Most of us have people in our lives that are not good for us. These people usually bring us a significant amount of negativity, stress, or pain. However, many of us have trouble knowing when to let go of these people. Or if we actually realize that we DO need to let go of these people, many of us do not know how. I, for one, still fall victim to this inability to get rid of those who are not truly beneficial to my life. I have gotten better though, only because I have learned time and time again how much happier I am when I finally garner enough strength to let those people go. I have allowed people to hurt me, take advantage of my kindness, and emotionally drain me to the point that I was rarely in a good mood. And worse yet, I continued to forgive those people, which, in turn, allowed them to continue doing the things they were doing that made me unhappy. But once I decided I couldn’t have these people in my life anymore, I suddenly felt an enormous amount of happiness, relief and freedom from all the emotional strain, pain and hurt I had been allowing myself to endure.
So how did I know when it was time to let someone go? Firstly, I started to notice that I was no longer happy to be around that person. Instead, I was constantly feeling stressed, frustrated and sometimes even hurt. Then one day I stopped for a second and tried to think of one reason why that person should still be in my life. And guess what??? I couldn’t think of one good reason. It was then that I knew it was time for us to go our separate ways.
From personal experience however, I know that the most difficult part is figuring out HOW to let someone go. There are several reasons why this task was so difficult for me: (1) I get VERY attached to people VERY easily. It is not unusual for me to treat someone like family not long after just meeting someone. I guess you can say I love hard. Which brings me to my second reason: (2) I’m afraid of hurting people. I hate to know that I’ve hurt, offended or made someone feel bad. When I realize that I have hurt someone, I honestly feel like crap and I’ll become very emotional. And (3) I realized that the main reason why it was so hard for me to let people go was because I was afraid of being alone. I was scared that if I let those people go, I would have no one in my life. So I would rather keep the people who are hurting me in my life, rather than have no one in my life at all.
But then I came to one simple conclusion: Whatever the difficulty may be, I could guarantee that nothing is harder than trying to deal with a person that truly makes me unhappy.
So then I had to figure out the best way to get rid of the negativity in my life. And of course, with me being the person that hates to hurt people, it wasn’t an easy task. I tried talking and explaining my reasoning, but somehow I couldn’t quite get these people to understand what I was really trying to say. Instead they continued to believe that I still wanted them in my life, when in fact I did not. So instead of talking, I just gradually stopped talking. I stopped answering phone calls. I stopped replying to text messages. I stopped contacting them at all until they realized that I was ending the relationship or friendship. It was very hard at times because I felt like I was hurting or offending those people. Maybe I was. But I knew that I had to do what was best for me.
On an end note, I did learn a couple of things. Firstly, I realize that we can’t always do what makes others happy, which is something that I always remind myself now. We have to do what makes us happy FIRST. Then, and only then, can we try to help others achieve happiness as well. And secondly, just because we let people go does not necessarily mean that we are losing something. Sometimes, when we let certain things go, we make room in our lives for other things that will makes us happier than we even thought we were at the time. So no longer will I be afraid to free up space in my life for something or someone that is more deserving of that spot.