Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Connections and Disconnections

In the age of social networking we are constantly connecting and reconnecting with all kinds of people from various stages of our lives. Some connections are beneficial and refreshing. Some are not as helpful and at best remind us why they were designated to the "in the past" file on friendship.

I get quite emotionally tied to people. When I invest in a friendship and open up it is no small feat. Those who know me best can attest to that. As a result, during times that I’ve had to cope with a friendship deteriorating or being repurposed it was emotionally wearisome. I questioned what role I played in the deterioration and whether I did all I could to prevent it. What I've learned—thankfully—is that when we grow (as we all should) not only will some friendships no longer fit, but some people will not be happy about our growth and therefore, will not support it. Those are the relationships and people unable to proceed past our current state. Those are the people, more than likely, that you’ve disconnected with for a valid reason.

If you find someone in your inner circle that you are holding onto simply because s/he has always been there, release yourself from the obligation and guilt. If you find yourself maintaining relationships with those stuck on who you used to be or what you used to do, you run the risk of repeatedly confirming their expectations instead of moving forward. If your friendships are stumbling blocks and not springboards, you should probably re-evaluate your connections. This isn’t selfish or a sign that you are heartless. This is a sign of maturity and personal responsibility. Your friendships should provoke you to be a better friend and more importantly, motivate you to become a better person. Edna Buchanan said, “Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” Be sure that you choose wisely.

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