the energy-draining effect will pull me out of focus.
In short, I don’t intend disrespect toward anyone. Learning to respect myself by not letting people waste my time or diminish my self esteem has been a liberating, however. I hope that in the future life will find it suitable that we’re joined together again, but for now, positivity remains my focus.