Relationships: A Core Question

An old friend of mine was talking about her recent “Facebook Purge.” Let me lay down a definition of “Facebook Purge” if you’re not savvy: purging friends from your friends list on Facebook, generally after a wave of frustration associated with social media use. This is a pretty common event as far as I can tell, and I’ve even done this before myself. It was while my friend was explaining how she made her decisions of who to cut and who to keep during her recent purge that she said something that resonated with me deeply:

“I literally looked at people and asked myself, ‘Has this person ever made a positive impact on my life?’ And if the answer was, ‘Yes,’ I kept them.”

This a simple post, short and sweet. It just occurred to me that this is great advice to use for all of the relationships in our lives. That’s a pretty simple standard, right? A person needs to have made at least one positive impact on your life to make the cut—to continue being a part of your life. That’s not much to expect. It’s not about looking for everyday greatness. It’s not about receiving some positive tidal wave of relationshipism on the regular. It’s just expecting those people you’re keeping in your life to have been something good at least once, preferably in the recent past.

Relationships aren’t easy. It’s 2-year old advice to say that it requires both parties to work at it. However, when it comes to shedding negativity in your life, particularly in relationships, what better question to ask yourself than this one? Take that as a sign if you’ve been struggling to figure out if certain relationships still belong in your life. Ask yourself, Has this person ever made a positive impact on my life? If the answer is “No,” it might be time for some tough calls.

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