Declutter Friendships: Do your current friends inspire you?

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Declutter your Friend group
Image courtesy of © BankSimple /

You may think about how some friends who have lost their loving feeling. Time to declutter friendships. In many friendships you’ve gone beyond their mutually beneficial value. Look at those people who really work for you now.  Or, do you project onto a friend what you want them to be and not who they really are today?

In all relationship cycles, there’s the starry-eyed period of 3 months; “you really know them” period ending at about 2 ½ years; and, the 5 year check in. Be bold and declutter friendships today by re-evaluating and re-organizing those who do and don’t add real value to your life.

Yes that’s right, many out-dated friendships are cluttering your life. Like that old box of photos, leg warmers, or other sentimental journey sign posts.

Declutter Friendships: Inside the Bubble

Many keep friends around only as memory keepers, but this quote from 8 tips on how to declutter and let go of sentimental items says it loud and proud. “I’m much better at attaching the emotion to the memory rather than the thing,” Mandy Haber said in the Arizona Republic (August 5th, 2009).

I’m using the word declutter – home, car, office – for friends too because many of these relationships can clog up your flow.

“You have to come to terms with (the fact that) you’ll always be able to get another memory and another moment,” Haber continues. Think of who in your group is more memory than an active pal. There’s a 1 minute friend evaluation exercise at the end of this blog.

Declutter Friendships: Outside the Bubble

I had a friend who was sassy and smart and added a lot to my life many years ago. “Was” is the active verb here because when I look at our current relationship, it’s steeped in the past. We don’t have an authentic friend relationship right now. In fact, I don’t hear from this person for long stretches of time until she needs or wants something from me. And her request is often time consuming. So why do I hang onto this relationship? Well, I don’t. I refuse to feel obliged to respond to her “work for me” requests, because I have designated this friend to a status that no longer commands my time.

FINALE SCENE: The Friend Minute Test

Write down a friend’s name who is on the fence. Turn your timer to 1 minute… and quickly write down ten words or phrases describing what the person adds to your life today. I did this and for my super friends the words flew down on the page: supportive, generous, always responds, creative, shares their information, et cetera. Then, I wrote the name of a friend in doubt. When I put down “supportive” I thought, but he hasn’t been supportive for years. I had few other words and couldn’t finish in the time. AHA… time to delegate this friend to a new position in my network. Be kind, be wise and…

Remember…. A great friend starts with you!

© Glenda Shaw / 2014

Please note: I hide specific and identifiable details in my friend stories as these stories are examples of behavior and not meant to hurt anyone. These stories are based on my opinion and perspective, except when the people written about are in the public domain. Any advice is from opinion and research and must not be viewed as legal or medical advice.


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