3 Personal Reasons to Let Go of Those Bad Relationships for Good
We’ve all experienced toxic relationships at some point in our lives. In fact, you might be in one right now without even realizing it.
When it comes to the relationships in our lives, we’re influenced by them whether we want to be or not. Studies have even shown that we’re more affected by our environment than we realize. Overall, toxic relationships can and will affect our confidence, our decisions, and our mindsets.
I’ve always been extremely selective with the people I choose to spend my time with, primarily because I’m an introvert, but also because I’ve always found it challenging to make connections with the right people.
Because of this, I’ve had a fairly small group of friends throughout the last few years that have remained the same, and throughout this time, I’ve been extremely aware of my growth, my journey through personal development, and their lack of.
It’s made me spend a lot of my personal time trying to help them, and while there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with trying to help your friends better themselves, it can become extremely frustrating when you’re constantly giving with little to no return.
I started realizing that all of my hard work was going in one ear and out the other more often than not, and eventually, I started going with their flow of life. For instance, instead of waking up and being productive like usual— I’d often wake up hungover because that was how they chose to spend their time.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known this individual; if you’re sacrificing your productivity, your mind, and time and they’re not adding to your life, it might be time to let them go.
I understand it’s not going to be easy, but here are 3 major reasons why it’s time to let go of the toxicity and stop allowing it to weigh you down.
If you stay — you won’t grow or evolve.
You can’t grow as an individual if you’re surrounding yourself with people who don’t share the same values as you.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said,
“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.”
Basically, who you spend time with will inevitably influence the person you’re eventually going to become. The people you choose to spend your time with can bring you up just as much as they can bring you down.
I’ve had this great friend for the last 5–6 years; when we first met, we were both on the same level of life. We worked at the same restaurant, liked the same music, wanted to do the same things (have a good time and hang out with boys), and it was fun for a few years, but eventually, I started gravitating towards other things.
I started working on myself, working more; I put myself through a tech program and got a job as a data analyst, I felt like I was truly making something of myself, and a few months later, we finally met at a cafe to catch up.
I shared my plans with her, I was moving to California, and I wanted her to come with me.
We could do so much together. We can start YouTube channels; we can start a podcast, we can do all of the things we talked about. You’re constantly complaining about your life here; let’s change that.
She said no; I didn’t really expect her to drop everything and go but considering she didn’t have anything or anyone holding her back — I’d felt hopeful; meanwhile, she was too scared to take the leap.
I went on my journey, I knew that in order for me to grow and evolve as a person, I had to leave my past life behind — and that meant leaving behind the people in it too—especially the ones that weren’t willing to change or grow with me.
If you’re currently in a place where you’re trying to grow and improve your life while the people around you are comfortable with being complacent, it’s time to take a second look at your friend group.
There’s nothing worst than waking up a few years down the line wondering what your life would have been like had you have taken that leap of faith.
You’re constantly going to compromise and sacrifice your happiness.
Toxic relationships can often be the culprit of unhappiness. This doesn’t only apply to romantic relationships, but friendships too; even family members can be toxic.
If you feel more stressed, anxious, frustrated, and drained after spending time with certain individuals, it probably means you’re not in a relationship that is serving you in the best way.
For instance, my father came back into my life after not hearing from him for 17 years, and for the last 2 years, I tried to have some form of a relationship with him. The first month, he talked to me nearly every day. Surface level conversation, but still, he made somewhat of an effort.
As the months started going by, I realized that every conversation we had would end in me being frustrated.
I was frustrated that I was investing what little free time I had into a person that was not nearly as interested in me as I was in him. I was frustrated that I was always the one making compromises to make him feel better, and I was always sacrificing my mental health for his sake.
It took me some time to come to terms with this, but eventually, I began to realize that I had to cut him out of my life again. I was going to bed every night feeling empty; I had a “dad,” but really, I didn’t.
It’s crappy to say this, but him being a physically absent father was better than him being disinterested in me and my life.
I’m not telling you this to get you to start cutting out friends and family out of your life, but consider the relationships you currently have in your life and ask yourself,
- Is this person serving me in any shape or form?
- Do I feel fulfilled after spending time with this person?
- Do they make me happy? Do I make them happy?
- Do you find yourself happier on the days you don’t hear from them?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, it might be time to distance yourself. Nobody is worth sacrificing your happiness or mental health for.
You’re going to change, and it won’t be for the better.
A toxic friend often has a knack for spreading their toxicity to others.
When you’re spending time with a toxic individual, they’re going to inevitably bring out behaviors within you that aren’t your best.
Maybe you’ve known this person for a long time, and you’ve worked hard to change, and they haven’t; they might try to convince you to go back to your old ways.
I began to notice that each time I spent time with a few select friends, the following morning, I would feel extremely lazy, unmotivated, and frustrated with my actions from the previous day.
I didn’t feel like our time together was productive. I’m not saying that every person you ever come across and spend time with should make you feel motivated to dive into work the next day, but if you’re spending the little free time that you have with people whose sole goal is to get drunk and have a good time, how will you ever accomplish your goals?
If you’re someone who hustles and works hard for your dreams but are surrounded by people who don’t feel the same way, you’re going to be the one that starts to change, and it won’t be for the better.
Toxicity is a valid reason to leave a friendship or relationship. Life is too short to settle and sacrifice anything, especially your happiness and peace of mind.
If you’re struggling right now, remember that it won’t be easy at all, but it’ll be a lot easier to be happy once you eliminate the people that aren't adding to your life in any shape or form.