I got angry this week. A person who had been a friend of mine, and then became an employee of mine, quit without notice and did so in a way that severed our friendship. While she said in her resignation e-mail that she didn’t want hard feelings, she turned quitting into a personal issue and made several comments that attacked me personally, ensuring that there would be no chance for any further relationship.
I’m still dealing with my thoughts and feeling around the situation, but I’m generally feeling good about it. In fact, one feeling stands out to me: relief.
I was trying to gracefully back out of the friendship I had started with this person because I had come to the realization that she was an energy vampire. Being with her inevitably left me feeling drained. Conversations had devolved into one-sided sessions of streaming complaints coming from her. The negativity went on and on and on. Team members approached me about her attitude and how her extensive complaints about her home life were inappropriate in the work place and her behaviour was making work an unpleasant place to be. Not cool.
I was severely limiting the amount of time we spent communicating outside of the office. Gone were the days where we went to yoga classes together. She and her family were no longer invited to my home for get togethers. I was shutting down the friendship because it wasn’t working for me.
I wasn’t really feeling good about that, despite several conversations with my life coach about letting this friend go for my well-being. I had the idea that you should stand by your friends, no matter what. I can see, though, that this thought isn’t serving me well here. When your “friends” are bringing you down, making your relationship all about their issues, and don’t listen to or value what you have to say, well…it’s time to disentangle yourself from the relationship and make room for people who are good for – and to – you. And, really, if all someone is doing is making you a dumping ground for their problems, without caring about your feelings and without ever listening to what you have to say, then is that person really a friend?
Shaking it Off
I find myself in a place where I haven’t quite been able to let it go. My anger has mostly subsided, but my sense of resentment lingers. Really, the only person this feeling is hurting is me, and I’ve had enough of that.
I’ve got a few ideas on how to shake off this incident once and for all.
1. Write a letter.
Part of my frustration with the whole incident is that I didn’t really get to share my thoughts. She vented in her e-mails, dumped out her feelings, and I took the high road and didn’t stoop to her level.
It was the right thing to do, but sometimes, don’t you just want to rub someone’s face in it? Make them listen to your point of view? Vent your own frustrations? It may not be very “high road,” but it is how I feel.
I decided that the best thing to do would be to take pen to paper and get it all out. Every counterpoint, every objection to the accusations she made, every nasty thought.
And then burn it. Release.
2. Really feel the feelings.
When I was first dealing with this situation, I moved really quickly to thinking my way through it and feeling better about it. I cultivated appreciation for the situation and for the person who was creating drama in my world. I was able to spin my thoughts to help dissipate my anger, but I didn’t take the time to really experience being mad.
Sometimes, you need to sit down and just roll around in the muck of your feelings. Feel the anger burn, feel the resentment eating away, feel the guilt and shame that the accusations bring up. Don’t try to avoid them. Just feel them. See if you can feel even worse. Know you can survive them.
And then you can let them go.
3. Practice yoga and meditate.
I’ve been practicing yoga quite regularly since December, and started meditating over the past month and a half. I consider them part of my self-care, and yet, this past week, I haven’t been taking care of myself as much. I suspect that it relates to the dip in my mental well-being that has arisen as a result of dealing with ending this relationship.
Now, it’s time to really show myself how much I care. Stuff happens, for sure, but it’s important to treat myself with kindness, and yoga and meditation are key.
4. Accept that it takes time.
Sometimes, it takes time to fully process your emotions. That’s not a bad thing. It simply…is. And that’s okay. Fighting against what you’re feeling and thinking isn’t going to get you to that place of letting go any faster. Recognize your feelings without judgement. One day, you will be able to fully let go.
5. Practice gratitude.
If you can see the good in an uncomfortable situation, you’re one step closer to feeling good about it. Take a few moments to write down what you appreciate about the situation you’ve found yourself in and, if you want to be a superstar, what you appreciate about the person who triggered your emotions. What’s there to appreciate in a kinda crappy situation? You’ve probably learned about yourself, about the other person involved, and about what changes you can make in your life to experience more happiness. It may be a stretch at first, but soon, it’ll get easier. It’s a practice.
What do you do to let go of things?