Why Decluttering Your Friends is Good for You and Them!

decluttered friends!

Are you surrounded with people who accept you just the way you are?

Do they energise you, or do you feel drained by them? If they drain you, are you tempted to throw them out of your life?

In my last article in this series of 28 relationship articles in February about creating energising friendships, led to some readers asking me about “decluttering” people and friends from their life.

After I stated that one should also let go of certain people, someone asked how loving it was to “clear out” people from our life. They also wondered whether I was being in-congruent here with my declared values and desire to make it a better world.

My point about “decluttering” people from your life is simply this – you are the most important person in your life and you can choose who you want to be in it.

The people in your life can either uplift you or bring you down – and it is up to you whether you still allow them to do so.

That doesn’t mean that you behave in a nasty or unloving manner in any way. On the contrary, you have to be more loving than ever when any friendship comes to an end or when people naturally leave your life.

The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffersDeepak Chopra

This is the sixth in my series of 28 relationship articles for the month of February, during which I am taking you through a journey of improving all the relationships in your life.

I am calling it the 28 Day Relationships Adventure (28 DRA)

You can check out the first 5 articles here:-

Day 1 – Become Aware of Your Relationships
Day 2 – Love Yourself First Before Loving Anyone Else
Day 3 – Love Yourself Without Becoming Full of Yourself
Day 4 – Love is all that matters
Day 5 – 9 Simple Tips To Create Energising Relationships

You can read all 28 articles which are listed at the bottom of this post.

People are people and everyone in your life adds a lot of value and colour to it. At the same time, there are people in your life who detract from your joy and zest for life.

You can probably recall that one person who seems to drain you every time you meet him or her. If you have a few such people in your life, then it’s time for you to focus on creating energising friendships.

People come and go from our lives – it is what happens during your time together that will decide whether you become long term friends, just acquaintances or even business partners.

Does Love Really Make the World Go Around?

Maybe love makes the world go around, but it is definitely people that make the ride worthwhile.

However at the end of the day, your time on this planet is limited so why would you not want to spend it with people who really get you, appreciate you and love you for what you are?

With the advent of social media such as Facebook, one can have 1,000s of “friends” if one chooses to do so.

The Best Type of “Friends”

Ideally you want real, solid friends in your life who are genuine, authentic and have your best interests at heart.

Sometimes it really hurts when you feel let down or taken for granted. A few weeks ago I had made a special Indian dessert for a friend who was in the vicinity of my home and had promised to visit me albeit for a short time.

After a number of text messages saying she was running late and would be there soon, she finally sent a message via a mutual friend that she would not be coming after all.

Initially, I felt rather let down but then realised that it was all about me, rather than my friend. I asked myself – what was I doing, or not doing to attract people who would value my company and my time?

The great learning point for me was to start valuing myself and my time even more – this learning helped me to clear up any negativity or feelings of being let down.

Also, a double helping of the special Indian dessert I had made helped too!

indian dessert shikand

It all comes back to being kind and loving towards yourself. There is a phrase “cruel to be kind” which I believe means that sometimes one is being kind in the long term by being mean now.

Cruel to be Kind

There is even a famous song with this title – Cruel to be Kind.

However I prefer to change the phrase to “be kind to be kind”. Ultimately you are being kind to yourself and to the other person, when you are letting them go.

Sometimes you just have to let go and move on – such as when for me a friendship with a particularly draining friend ended. It is not even about saving face or satisfying your ego – it is really about respecting yourself enough to move on.

It all comes down to increasing your own self-esteem so you do not ever let others treat you badly. So be prepared to let go and move on – cut your losses.

At the same time, by letting your friends go from your life you are doing them a favour too. They can then connect with other people who are more appropriate for them for the next phase of their own life journey.

Focus on your own life journey, enjoy the ride and learn for next time

And always remember that you are unique and special – so special that everyone in your life should also recognise that:-)

Daily Exercise for Today

Look through your list of friends – and review if there are any friendships which are now past their sell by date.

Are there any friendships you wish to resurrect? If not, then see how you can let them go in the coming days and weeks.-

28 Day Relationship Adventure

Postscript – Here are the complete 28 articles in this series from February 2011.

Please do check them all out:-)

1 – Become Aware of Your Relationships

2 – Love Yourself First Before Loving Anyone Else

3 – Love Yourself Without Becoming Full of Yourself

4 – Love is all that Matters

5 – 9 Simple Tips To Create Energising Relationships

6 – Why Decluttering your Friends is Good for You and Them

7 – Stop Bending over Backwards for Other People!

8 – Be Special to Find the Special One

9 – 10 Key Secrets for Becoming Likeable

10 – Don’t Fall in Love – Create Love

11 – Do you Believe in Soulmates?

12 – Open Your Heart and Find the Special One

13 – Create your ideal Valentine’s Day

14 – Make it a Fun Valentine’s Day Everyday!

15 – Make Your Relationship Even More Special

16 – Learn to Love Unconditionally

17 – 11 Keys to Improve ALL Your Relationships

18 – Why the Human Touch is Key

19 – How NOT to Make Friends!

20 – Share Your Love with Your Loved Ones Everyday

21 – Stop Judging, Start Loving

22 – Simple Trick to Instantly Improve All Your Relationships

23 – Why No One Is Ever An Ugly Duckling!

24 – Why World Compassion Begins With You

25 – Why Teamwork Always Begins with YOU

26 – How to Let People Go From Your Life

27 – Thank the Divine Every Day

28 – Stop Being An Approval Seeking Machine

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Every Retweet and Facebook share helps me grow my blog. I look forward to seeing you here again soon. Thank you for reading! – Arvind

Top image courtesy of Elvire.R.

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  1. Hi Arvind,
    This is such an interesting topic! I agree we need to care for ourselves, but I’m not sure “I” am the most important person in my life. Too much focus on “I” is what gets us in trouble all the time. I don’t think you are advocating that by any means, but I proceed with caution when it comes to this idea. There is no question on the one hand that we affect each other energetically. On the other had, are other people really responsible for draining me? Funky, crusty, messed up people need friends and love to. I think there is a balance to be found in all this and really appreciate the discussion!

    • Sandra, thanks for trying to bring a more balanced viewpoint.

      Yes, I agree that we need to find a balance between discarding friends in need – people who might need friendship and love too, and looking after ourself.

      However, it’s only when we begin to take greater self-care and put our needs first that we can actually begin to see which friendships are draining and not good for us anymore.

      Yes, do give others your love, time and attention but not to your own detriment. And it is only when you are grounded and content within yourself that you can begin to give more time and energy to those friends that you wish to continue to have in your life.

  2. John Sherry says

    Good point Arvind. Actually, if we are honest, most of us have lots of acquaintances but not so many real trusted friends. Maybe the call is to cut the deadwood that drain us to concentrate first on those whose friendship is strong or has been long lasting. They use to say, ‘you can’t have enough good friends’ but you do have to have some that you recognise in the first place. Put your heart into that and the rewards will be uplifting and not without a little love too!

    • John, that’s so true – we all have so many acquaintances but not so many real trusted friends. And this is even more so nowadays due to the power of social media.

      Now we have to be even more careful and selective in who we choose to call our friends.

      And the people with whom we choose to develop deeper friendships will benefit so much from our greater attention and love:-)

  3. Hi Arvind
    I agree with you bigtime on this one! I have had friends in the past who, in retrospect, I can see drained every trace of energy from me. I was at fault myself for allowing them to stay in my life when they clearly were not ‘at one’ with me. I think that is the main point here. If we listen to our hearts we will know whether someone is on the same ‘wavelength’ as we are. I find it emotionally and energetically and lately even physically exhausting to be in the company of negative people. I don’t mean people who are negative because they are in trouble and need help…if anyone genuinely needs help friend or not, I will always do my utmost to help them and stay with them through their darkness. However I believe, after some time passes and you have made huge efforts to help them to make positive choices, if that friend chooses not to take responsibility and ownership of their own life, then I feel that I have no choice but to eventually let them go. Otherwise their negativity makes me feel ill and then I’m no help to those who really need and depend on me. At one stage in my life I allowed myself to take on other peoples problems and I think that I was doing them a disservice as well as myself. Thanks for this reminder Arvind…it’s no harm to do a quick check on our energies every now and then to ensure that we are not carrying negativity that doesn’t belong to us.

    • Rosemary, thanks for your detailed input – and glad you found this post so useful.

      You cannot make people take responsibility for their own lives – only they can. Yes, you can be there for them if you choose to do so and guide them where necessary, but ultimately it’s their choice.

      You can only help others when you are able to help yourself:-)

      And even then, help them help themselves!

  4. Nabanita Ghosh says

    great post Arvind……..I’ll heed your words ! 🙂

  5. Satya Colombo says

    My friend –kudos to you for having the balls to write this one :). Just decluttered my twitter account and found it revelatory and marvelous. Now only following people i truly love and am interested in. I can give them more attention, and listen so much more closely. Lots of love…

    • Thanks Satya – and good on you for taking the steps to declutter your twitter friends.

      I did the same a few months ago and it was amazing how my twitter feed suddenly came alive with really useful and inspiring stuff.

      And as you say, you can now give your followers and friends more attention and listen so much more closely.

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