Would you willingly carry around a 75-pound backpack during every moment of your day? Throughout every event — whether it be exercise, a recital, or while you were trying to relax? Most people wouldn’t… but when put into perspective, many of us do this every day with various interpersonal relationships.
Oftentimes, relationships start in a good, healthy place. As we learn more about people, these relationships can change, sometimes for better, and other times, for the worst. As friends, we agree to be confidantes and shoulders to cry on, but what happens when this is the case all the time? It can be draining and detrimental when one friend isn’t pulling their weight. How disappointing is it call someone with the intentions of sharing good news or to vent, only to have them overshadow your news with their own?
In some cases, friendships just drift apart. You no longer work together or go to the same school, and that one commonality may have been the only thing holding the friendship together. In other instances, one member of the friendship enters a relationship and their significant other becomes the most important part of their life. The most unfortunate of these circumstances is when one person puts in far more effort than the other. It can be hard to give constantly and receive nothing in return, not even the other person’s time. How devastating is it to be someone’s cheerleader in their proudest moments and the one to lift them up when they are down, but not receive the same energy?
At some point, you have to be willing to put yourself first. When you’ve been shown time and time again that someone can’t reciprocate your effort, let it go. It may be uncomfortable or painful, but if they aren’t supporting you, then they’re probably holding you back. Also, most people don’t want to abandon others in their time of need, but if it’s pulling you away from your life and obligations, it may be time to do so.
In the end, it’s your life. Nothing is worse than looking back and having regrets, especially those that could have been avoided. Letting go sucks, it hurts, and sometimes it can cause problems. But if the tables turned and you knew this friend could live without you with no hurt feelings, then you can do the same. Be the best you that you can be rather than constantly being the best you that you can be for someone else. Don’t sell yourself short by being a stepping stool for another person, and don’t allow the constant problems of others to keep you from practicing proper self-care.
“I had to let go of us, to show myself what I could do.” — Feel No Ways, Drake
“Reclaiming my time.” — Congresswoman Maxine Waters