There are many ways your resources – energy, time and money – can be drained. Sadly, sometimes it’s not your car payments draining you but a friend.
My circle of friends is really circles: groupings of people I’ve connected with over life events like university and my national team rowing days. Many live in other cities and, while we haven’t been roommates in 15 years, when we see each other it’s as if no time has passed. They’re still the same kind, generous and hilarious souls they were long ago. When I visit with these friends I feel renewed and invigorated. They know me well and are positive influences on me, always cheering me on. I like to think I do the same for them.
Then I have a few assorted friends of a different variety. They don’t return phone calls and we often can’t make a simple coffee date or walk on the sea wall happen. We do a lot of ‘we should really get together’ but never end up pulling the trigger.
If I’m not getting much out of the relationship, they aren’t either. Instead of being a dark ‘I feel bad we aren’t connecting’ thought weighing on me, I’ve decided to let these friends go. Sure, relationships require effort but they should reward in return.
So I’m giving up a few friends in 2011. Time is my most precious commodity and I want to spend it on people that value it: me, my family and good friends.
What if your bad friends are family?
That’s tough. I’m a big proponent of strong family ties. This is hugely influenced by the fact that my immediate family and my in-laws are all great people.
You can’t cut family out (unless they are really heinous people – then go ahead) but your sister that makes snide remarks about your lasagna or your brother-in-law that keeps borrowing money could use an honest conversation. I believe family ties should be salvaged whenever possible.
So tell them the truth. Their comments hurt. You’re not an ATM. You want a better relationship with them. Engage in a positive activity together or go for a walk. Exercise improves everyone’s mood.
Check out Angela Wilson on Suite101’s post about the types of friends to end a relationship with if you’re having trouble figuring out who’s phone calls to block.
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