Detox Your Relationships

Cleaning Out Your Relationship Closet (for the better)

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Now here's a confronting idea for you.

"To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose. To throw away what you no longer need is neither wasteful nor shameful. Let them go, with gratitude. Not only you, but your things as well, will feel clear and refreshed when you are done tidying."

This quote is from the Marie Kondo’s super-popular book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying' which transformed my - and Snowy's wardrobes and household cupboards recently for the better.

The key question when you contemplate letting go of what you no longer need being "Does it spark joy?" - if not, let it go.

And it reminds me about letting people go too, if your relationship with them doesn't spark joy. It's cathartic and gives you precious time for those you do truly cherish...

It's easy to assume that just because you're in touch with someone, that because you've been friends 'forever' that it has to - or should - stay that way. Well, it doesn't.

When I left my corporate life 14 years ago I had loads of work friends. Loads. And yet, instinctively I knew I'd probably only keep in touch with, hmm, maybe 3 of them. By in touch I mean really connected rather than "oh we must meet some time" friends (who only really have the old days to discuss with you).

In reality it's actually only 2.

It can sound brutal to share with you this too. After 16 years of marriage, when we look at our guest list of 120 people, less than half of them would be invited if we were to do it all over again!

Some are no longer alive, some are no longer together, some have fallen off the radar and others have either let me/us go or we've let them go. Literally, let them go.

We’ve made tons of new friends in that time too. Friends we’d love to share that day with now. It’s not better. Just different. So are we. So are you.

It's cathartic to tidy up, as Mari Kondo shares and I believe this is just as applicable to our social networks too. Some of your friends will be with you, and you with them, forever. You know it. Others are transient and that's OK.

In my fifties with, as my friend Steve Cozart shared with me "more of your life behind you than in front of you" I'm fierce about who I choose to invest my precious life energy with.

I've learned you have:

- Friends for a reason - a difficult time, a shared interest, a lesson they have for you - you're fond of them and yet the tides of your lives have changed. If it's feeling an effort that's onerous, the reason isn't strong enough anymore

- Friends for a season - a spell which passes and your bond isn't so strong so it fizzles, you let go or - as happened to me recently - they unceremoniously 'fire' you for their own reasons. They're best let go of anyway.

- Friends for life - people who you know you want to stick with, who want to stick with you and who you forgive (vs fire) if they trip up - or you do.

You don't get time back. We must choose wisely how we invest it and with whom.

Do they deserve your precious, finite life energy? If so great. If not - you know what to do. It’s all good.

As Marie Kondo says, "when we reduce what we own and essentially ‘detox’ our house, it has a detox effect on our bodies as well.” As with our relationships, as with our house.

Let’s make it your time to shine, in your own way. When would now be a better time to go for Promotion, Recognition and Rewards?

For more information and immediately helpful tips on how to connect and be valued and heard in business:

Here’s a helpful, immediate Gift for you. Q is for Questions (embed link please - A downloadable PDF of a chapter from my # 1 best-selling book The A to Z of Being Understood.

Use the chapter to lead conversations, to be more compelling when you first meet someone and - crucially - connect with colleagues, clients, customers by the power of your confident questions.

Kay White

Savvy & Influential Communication for Ambitious Women in Business,