Let me ask a controversial question:
Can you and should you declutter people from your life?
Answer: YES! (with a few caveats….)
Inevitably when I work with a client, it isn’t just possessions that are called into question. Often, if not always, there are people who are having a negative impact.
Clutter is just a not so nice term for anything that doesn’t support the best version of yourself.
‘You can’t just drop people out of your life!’ I’ve heard in exclamation.
Only you can.
And you should.
Let’s return to the caveats. When may this course of action surmount to immoral, cold or plain wrong? Well that answer is in the reasons why. So if you’re envious of someone’s material, professional or personal success and it highlights some perceived insecurities, it can be tempting to spend more time with people ‘on your level’ However, it would be a terrible waste for both of you. In that situation there’s a valuable opportunity to grow and learn from that person. And make much needed improvements to your own life.
Equally feeling like you have nothing in common with a person can make spending time with them seem awkward. But in fact, it adds to the richness of life to vary our encounters with others so that we don’t become stagnant in our interests, views and mind-sets. Often the awkwardness can be overcome simply by asking questions and a willingness to listen and learn.
So the decision to declutter isn’t about personality necessarily nor is it about what a person has or doesn’t have.
What is it about then?
I would say it’s about how people make you feel. When I declutter with clients, I ask questions. One is “Does this bring you joy?”
Take a good look at the people around you and in your life. How do you feel when you’re with them? Just before you meet them? After being in their company? Your goal is to feel positive, energised and relaxed. Of course, you will be having the same effect on them. It’s a two way street.
Actually, who we choose to spend time with is an excellent indication of how we are functioning on an emotional level. Furthermore, we attract the right people to us when we feel good about ourselves. It works the other way too and it’s why stuck, lost and vulnerable people tend to flock together. Energy is contagious. It is incredibly motivating when you spend time with inspirational people. But when people are negative, critical or apathetic they bring each other down further. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the latter group. Choose what you let into your bubble.
Another little caveat. If someone if going through a hard time at the moment (physical or mental illness or a negative life event) which causes their energy to change for the worse, of course you wouldn’t declutter them from your life immediately! These situations are an opportunity for the relationship to grow. As you provide your support to them during their time of need, your positive attitude and belief that they will come through will be invaluable to them. In turn you will see their strength and it will inspire you to deal with anything life decides to throw at you.
So the “right” people around you will make you feel wonderful about yourself. We all know what this means. They believe in you and have your best interests at heart. Their own agenda doesn’t come into it. If you need encouragement they are ones telling you “go for it….you have absolutely got this!” As oppose to the “you’ll never make it” brigade.
A common concern I hear, is about the guilt of decluttering people. Like doing so would be treating them as a piece of rubbish which is only fit for discarding. My reply is that this is topsy turvy. If people are treating you negatively then you’re the one being regarded as rubbish. You are simply responding by correcting them and saying “I am worth something”
Never worry about how people will “cope” should you declutter them. Really, they will be ok! If you withdraw from their lives, I guarantee they will find new people with whom to associate. You are not the only person in life available to them. Unfortunately, negatively is not going to be stamped out anytime soon so they will soon find a new tribe.
Decluttering people is just like decluttering anything else. The start of your amazing journey. Once you have let go of what or who is holding you back, it frees you up to concentrate on everything and everyone adding true value – so you can start appreciating them.
That’s when you really start living.
Thanks so much for reading!
A Tidy Mind.
Ps. Because of my background in life coaching (find out more here), I can help clients clear mental as well as physical clutter. The beauty is that they tend to be achieved simultaneously. Take a look at my packages of support.