Dash of Sass: Obligation is Never a Good Reason to Keep Someone in Your Life!
Something occurred to me today as I scrolled through my Facebook timeline and came upon a very offensive and borderline mentally unbalanced political post from a Facebook “friend” – I am not obligated to keep this person in my newsfeed or my life out of “politeness.” She certainly wasn’t considering the impolite nature of her inflammatory post when she posted it, so why should I concern myself with tiptoeing around her feelings and continue to absorb negativity into my consciousness from her posts when I am not required to do so? She’s someone I’ve met once and have no relationship with outside of Facebook, so while my typical response would be to dismiss my feelings about her post and stay friends with her out of obligation, I feel myself growing impatient with the concept of staying connected to someone in any way out of “obligation.” Why do we feel like it’s mean or harsh or impolite to set boundaries and remove people from our lives who add nothing but drama and stress and strife?
As women, I think we struggle with the internal conflict of not wanting to “hurt anyone’s feelings.” Because of this, we keep following people on Twitter and on Facebook because we think it would be “mean” to unfollow them…we refrain from speaking up for ourselves when someone brings the crazy to our lives…we even go out on dates and stay in relationships and friendships long after they have passed their expiration date…all because of some misplaced sense of “obligation” to someone who likely does not feel the same obligation to us. And all the while, we allow the other person’s negativity and gloom and anger and drama to impact our lives out of fear of doing anything that might cause them the slightest discomfort. What about the discomfort we are causing ourselves from keeping these energy and positivity vampires around? It’s important to be able to strike the balance between being loving and forgiving and empathetic to others without being unloving and unkind and unforgiving to yourself by allowing people to linger around who do nothing but bring you down. Part of loving yourself and valuing your sense of peace and well-being is setting healthy boundaries and being diligent about who and what you keep in your life.
The bottom line is, you’re doing no one (including yourself) any favors by staying tied to someone out of a sense of obligation. Ultimately this sense of obligation will lead to resentment on your part for having to make a space for someone in your life who you don’t really want there, and resentment on their part because they’ll sense that you don’t really want them there. It’s a great time of year to ask yourself some hard questions about the people in your life and in your social media circles and make some changes. There’s something very liberating about realizing that when someone brings the crazy to your feed/timeline/life, you are not obligated to keep them around. You CAN unfriend, unfollow, delete. On social media and in life.