Being mindful of the company I keep is important to me. I often take the time to evaluate my life and ask myself, what should I change, what should I start, who should I let go, who should I be spending more time with? When I get lost in the abyss of social media scrolling, I often see post about people getting removed, and how toxic, unclear relationships are getting left behind. The post amp up a little more around the new year. While there is nothing wrong with making a decision to remove unhealthy relationships from our lives, I don’t think it should take a new year for us to realize that. When I get to a place of evaluating who is around me, I try not to do it based on emotions, but on 5 simple questions I ask myself.
How have I grown as a person since I met this person?
All relationships should help you grow in some way. Iron sharpens iron, so ask yourself, is this person sharpening me? Are they sharpening me to be a better friend? A better employee? A better parent? A better sister or brother? It can be in a big way or a small way, but take some time to list how you have grown because of this particular relationship.
Does this relationship help me get closer or further away from my core values?
Sometimes we get into relationships with people who lead us closer to the version of ourselves that we most enjoy and other times maybe not even on purpose we get in relationships that lead us from the things we care most about. Have you compromised your values, done things you vowed not to do? It may be a sign that this relationship is unhealthy. Our relationships should help us become closer to God and really force us to level up in our convictions.
Am I able to be myself with this person?
Some of my best friendships are with people who I can be my complete self with, no facades, no holding my tongue, no apologizing for things that make me, me! We should never feel like we have to be someone else around the people who are close to us.
Do I feel bad more often than I feel good when I am around this person?
You know how there are certain people who you come around and they are uplifting, supportive and even when they correct you they do it in love and you walk away feeling encouraged, those are great people to be connected to. If you feel condemned, drained, sad or hurt every time you leave their presence, it may be time to rethink the relationship.
Do I actually enjoy being connected to this person? Or do I feel obligated or have ulterior motives?
More often than not many relationships go on longer than they should because of familiarity or because we feel obligated to be in them, or want to keep up appearances by remaining connected to them. This is not only unhealthy for you, but the other person as well. If you know a relationship is unfruitful why drag it out and continue the same cycle? You should enjoy your relationships, not dread them!
Bonus & Most Important:
What is the purpose of this relationship?
If the relationship doesn’t have purpose, then why do you have it?
Now, after answering these questions I would never immediately dismiss all of my current relationships if things don’t add up, but it is important to have a conversation and be prayerful about what steps to take next regarding the relationship.
Our relationships should filled with love, growth, encouragement, and purpose and you should want that for yourself too!