Recently I made a new, slightly starker-ish friend at work (hi Kirsti, I know you’re stalking this!) and so in turn, I checked out the ol’ Facebook feed of hers. To my delight, she had something I fell in love with hiding between pics of her kids. This blog could change your life. Its called Ten Reasons to Dismiss Someone From Your Life by someone named Gretchin that participates in the Burlington VT Moms Blog. Short story shorter is that it is okay to tell people to take a hike if they suck your life out of you. Wait, what?! You mean I shouldn’t feel overwhelming agony and guilt over wanting to do this? Gretchin confirmed that not only was it okay, but that her therapist gave her the permission. I mean if a rando therapist says its okay, I’m obviously ALL IN. Its practically like a legit medical treatment so LET THE SLAUGHTER BEGIN!
I’d like to share some things about the 10 reasons she listed.
1. I don’t have time. Okay, I was thinking she was going to be rude but then she elaborated that she didn’t have time in her life for drama and trivial things. I actually had to use this one this morning. I cut out 2,250 people who I’m in a foster/adopt group with on Facebook. Those heifers got too snotty for me so I got the heck out of there. I enjoyed the idea of a community where I could be honest but I enjoy their drama much less. You gone!
2. I won’t allow you to judge me or my parenting. Agree again. Luckily, no one has had time to judge my 8 months of parenting so we’re good. Everyone is safe on this one.
3. We lead different lives. While I have a very eclectic friend pool, none of you are getting the boot for this. However, she did elaborate that if you dedicate much of your time and energy to spreading hurt or anger, you’d be out. This is great but no one is out to get me at the moment. Another free pass for all.
4. I can’t help you. I would like to think I can help/fix everyone so I probably need to be careful on this one. From what I can tell, you’re all still on a good level of self-sufficiency and won’t get the boot for that.
5. You are not kind. I’d like to think that most people in my life are not hurtful intentionally but what about if they are intentionally nasty to others? Where do I draw the line on what I let them say to others I love or even innocent strangers. Just because you are nice to me doesn’t mean you have a kind heart. Better keep this one in the ‘to watch’ pile.
6. You are not adding any value to my life. This is it. This one was the hardest for me because this is the one that required me to be the most honest with myself. There are some of you out there that don’t add value to my life. Then I started wondering… do you feel like you do or do you know that you don’t? If I were to tell you that I don’t feel like you are adding value, would you try to change that? Should I try to add value to more people in my life? This morning I intentionally started trying to add value to the four most important people in my life, my husband and kiddos. I went above and beyond both financially and with my time so that they could start their days knowing I appreciate what they add to my life. In turn, I felt awesome all day so its a win-win.
Last year I had to make the long-coming and difficult decision to not let my father around my children. He is an alcoholic and although I have prayed for years that the possibility to have a relationship with me or his grandchildren would lead him to get help, it escalated to a point that I was embarrassed at my own lack in judgement. I took my children to my dad and step-mom’s house for the first time and within 75 seconds I regretted that decision. I will never stop wanting him to change enough to have a relationship with me but at that moment I allowed him to be around children that weren’t even mine yet and I should have braced for the worst instead of expecting the best. I learned my lesson and I severed all contact except texts and an occasional phone call while he was in the hospital a few months ago. I wrote my step-mother an email after we left and explained what Husbando and I had decided because it was the decent thing to do. My heart is broken and will continue to be but I will carry that alone rather than share it with the three angels I chose to bring into my life. I choose to protect them because I know first hand what it feels like to want something so bad and not get it. They have been through enough in their short lives, inflicting inevitable pain on them is not in the cards. That relationship did not add value to my life and I was brave enough to sever it. See also: #10
7.You don’t agree with how I live my life. Girl, I’ve already checked yourself before you wrecked yourself. This trash has already been taken to the curb.
8. We have different political views. Ha!! There is no way you can hate me for my political views (or lack thereof). On the flip-side, if you don’t like that, please see number 7 and show yourself out.
9. The things that are important to you aren’t important to me. She is obviously talking about a specific person because her examples are snarky. I know that my passion for scrapbooking doesn’t matter to 99% of my friends. My husband knows that I will NEVER share his enthusiasm for soccer. My own mother tries to get me to care about Big Brother Season 42 but I just can’t. However, we DO share many things that are important to us. I guess if you find someone that doesn’t think anything is important, even your own relationship together, that person should go too. But seriously, can’t everyone always bond over at least ice cream?
10. I’m a parent now. This one can be tricky for new parents who are used to being around others without them. I have a very good friend that would rather stab his own eye out than be around a child. I love him to the ends of the earth and I will not sever my relationship with him but we both understand why we haven’t seen each other in a while. If any one tried to make me pick them over my kiddos or tried to jeopardize that relationship in any way (not unlike my dad), they would have to be out.
So how does she suggest we make these breaks? Directly with drastic or not-so-drastic phrasing. As I said, I wrote an email explaining my reasoning to my dad. To the Facebook group I simply said “I’m embarrassed to be associated with you so I’m out”. To friends in the past it has been as simple as a text that says “I’m sorry, but I can’t do this becasue…”. However you do it, DO IT if you need to. Don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed (that one was my hardest one) and don’t apologize for standing up for yourself. I shouldn’t be embarrassed that I have no relationship with you, YOU should be embarrassed that you acted poorly enough for me to break up with you.