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8 Ways to Know It’s Time to Let Go

8 Ways to Know It’s Time to Let Go

Remember that old episode of Seinfeld where Jerry wanted to “break up” with a guy with whom he had been friends, but really didn’t have anything in common with anymore? A lot of us feel that way at times, but instead of confronting the situation, we just deal with it. How many times have you gotten together with an old college friend just because you were both in town? You didn’t have much at all to talk about (especially because you know everything you need to anyway – thanks to Facebook).

There are often people in your life that you truly care about, but are holding you back from attaining your true potential. Here’s how you know it’s time to let the friendship die out, even if it’s hard to let go.

1. Let go because things aren’t the same

There are times when you meet up with friends you haven’t seen in a while and feel like you haven’t missed a beat. Other times you’ll find yourself in company with others, and have absolutely nothing to talk about. You used to have so much in common, so it’s hard to believe your friendship has flat-lined.

Time is precious. If you feel like a certain relationship is wasting your priceless time and energy, it’s time to move on.

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2. Let go because trust and loyalty are gone

Sometimes, “friends” are only out for themselves, but it takes some time to figure that out. When you were younger, you were okay with having someone simply to hang out and shoot the breeze with. But as you age, you realize the friendship is one-sided. The other person is around for the good times, but isn’t there when you need them the most.

When you figure out that someone isn’t a true friend, it’s time to drop them from your life – immediately.

3. Let go because the relationship isn’t transparent

The best friendships are completely transparent, meaning each of you know exactly what the other wants from each other. If you’re looking for a pal to have a beer with, that’s totally fine, as long as the other person isn’t looking for something deeper.

On the other hand, when you don’t know what your “friend’s” intentions are, it’s hard to know where the friendship is headed.

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4. Let go because the friendship is toxic

Toxic friendships are deadly. Typically once you’ve figured out a friendship is poison, it’s already done serious damage.

In college, you might have been friends with people who enjoyed getting drunk every weekend. While that isn’t so out of the ordinary in your early 20s, is that really what you want as you approach 30? You might still think you’re having fun, but it will catch up with you sooner than you think.

If you can’t hang out with your long-time friends without falling back into bad habits, it’s time to make a change.

5. Let go because you don’t have the same life goals

Everyone reaches a point when they realize their life goals differ from their friends’. While it’s okay to keep them around in small doses, when you’re looking to make a giant change in your life, you have to accept that things won’t be the same.

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For example, if you’re focusing on a serious relationship and trying to build a family, you won’t have loads of time to spend going out with other friends. It might be hard to get used to the change, but once you take the big step, you’ll see how rewarding your lifestyle change can be.

6. Let go because you’re doing all the work

You always make the plans, only to have your friend cancel last minute. Take that hint and find others who actually want to spend time with you.

Maybe the other party is feeling your friendship peter out, but is afraid to say anything. Whatever the case may be, you don’t want to be a bother to someone you care about. Maybe they’re just going through a change of their own, and will come back to you when the time is right. But if you push them, they might not.

7. Let go because they aren’t pushing you to be a better person

Although it’s okay to have people whom you simply enjoy being around, your best friends need to inspire you. Actively seek out people who are motivated, optimistic, and hard-working. Simply “hanging out” with people will get you nowhere, and you’ll look back and realize you were just passing the time until something (or someone) better came around.

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When you find the people who always make you want to better yourself, you’ve found the right group.

8. Let go because you don’t want or need them in your life

Duh! It sounds pretty obvious, but you don’t have obligation to be friends with anyone. Focus on being yourself and making sure you’re happy. If you don’t need someone in your life, you shouldn’t feel guilty about leaving them behind. You might not want to hurt anyone, but that also doesn’t mean you should suffer, either.

If you’ve ever felt like you “had to” meet up with someone, rather than genuinely wanting to, you should reevaluate the way you treat your own self.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm5.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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