Do you have a close interpersonal relationship – family, friendship or romantic – that is hanging on by a thread? Have you had a nagging feeling that maybe it’s time to let someone go, but you’re afraid to step away because you’re not sure if you’re completely ready to move on? You’re not alone. Everyone in your life doesn’t have to understand your plans, but at the very least they can be supportive. If you are contemplating the future of one of your relationships, and need some help deciding whether to stay or go, here are five signs that it’s time to move on.
They see the worst in you, instead of the best in you.
As women we have the tendency to beat ourselves up, so we don’t need people in our lives who are going to pile on reminding us about all of the things we don’t like about ourselves. The people in your life should inspire you to be the highest version of yourself, and when they look at you, they should be able to see your good points, your potential, your promise – and they should encourage you to strive towards that. Do the people in your life remind you of what’s great about you, or do they constantly confirm the aspects of yourself that you don’t like? If the people in your life are always pointing out your flaws and making you feel “less than,” it may be time to cut ties.
They encourage your bad habits.
You’re trying to lose weight and they pressure you to binge on pizza with them. You’re trying to exercise regularly and they encourage you to skip your workout and go shopping with them instead. Or, they know you’re working on your anger management but they egg you on in disagreements and encourage you to argue and be volatile. Simply put, if you’re on a path to improve an area of your life you need to surround yourself with people who are on a similar path, or at least can support your efforts to be on that path. Otherwise, they will sabotage your progress and you’ll likely end up back where you started.
They dismiss your dreams.
One of the biggest barriers to creating traction around a new endeavor is the quality of the messages you surround yourself with on a daily basis. Women who have a supportive friend, partner, or parent who encourages them regularly are more likely to have the courage to go after and accomplish their goals. That’s why mastermind groups, coaches, and supportive networks are so critical for women who are stepping out to start something new. If the people you interact with the most regularly are dismissive of you and/or your dreams, you are making the already difficult path forward more treacherous. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, and you will find it even easier for you to believe in yourself.
You feel worse after your time together.
This person brings you down. Every time you are with him or her, you start out positive and upbeat but ultimately feel drained and depleted after spending time with them. Whether they are negative, argumentative, or unfulfilled, their lack of joy and bad attitude rubs off on you. While you shouldn’t abandon loved ones who are going through a hard time – they may be legitimately depressed or may have hit a rough patch – you do owe it to yourself to have a conversation with the drainers in your life. Let them know how being around them impacts your happiness. Offer up a few suggestions of what they can do to improve their situation, or when they begin complaining offer up the silver lining and try to help them embrace gratitude for whatever this season in life is here to teach them. If they insist on remaining negative and you continue to feel worse after your time with them, feel free to take a break.
You don’t miss them after time apart.
If you decide to take a substantial break from someone who has been bringing you down and you find that in your time apart you don’t miss them at all, that may be a clue that it’s time to sever ties in a more permanent way. Don’t feel too bad about it – relationships are sometimes here just for a season. And severing ties doesn’t mean you have to “cut them off” or never speak to them again, it simply means that you probably shouldn’t keep them as a part of your daily or weekly routine. Not missing someone is a pretty clear indication that what they brought to your life wasn’t critical. You will be just fine without them.