Have you ever felt like you were outgrowing someone or something in your life but you weren’t sure how to “handle” it (for lack of better words)? Have you had a particular moment where you just felt like something was not meant to be anymore; i.e. felt forced until a certain breaking point?
I have news for you… in our 20’s that is going to happen a lot and it will probably continue to happen even as we get older. In life, only one thing is guaranteed and that is change.
“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anyone or anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.”
This is one of my absolute favorite quotes that I have learned to live by. If you’re anything like me, you’ve grown tired of forced friendships and conversations. You are over and done with associating yourself with people you share very little in common with (goals for the future, values, priorities, past-times, mutual friends, etc.) and you are trying to grow in a place that doesn’t want you to change. Do you know what the best move for you is in that case? Walk away. Grow. Change. Be better.
It is not easy to find sincere and genuine people in this world, and it is even harder to surround yourself with positive people who discuss ideas over people and praise and support you regardless of your flaws and failures. I have been lucky enough to find my tribe who brings me joy and whose sincerity is felt every single day. (ILYSM U KNOW WHO U ARE). It is a blessing to have found true friends in a world full of fake people. It is also so important to remember that no one is perfect.
Here is a list of 10 rules I follow, which have helped me better my life and my circle. Are you the type to stick around in a friendship because you feel bad ending it or because it has become so familiar? Do you daydream about a better job but you’re too scared to quit because you don’t want to disappoint someone? If you can say yes to any of those questions, these tips are for you.
- Disappear for a while. No, I don’t mean to literally run away. Just lay low. Pull in the reigns on your social media activity and texting habits. Become a homebody and learn to enjoy your own company and the quiet. Pay attention to those who text you because they are bored and need company and those who genuinely show they miss you and care about your happiness. Some people will stop reaching out because your choice to find solace and unplug becomes inconvenient for them. Do yourself a favor and let those people go. Love should be unconditional and a temporary hiatus should not mean you’ve been forgotten/replaced/moved on from. Always do what is best for you and mental health… real friends won’t need an explanation.
- Reflect on the conditions of your present life. This includes your job, your hobbies, your relationship, your friendships and your family… and anything else that is currently affecting your life. Are you happy with your job (and if not, really dig deep to find out why and find a solution). Are the people in your life a positive or negative (do you look forward to talking/seeing them or have you started to dread it? Why? Do you feel yourself pulling away? There is a reason for it so dig for it.) How is your love life? (Should you be putting more or less time and energy into it? Are you happy? Is your S/O happy? Maybe you need more QT together, maybe less?) Have you been spending time with your family and the people who truly love you? Perhaps you should start prioritizing them more. Have you been slacking on reading that book you love so much? Ummm, pick it back up and dive into some “you time”!
- Walk away after the first lie. I wish I could say I’m good at this but I’ve done my share of handing out second chances and giving people the benefit of the doubt. The sad truth is, people never change, not really. Don’t be foolish enough to think they will. This goes for S/Os and friends… anyone really. You are better off without people who ever needed to apologize to you in the first place.
- If they gossip to you, they gossip about you. I think that says it all. Do you really need to waste your time on people who are so uninteresting that they have nothing better to talk about than other people, including their own friends? I think not.
- Don’t trust people who are constantly talking about how good of a person they are. There is a reason they need to post and talk about it all day long. They aren’t just trying to convince you, they’re trying to convince themselves, too… Genuine people don’t need to talk about how genuine they are. #Facts
- Learn the difference between a friend and an acquaintance. I see this happening far too often. Please don’t be so foolish as to think everyone is your friend. Do they know your favorite color? Do they know your birthday by heart? Do they know what kind of childhood you had? Do they know how you take your coffee? That your parents are divorced? Do they know your dreams and goals for your future? Would they drop everything in a second to help you during a time of trial and suffering? Would they be there for you even if it wasn’t convenient for them? If you can’t say yes… these aren’t your friends. These are your acquaintances. Stop prioritizing them.
- Start prioritizing the people and things in your life that help you grow and keep you happy. Life can be dark and negative enough as it is. We need to prioritize the people who prioritize us. Do they bring light into your life or do you feel more shitty after you part ways? Are they toxic or do they have sincere hearts regardless of their flaws? Stop wasting your time on people and things that don’t make you better. If something feels unnatural, it probably is. Get rid of it.
- Take a hint. Be honest with yourself. You know when someone is in competition mode and doesn’t care how you’re doing as long as you aren’t doing better than them. You know when someone is judging your personal choices and values when they are constantly pushing theirs on you rather than respecting yours. And you certainly know if someone has your back especially when you aren’t around. Don’t settle for half ass people or half ass things.
- Start doing more of what makes you happy regardless of what anyone else thinks. No one has to live your life for you so at the end of the day, you need to make decisions for yourself and your happiness.
- Don’t half-ass anything. Either be all in or all out. If you aren’t happy with someone, tell them. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you want more excitement in your life, go do something about it. If you want to just stay home and do nothing, just do that. Don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t to please others. Don’t keep up fake fronts with people who’ve disappointed you. Don’t pretend everything is cool when it’s not. Your life is in your own hands and you have more control than you think.
- Love yourself during every phase you’re going through. Are you still not 10 pounds lighter? So what? Appreciate your body for all it can do and for how far it has come. Did you not get the grade you wanted on your paper? Celebrate the hard work you put into it anyway… you did your best and your best is all you can do, right? Are you still trying to figure out who and what you want to be? That’s okay. But don’t forget or downplay who you are right this second. You can’t grow from nothing and I’m sure if you looked back in time, you would more easily be able to see all these amazing things about yourself. Be consistent and be strong.
After all that is said and done… keep your standards high. Never accept anything less than unconditional love from people and never allow yourself to settle for mediocrity in anything you do in life. It is ok to slip sometimes and it is ok to be unsure… just do yourself a favor and really listen to your gut. Start making the right people a priority and stop explaining yourself to everyone. Focus on yourself, be positive, be happy and be grateful… and eventually you will realize that you have created the perfect life for yourself.