“We are all looking for well-being and happiness in life. So the purpose of friendship is to support and be supported in our search for well-being and happiness.” - Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel
I’m good at getting rid of the things I no longer need. I’ve made a recent push to to de-clutter my physical space even more and have hauled out bags and boxes in the effort. But as I’ve freed up my home (oh, it feels good), I became acutely aware that my bigger issue is letting go of people.
So, when do you let go? At what point do you accept that a person just is what he or she is and being around them is not good for you? Not questions I’m good at answering. I could take the noble stance and say that it is my great love and dedication and hope for better that keeps me in the mix long after most people would leave. But if I am being honest, I have to say it’s my need to be liked, included, valued, and respected that causes me to hold on to people a bit too long.
The best case scenario would be to not get involved with people who don't "support...[my] search for well-being and happiness” in the first place. Easier said than done. I’m pretty straight-forward about who I am and how I feel. Even when I’ve voiced my stance up front, I have been blind sided by dynamics that I couldn’t have seen coming and stayed in relationships that I would never wish on anyone else.
It would be nice to come up with a list of questions (I like lists) to help evaluate people so you could choose the best fits (a positive proposition for all parties). As I pondered what these questions might be, I realized that frequently a person's true nature is hidden until you are already heavily invested. People who initially appeared to be great options turn out to be poor choices while people that failed to impress on the first pass end up being keepers and are among some of my closest, most loved, and trusted friends.
Maya Angelou says, “when people tell you who they are, listen.” For me, I think this is key. If I go through my life with walls up and guarded, I will miss potentially amazing people. What I have to do is watch and listen carefully and when the bad starts to out weigh the good, when the negative overshadows the positive, when situations are draining, be strong enough to let go and move on.