How do you know when it’s time to let go of someone in your life?

Sometimes you need to make the difficult decision that it’s time to walk away from a friend, job (due to a toxic person), significant other or family member.

One of the hardest and most important things I learned over the past few years is that sometimes you have to let go of people in your life whether it’s in your personal or professional life, because you need to honor and respect yourself first.

Here are a few things that are worth ending a relationship over without having guilt. Sure you may be sad but it’s important to have boundaries and only allow people in your life who you implicitly trust and who you know want the best for you. Think about these when you’re contemplating saying goodbye to someone either personally or professionally.

  • Your intuition is telling you that something is off
  • You feel bad about yourself or you notice your guard is up when you’re with them
  • You feel disrespected, undervalued and dismissed in the relationship
  • You feel like you give more than they do in the relationship
  • They display narcissistic or selfish qualities
  • They lack empathy
  • They are passive aggressive
  • They insult you
  • You feel they don’t support your growth and happiness
  • You sense they aren’t one of your cheerleaders and instead seem to relish in your failures and hardships
  • You hear they talk about you behind your back or they gossip about other people to you
  • They don’t value you or your time
  • The relationship is one sided, they only talk about themselves and never ask about your life
  • You have nothing or little in common anymore
  • You don’t trust them

I want to talk about the trust one for a minute having been stabbed in the back by a number of close friends not long ago.

A friend is supposed to be someone with whom you can share your secrets and someone you know will have your back, no matter what.

If a person betrays your confidence multiple times or lets you down, then they’re not your friend anymore, period.

We all vent to our friends and sometimes this includes talking about another friend. There’s a huge difference between sharing your concerns about something of concern going on with one of your friends or even blowing off some steam over an argument and complaining about someone behind their back. Gossip is ugly and hurtful.

It’s important to know that you’re valued and loved in your friendships, and when you’re not, it may be time to cut your losses.

It is not an easy decision to let someone who you care about go – so take your time in thinking about how you want to handle a situation like this.

I let go of many people over the past year because I finally put up boundaries in my life. I decided that keeping my circle small and having a group of friends and professional colleagues who I can implicitly trust was better for me than watching my back or worrying about someone’s motives. I also become much more private and cautious of others.

It’s okay to say goodbye to people in your life. Some relationships are not meant to last forever and people come into (and out of) your life for many reasons, including to teach you lessons.

In addition, as we change and grow, so does the company we keep and that’s okay too.

Knowing when to walk away from a relationship and when to invest more time and energy into one is an incredibly important skill to cultivate. Unfortunately sometimes we have to learn this the hard way.

Be thankful for all of the wonderful people you do have in your life. A smaller circle is a good thing.