Decluttering,  Happiness,  Minimalism

Minimizing Relationship Stress

It’s painful to watch friends self-destruct, to watch them slide down the slippery slope of insanity. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion. You’re unable to turn away. You reach out your hand, only to have it slapped away time and again. Either they realize they are slipping and don’t care, or they’re enjoying the ride. Regardless, you try to help.

Eventually you realize that this person is causing you misery. You dread your encounters. Instead of offering them another hand up, give them your foot–to shove them out the door of your life.

There is no shame in this. It is not beneficial to keep people in your life simply because they are friends or family when all they do is give you pain. Loyalty is stupid when the person in question bites the hands that feed them.

Minimalism is about so much more than stuff. It is about curating all aspects of your life to bring peace and tranquility. While you cannot eliminate all of life’s storms, you can reduce the day-to-day strain on your emotions.

Today I urge you to look at your relationships. Determine that one person you would be better off without.

Then let them go.

8 Comments

  • AngelWings

    Hi Annie:
    I live alone and I’m safe and happy! I am estranged from my family of origin. I have great friends and that’s it!

  • Belinda

    Hi Annie,
    This post made me think about the warning that we change in response to the people we spend the most time with. And, we can spend time with folks even if we are not physically with them — by thinking about what they have said or done and reacting to it (whether it’s good or bad).

    I think it is clever of you to describe limiting the people in our lives as a minimalist concept. Everyone deserves to spend time with people who truly see them and care for them.

    I have held onto people for far too long due to feelings of loyalty. It seems that we must be loyal to ourselves first, and limit toxic exposure.

    I love your comment about “curating all aspects of your life to bring peace and tranquility.”

    I recently let go of a friend who brought me a great deal of grief and concern, and your post has helped me to release some of the guilt I was feeling about it.

    • Annie

      Hello Belinda!
      I’m so thankful that you managed to release that person from your life. We don’t really think about the stress that comes from maintaining toxic relationships, do we? It can be painful to let someone go but once the dust settles you feel so much better–or at least I do! Way to go girl!

  • Cam Coogan

    Hi Annie. Another good post. I concur with Belinda in loving your comment “curating all aspects of your life to bring peace and tranquility.” After struggling for years, I went on an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety med in my fifties. I was on it for about 4-5 years and, while it helped some, I did not like the fact that I had to use an antidepressant to live in the world I was living in. One day it hit me, instead of using a drug to cope, why not change ‘my world’ so I no longer need a drug. So, among other changes, out went those toxic relationships. I am off the med, still working on creating and maintaining (or, should I say, protecting!) my world.

    • Annie

      Good for you Cam! It’s always better to change the world around you than to use chemicals to cope. You are awesome!