Home Opinion Bham Voices It May Be Time to Spring Clean Your Relationships

It May Be Time to Spring Clean Your Relationships


With the dawn of spring, we normally look at or can visibly see areas of our lives that need a little dusting off. In actuality, the new season reveals it.

For instance, we would look a little silly wearing heavy coats in the spring. Or sundresses in the winter. So just as we recognize naturally when seasons change, we’d do ourselves a great service by recognizing it in other areas of our lives, too.

I can’t help but think about one recent news story of a young lady in Birmingham whose life was brutally taken at the hands of her so-called “friends.” I am not only disappointed by the vicious crime, but I also empathize with her family and sincerely wish for peace for them as they process this horrendous act. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cause me to analyze my own circle.

We use that term, friend, too quickly and too matter-of-factly these days, when in all honesty, very few deserve it. Here’s a quick questionnaire guide to help you sort through the question of the sincerity of your friendships or relationships.

Is that person providing you with a benefit, or a debilitating dose of distraction or detraction – meaning, in some form, they are taking something away from you? Is reciprocity at the core – meaning you both give and receive something – or is it unilateral in nature, with you giving most often (or only) to another?

Do you constantly feel deprived or empty while relating to this person? Are you consistently defending yourself against insults, threats or sarcastic and snide remarks they make? Do they speak ill of you and treat you harshly around others?

These are all key questions to consider for one important reason.  No one can continue to pour into another without being refilled and refueled.  And, not knowing one’s purpose in your life can have devastating repercussions.

Givers and empaths take heed – you will need to be replenished at some point because takers have no limits. Determining whether to leave or abandon any relationship is a choice you ultimately must make. But I am asking you to take a serious look at what value your relationships provide to you.

You and I do not have an infinite amount of time, energy and resources. And as we become more mature, it is especially important that we use these all the more wisely.

And I’ve found that relationships can be one of the most draining transactions we can engage in, unless others sincerely have our best interest at heart. So please, take some time and think over your relationships and friendships.

Is it really a benefit to you?  And don’t be afraid if the answer is no. Chill out, make the adjustment or put distance in between. As they say, we are “grown grown” now, and we don’t need anyone’s permission to make decisions.

You are your most important investment, and you have the right to protect it at all costs. Again, I urge you, think through your relationships and whether they are sincerely providing any value to you.

And if not, quickly adjust.

Know that I’m cheering for you.

Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson is a life coach, author and speaker. Her column appears each month online and in The Birmingham Times. You can contact Keisa at keisasharpe@yahoo.com and visit http://www.allsheanaturals.com for natural hair and body products.