Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Keep the Good Ones, Ditch the Rest

My friend KT is a straight shooter. She has said, on more than one occasion, that she has no tolerance for bullsh*t. In fact, each year on her birthday, she mentally sorts through the people who are considered to be friends in her life, and decides who among them truly are good friends. If they are toxic or drama filled, she boots them from her life. It's not a majorly obvious action... no facebook unfriending, no calls made to say, "You're out!" Instead, she gently edges away from them and moves forward with her life.

Now, let me begin by saying that I believe in lifelong friendships. These are the friendships that allow you to be yourself, the ones that allow for a 2 a.m. call when something goes wrong. They require both parties to be active participants and for both people to care about one another. I have a few of these friendships, and I treasure them.

A true friend, C, has always been there for me. Without fail.

Devoting my time to real friendships is an idea worth developing; it requires both commitment and time. Having time means eliminating the faux friends who are not much more than placeholders (time wasters). I've joked that I'd like to copy KT, and begin the trim down. Sometimes, I've even toyed with the idea of letting go. But I never really followed through. I got hooked into keeping toxic people in my life. Either I'd keep the friendship alive out of guilt, or I'd do it, selfishly, out of need. My life has been packed with superficial friendships made of people that showed up for the drama (perhaps to watch the train wreck that was once my life), or people who wanted to kill a few hours with a willing participant. But now, with a fully packed life, I've come to the realization that I don't want to spend my time stoking fires of old acquaintances that I believed were true connections.

It's heartbreaking, for sure, putting away the idea of a friendship that I thought existed, tough remembering moments that felt real with people that seemed to be friends for life, only to discover that they never were. But it's a crucial step to live a fulfilling, joyful life.

The idea of ending a friendship, with the same permanence one might having after leaving a lover or a bad job, is a tough one. Deciding to follow through takes guts. About a week ago, I posted something about this idea on my facebook page. The response was amazing, and I realized that I wasn't alone. This touchy topic of friendship breakups is long overdue.

Just tonight, I read a blog post from health coach Mary Ellen Zung, who is sending me her posts as part of a ten day sugar cleanse.* Friendships seem unrelated to a sugar cleanse, you'd think. However, she writes that "many people crave sweets when they are lacking supportive relationships"  and that "healthy relationships [among other things] will satisfy our real hunger for life." It makes sense, and it's given me that final push required to make big changes in my personal life.

I am making conscious choices to keep friends that have proven to be real, who have my back, and who like me for who I am. I will put my time and effort into nurturing and growing those friendships and, the extra time (time that I might have used to call a faux friend for coffee) will now be spent nurturing my life, caring for my family, or putting up my feet and cracking open a book. Hey, it might even be used to go for ice cream with a true blue buddy.

I am curious (hopeful, excited) to know how you feel about eliminating acquaintances, those who zap you of energy or don't consider your feelings, from your life? Are you up to the challenge? If not, why not? Please comment below. You can totally comment anonymously. See the photo below for what to look for (just click the option, Anonymous).

*While I know and believe that sugar is a real craving, and is physically addictive, I have no plans of completely eliminating it from my life. I will, though, work toward eating it mindfully and in moderation. 


  1. Agree completely! I had a *so called friend I knew since high school. We used to talk practically every day on the phone. Then one day when my father in law passed away I realized she was NOT a true friend.
    In fact she was SO the opposite. My eyes became wide open and I thought to myself how have I had her in my life for so many years?
    I wrote her a 4 page (front and back) letter. To clear my head and haven't heard a peep since! O' well, nothing lost except the time I spent on her.
    This was an AWESOME post!!!!

  2. When it comes to friends it is definitely quality not quantity! XO