One thing that adulthood is bound to bring with it is messy social situations. But you need to take control and start dealing with it positively. Your platonic relationships sure can bring their own set of drama and problems, and while that’s normal, the problem is when it stops making you happy. You need to re-evaluate your social circle ever so often and give it a spring cleaning of sorts and surround yourself with positivity and joy. After all, your friends reflect the kind of person you are and what better way to handle that image than surround yourself with people who help you grow and are in line with your goals and thoughts.
We’ve turned to clean-up guru Marie Kondo to take you through cleaning out toxic and otherwise unhealthy friendships from your life once and for all. For everyone who has pretty much been living under a rock, Marie Kondo is the author of the bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and is an organising consultant whose life-changing organisation method is known as ‘KonMari’. While it has helped thousands of people clean up their closets and homes, her methods can pretty much be used to spring clean everything else in our lives as well.
So here goes.
What does a relationship cleanse mean?
Think of cleansing your relationship as a chance for you to clean up your social circle and let go of friends who intentionally hurt you, bring you down, leave you disappointed and use every opportunity to make you feel bad about yourself.
When do you do it?
In March, duh! If you feel that your relationships have stopped making you happy and they drain you rather than bring you joy, it’s probably a good time to think of what’s working and what’s not. Of course relationships with your friends can be complicated, and going through a rough patch with a friend is not the same as marking them off as toxic, and pushing them out of your lives. Watch out instead for friends who do nothing to add to your growth and happiness. The signs can vary from subtle things like your friend always blowing you off or never having time to listen to you, to extremes like breaking your trust.
Be honest with yourself and try to understand which behaviour is hurting you, no matter what your equation with the friend has been in the past. Do you find yourself feeling worse when you meet this person, and do conversations with them make you feel completely drained out? Once you’ve answered this question and know the friend in question, go about dealing with it.
How can you cut them out?
You don’t have to cut off contact from them entirely; it depends on where you see this relationship going. One of Marie Kondo’s golden rule of decluttering is to hold on to things that “spark joy”. View your problematic relations with the same lens. If a friend, a co-worker or the overly friendly neighbour down the street is not doing anything to add a definite spark to your life, you don’t need to deal with them. Either cut them out of your life, or minimise contact with them, but take charge and cut out the toxicity before it’s too late.
Sometimes you have to take the extreme step of blocking them on your phone, removing them from your social media pages and cutting off all means of communication. Other times, you can have a chat and talk to them about your problems and see if you both can work around it. There’s no set method; you need to make that call basis how you want this relationship to shape up in your life.