Ending a relationship is rarely an easy task, especially if it is a family member or someone you've known for a long time. While God sends people into your life to help build you up and encourage you, some people enter your life as a lesson. Amos 3:3 states, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"
If you know someone who constantly fills your life with stress or leaves you feeling guilty and unhappy each time you speak to them, it may be time to cut ties. November 17th is National Unfriend Day, which is the perfect time to celebrate healthy relationships and let go of ones that seek to cause you emotional pain.
Identifying problem relationships is the first step in letting go. Look at each of your friendships and interactions and evaluate whether they are positive ones. Does the relationship make you feel good about yourself? Is the person encouraging, or do you tend to get upset when you speak? If the person doesn't give off a positive vibe or create feelings of good will, it may be time to consider ending the association.
Creating distance is one of the best ways to move on from a toxic relationship. Stop weekly phone calls, avoid attending gatherings if you know a specific person will be there or simply stop going out of your way to make the other person happy. Many times, when you eliminate contact in a negative relationship, you'll find you were the one putting in all the effort.
Not everyone you walk away from is going to agree with your decision. There will be those who continue to cause problems in your life. Learn to accept their criticism, be strong and firm and let them know that the relationship isn't healthy for either of you and it is time to move on. Avoid using words in anger and don't point the blame at the other person.
If you have several relationships you need to cut, it's best to work on them one at a time. Whether the relationship is a positive one or not, letting go of too many people at one time can leave you with a sense of loss. Instead, consider working on one unhealthy friendship one at a time.
Letting go of any type of relationship can be difficult, so it's best to surround yourself with positive friendships and interactions during that time. And remember that ending a relationship isn't always the right choice, either. In some cases, you may be able to repair an unhealthy relationship if both people are willing to work toward that goal. Talk to the spiritual staff in the Bethesda Gardens assisted living community if you need guidance or help figuring out your next steps.