Personal growth is one goal that’s truly worth pursuing. Personal growth is discovering who you are, not only inside, but in relation to those around you. It’s about finding your inner peace as well as peace within your relationships. And while society encourages us to believe relationships should last “forever”, is this even realistic when both parties are growing at different speeds, and often in different directions? It can be hard for us to let go, but relationships (romantic or friendship), are only beneficial as long as each person involved is having their needs met. So how do you know when it’s time to let a relationship go?
4 Questions – Should I let this relationship go?
1. Here & Now. If you met this person right now, without any of your joint history, what would you think of them? Would this be someone you’d pursue a relationship with based on who you are today? This can be very helpful in determining if you’re holding onto to a relationship’s memories instead of where it actually stands.
2. Equality. Are you receiving as much as you give within the relationship? Because of our childhood behavioural conditioning, lop-sided energy in relationships can seem “normal” to us, especially if we believe we’re not worthy of receiving love. Alternatively, if we grow up believing we’re superior to others or that our needs are more important, we can feel ok taking more than we give. Either way, once the “giver” starts to realize they deserve an equal voice and equal rights, a lop-sided relationship can lose its relevance, often resulting in friction.
3. Toxicity. How do you feel when you’re in this relationship – does your energy feel drained? If being around the other person causes you to feel unsupported, insecure, or upset, chances are it’s time to at least take a break. Remembering that no one can “make” you feel a certain way unless you allow it, sometimes our self-esteem cannot handle being around such blatant negativity. Until you can build yourself up to the point where others’ opinions don’t change your positive opinion of yourself, it may be prudent to surround yourself only with those who are encouraging, loving, and non-judgemental.
4. Trust. The cornerstone of all relationships – does this person have your back? If there’s any doubt, and this person is among your closest relationships, it’s time to rethink the situation. As we go through life, those intangible personality traits like trust, take on more meaning as our experiences teach us what we do and don’t need. There’s no shame in realizing your initial impression of someone has now changed.