Letting Go of Stale Relationships (ASCW Life Plan part 3)

14 Jun

As I was reviewing my Life Plan recently, a particular action step that I created stood out to me. In the Action Plan section of my Friends category I wrote:

  • Decrease attempts to communicate with those in which I am no longer close to Resources needed: Time to reflect and accept

Wow. I wrote this on May 7, 2011 and a little more than 30 days later, I had forgotten that this was something I knew I needed to do for myself. Reading the statement reminded me of why I am committing to no longer pursue stale relationships, particularly friendships.

(Purpose of me to my Friends:To be a source of joy, truth, forgiveness, and encouragement as needed)

Long story short, I have noticed unsettling dynamics with people I once considered myself close to. There has been no major issues, no tearful fights, no he-say she-say behind each others backs; our interactions are just decreasing and/or less meaningful. As I pointed out in my entry Minding My Own Business , I believe that my relationships with certain people has only lasted because I have gone out of my way to care about what is happening in their lives.

Although I was originally taking it personal that the concern was not reciprocal, on May 7th, as I was thinking about the vision I have for my friendships, I realized that it was not personal, it was just no longer worth investing and trying to figure out how to bring life back into stale relationships.

(Vision:I am available to partake in a variety of experiences with my friends. I am honest by always knowing that either I have been where they are, or that there is a possibility I will be where they are(during both successful and stressful times). I am able to distinguish between friends and associates and just people I seem to like or love. I am respectfully honest when it matters most. I accept that my friends are not me. I go on vacation with my friends atleast two times a year. I am able to enjoy the social life with my friends including fine dining and entertainment and leisure hat is not prohibited because of financial strain. I am able to assist my friends financially, and with their children if needed. I am able to connect my friends when they are in need of jobs or have something to share with the world.)

With all of the amazing, and equally committed people who I interact with regularly, I am doing myself, and them, an injustice by trying to re-kindle friendships that are no longer active.

As listed in my resources, I know that it will take time to let go. It will take time to make sure I know how to keep the door open for stale friends in their time of NEED, instead of just keeping it open to say it is open.

It will take time to rid myself of feelings and curiosity that make me wonder if I did something to cause the dying interactions, so that I can accept that we have gathered new life and energy that feeds our current needs.

It will take time to figure out what about that friend, made me whole at the time of our active engagements, and then decide if I still need THAT. If so, I will have to find a healthy way to fill the void.

It will take time to break the habit of concern that leads me to send communications that provide praise, encouragement, and care, that are not often met with similar responses.

One way I discovered that some of my relationships and friendships were stale is while sending communications. When I noticed myself “worrying” about whether the friend would respond, or if I would be greeted with apprehension, I knew that something had to change.

I had to change. 

So, I am letting go of stale relationships in hopes of the following,

Outcomes: “Ashley was a well maintained bridge that you could always depend on to get you to the next phase of your life. She was solution oriented and did not judge, but instead provided honest dialogue to help see you through.”


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12 responses to “Letting Go of Stale Relationships (ASCW Life Plan part 3)

  1. Rebecca

    June 14, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Great post! I too would like to release the ‘stale relationships’ in my life, except these are familial relationships. I never resonated with my family. I felt this way when I was 5-years-old. I believed I was adopted and my ‘real’ family would come for me. My mom assures me I’m hers. I’m no longer willing to ‘wallow’ with people and discuss their worries because I know it breeds more worry. I’ve changed so much that I don’t recognize the person I was five or 10 years ago. I now choose the people I want in my life, family or not.

    • Ashley S.C. Walls

      June 22, 2011 at 11:13 pm

      I thought I replied to you a few days ago Rebecca, but I am just seeing that it did not go through, sorry 😦
      Thanks for reading and sharing about your experience with letting go. Too often we make special exceptions for family to “abuse” us. In reality, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, can feel no different about your than a stranger or a teacher. The connection between two people is what is most important. So glad that you are now choosing your connections! 🙂

  2. Dorianne

    June 17, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Great post Ashley.

    • Ashley S.C. Walls

      June 22, 2011 at 11:14 pm

      Dorianne, I am just realizing my reply to you did not go through either- sorry 🙂
      BUT THAAAAAAAANNNNNKKKKKKSSSS for reading AND commenting! It means the world to me.

  3. K. Sidney

    June 22, 2011 at 2:54 am

    For an artist, it’s all about how you’re remembered. As long as you serve a positive purpose in people’s lives, it’s easier to let go when the time comes. Besides, as I get older, I realize there’s not enough time in the world to be good friends with EVERYBODY.

  4. Ashley S.C. Walls

    June 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    @K. Sidney, I think it can be difficult to let go as an artisits. It is easier for me to let go of people when wearing my business hat or other projects that have a clear ending. When my artisits hat is on (there is artistry in evertyhing I do, but sometimes more intentional than others) I want to know more about my impact and how I can extend on it, etc.

    But in all things that I do, I would hope that I made a great enough impact, that people would want me or my product in their lives. I am learning that it is okay, if I did not make that impact,

    Lastly, it is more than about being friends with everyone, but fuifilling your purpose. Sometimes you can’t judge if your purpose was fulfilled in that person’s life if they do not communicate with you. It takes me a while to figure out that I have.

  5. ssofdv

    December 23, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Great post!

    I was one of those people who always pondered, “What did I do wrong?” “What did I say?” I grew up pleasing people – conditioned from my childhood. As I grow older, I focus more on my life’s mission, and God’s will for my life. I conclude that not everyone will like or even love me. And now, I am OK with that. Because the same applies to me as well.

    Stale relationships, be it family or friends – well, I am learning to be strong enough to be alone if need be. Life is short – too short to keep trying to figure people out – and why they become distant for no reason. At least, no reason that I can think of. It is what it is. And I have learned to move on, and strive for excellence in my own life. God is always with me – truly, I am never alone.


    • Ashley S.C. Walls

      December 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      Good words of Wisdom Terry! I am learning to take things and stride and I must admit…. lower my pride when it comes to these matters as well.


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