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The Harsh but Honest Truth About Friendship Decluttering

The Harsh but Honest Truth About Friendship Decluttering

Over the years you’ve developed a fair few friendships. While some are quite obviously close and fulfilling, there are some that you know deep down aren’t serving you anymore. You may struggle to find much in common to talk about or you may have noticed you both have developed different values, mindsets, or interests. Perhaps you or they are heading in different directions in terms of career or family life.

Humans are social animals and connection is important to forming and maintaining a sense of happiness in lives. But some connections just aren’t meant to last. Holding on to people despite a bad connection can end up draining your energy or even stunt your personal growth.

Embrace Labeling a Friendship

You’ve heard about the importance of decluttering homes every now and then, but what about friendships decluttering? The notion may seem harsh but it’s important to stop and reflect on the people in our lives that aren’t bringing us value.

In the book The Power of the Other, Dr. Henry Cloud discusses the influence that the people in our lives have on determining the amount of success we gain in our personal and professional lives.

There are three main types that can help you identify your current friendships: bad connections, pseudo-good connections and real connections. I’m labeling them with different colors so you know how to decide what friends to keep and ditch.

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    Red Label: The Bad Connections

    These are the people who drain your energy. This usually manifests from a feeling that bad friendships are better than no friendships at all. They tend to make you feel negative emotions on a regular basis, drain your energy or just don’t forge a deep connection. Examples of this kind of friendship could be someone who guilts you into spending time with them, are needy, find it funny to belittle you on a regular basis or you feel you give a lot to the friendship with very little effort back. There’s also no feeling of trust between you – if you told them something in confidence, they would most likely spread your secret around.

    Ultimately you can’t grow from a relationship like this but instead it keeps you feeling small generating feelings of guilt, shame or fear.

    Blue Label: The Pseudo-Good Connections

    These friendships are the tricky ones to decipher. While they are the people who are positive and even encouraging, the relationship tends to be shallow. There’s no vulnerability, no acknowledgement of the not-so fun side of life and you don’t share your troubles. They will have a tendency to tell you what you want to hear rather than having your best interests at heart. It could be a friendship where you know very little about what the other feels, or that they don’t confide in you and you feel you can’t confide in them. You do a lot of fun stuff together yet you still don’t feel you truly know each other.

    While it feels nice, the friendship is empty.

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    Green Label: The Real Connections

    These are the ones that really have your back. You’ll share your joys, fears, successes and failures with each other in a genuine and supportive way. There’s no judgement but a strong feeling that there’s a deep investment in each others’ futures. If you do something questionable they will be sure to be the ones questioning you – out of love and your own growth. If you have a crisis going on, they will be the first one there to help you through it.

    Friendship Decluttering Is Hard but Essential

    Decluttering is easier said than done. Once you’ve identified someone you may want to let go of, the fear of missing out may come to the surface. This comes from the human instinct to avoid feelings of loneliness and being ostracised from the main group. It’s also linked to our self-esteem and wanting validation from others even if it’s from people who aren’t the best for us. Common questions will arise such as what if they go off and do interesting things without you? What if you could develop a better friendship in the future? Maybe it’s someone you’ve known so long that it’s better to just stick with the friendship than to end it.

    While it can be difficult, it’s important to understand that ditching the bad connections will help the good connections to develop further and help you grow in the process. Having people who are truly supportive will provide you with the positivity energy you need to thrive. Read more about The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    When you control your environment, you control your life. If you cultivate the best friendships in your life, you will maintain a better quality of life all round. You’re much more likely to reach your goals because the influence of the people you spend the most time with shapes your mindset more than you think. People who motivate you, support you and see the best in you will consciously and subconsciously drive you towards what you want in life and you’ll ultimately achieve more.

    Control Your Life by Creating a Good Friendship Circle

    To build up a good network of supportive and invested friends in your life, take these steps to carefully declutter your friendships.

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    1. Filter out your red and blue friendships

    The first thing is to re-evaluate the red and blue labelled friendships in your life by thinking carefully about each person. These are the ones that will make you feel more lonely in the long term if you choose to hold on and focus on them.

    When you think about them, how do they make you feel? If it’s a constant negativity within you and you can’t see how they add value to your life, then it’s time to label them as a red or blue. The idea is to distance yourself from these friends so you can create space to let in more supportive and genuine people. You could choose to cut them out straight away or decide to say ‘no’ more often to their suggestions. Find out more in my other article how to face a toxic friend: The Fallout of Not Facing the Toxic Behaviors of a Selfish Friend

    2. Spot out a potential green friendship

    The more you identify with the traits that make a deep and healthy friendship, the more you will see it in other people.

    Find people you can trust and shares your core values; someone who have your best interests at heart and aren’t afraid to sugar-coat if it means knowing you’ll grow. If you have a big decision, they will weigh out the pros and cons with you with your benefit in mind, even if it means you moving half way across the country from them. It goes both ways too – make sure you are giving them the best advice with no ulterior motives.

    3. Be vulnerable and open up

    This is essential to attract more meaningful relationships in your life. You reflect back what you put out so by opening up and not camouflaging yourself from others. This will allow others to do the same with you.

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    Don’t be afraid to talk about your fears and voice your opinions. If you have a big dilemma at work or you’re thinking about breaking up with someone, talk it out as this will make the other person feel they can do the same with you developing a trusted bond.

    4. Put effort in the green friendships

    Don’t dismiss a friendship because that person moved halfway across the country from you or they’re starting a new relationship. This can mean more effort to maintain a friendship but if the genuine connection, alignment and respect is there, it won’t be too hard. The connection you have is worth more than proximity or the amount of time you spend with each other.

    This leads on to the importance of effort. The maintenance of a good friendship is what allows it to deepen, so exchange thoughts with each other regularly. If you have a big problem, talk it out with them and they will do the same with you. Interact with them using text, funny pictures or Facetime, call them up, share ideas, suggest plans, tell them about your day – this gentle connection with someone who is equally invested in you will help your friendship grow all the more.

    By cutting out toxic relationships, you will start to see a massive difference in yourself and how you see the world around you in a more positive light. Don’t underestimate what a real friend can bring to the table!

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel.com via pexels.com

    More by this author

    Anna Chui

    Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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    Last Updated on March 17, 2020

    4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

    4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

    Are you bored at work right now?

    Sitting at your desk, wishing you could be anywhere other than here, doing anything else…?

    You’re not alone.

    Even when you have a job you love, it’s easy to get bored. And if your job isn’t something you’re passionate about, it’s even easier for boredom to creep in.

    Did you know it’s actually possible to make any job more interesting?

    That’s right.

    Whether it’s data entry or shelf stacking, even the most mind-numbing of jobs can be made more fun.

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    Understanding the science behind boredom is the first step to beating it.

    Read on to learn the truth about boredom, and what you can do to stop feeling bored at work for good.

    VIDEO SUMMARY

    I’m bored – as you’re watching the same film over and over again, even though it’s your favorite one

    When you experience something new, your brain releases opioids – chemicals which make you feel good. [1]

    It’s the feeling you might get when you taste a new food for the first time, watch a cool new film, or meet a new person.

    However, the next time you have the same experience, the brain processes it in a different way, without releasing so many feel-good chemicals.

    That’s why you won’t get the same thrill when you eat that delicious meal for the tenth time, rewatch that film again, or spend time with the same friend.

    So, in a nutshell, we get bored when we aren’t having any new experiences.

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    Now, new experiences don’t have to be huge life changes – they could be as simple as taking a different route to work, or picking a different sandwich shop for lunch.

    We’re going to apply this theory to your boring job.

    Keep reading find out how to make subtle changes to the way you work to defeat boredom and have more fun.

    Your work can be much more interesting if you learn these little tricks.

    Ready to learn how to stop feeling so bored at work?

    We’ve listed some simple suggestions below – you can start implementing these right now.

    Let’s do this.

    Make routine tasks more interesting by adding something new

    Sometimes one new element is all it takes to turn routine tasks from dull to interesting.

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    Maybe there’s a long drive you have to make every single week. You get so bored, going the same old route to make the same old deliveries.

    Why not make it a routine to create a playlist of new music each Sunday, to listen to on your boring drive during the week?

    Just like that, something you dread can be turned into the highlight of your day.

    For other routine tasks, you could try setting a timer and trying to beat your record, moving to a new location to complete the task, or trying out a new technique for getting the work done – you might even improve your productivity, too.

    Combine repetitive tasks to get them out of the way

    Certain tasks are difficult to make interesting, no matter how hard you try.

    Get these yawn-inducing chores out of the way ASAP by combining them into one quick, focused batch.

    For example, if you hate listening to meeting recordings, and dislike tidying your desk, do them both at the same time. You’ll halve the time you spend bored out of your mind, and can move onto more interesting tasks as soon as you’re done.

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    Break large tasks into small pieces and plan breaks between them

    Feeling overwhelmed can lead you to procrastinate and get bored. Try breaking up large tasks into lots of small pieces to keep things manageable and fun.

    Try breaking up a 10,000 word report into 1000-word sections. Reward yourself at the end of each section, and you’ll get 10 mini mood boosts, instead of just one at the end.

    You can also plan short breaks between each section, which will help to prevent boredom and keep you focused.

    Give yourself regular rewards, it can be anything that makes you feel good

    Make sure you reward yourself for achievements, even if they feel small.

    Rewards could include:

    • Eating your favourite snack.
    • Taking a walk in a natural area.
    • Spending a few minutes on a fun online game.
    • Buying yourself a small treat.
    • Visiting a new place.
    • Spending time on a favourite hobby.

    Your brain will come to associate work with fun rewards, and you’ll soon feel less bored and more motivated.

    Boredom doesn’t have to be a fact of life.

    Make your working life feel a thousand times more fun by following the simple tips above.

    Reference

    [1] Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored

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