(Reposted from December 27, 2012)
Today's blog post is about clutter busting relationships: friendships,
romantic relationships, business relationships, and family.
A healthy relationship is one of the best experiences. It feels
wonderful to be vulnerable with another person, and feel safe and
uplifted. Healthy relationships are some of the real gems in our lives.
On the other end of the stick, there are relationships that are caustic
to your soul. You're connected to a person, but you suffer in the
connection. It's not that the person is bad, it's just that the
combination of who you are and who they are is discordant.
It helps to take an honest look at the relationships in your life to test their health.
1) Think of a relationship in your life right now that's nurturing and supportive.
How does it feel when you're with this person? Do you feel closeness,
however you define that? What does it feel like in your body when you
know you're going to see them? A supportive relationship typically makes
us feel excited, positive, joyful, calm, and loved. This is your
2) Think of any other relationship in your life right now. How
does your body feel when you think of this relationship? Think of the
last time you spent together. Was is pleasant? Was it uncomfortable?
Were you happy? Bored? Irritated? Belittled? Again, you're not looking
at any traits about the person, you're looking to see how knowing them
affects you; how it feels when you're connected to them.
3) No relationship is perfect. They're all mixed bags. You may
really care for someone and feel very good in their presence, but on
some days, maybe one of you feels "off" and it's hard to connect. Or
maybe you feel scared about being open and vulnerable around that
person. What I'm getting at, however, is how you feel on a deep level
about this relationship, as a whole. If the answer is "pretty good,"
then this relationship supports you, and you're a lucky person. If the
answer is "not good," then go to step 4.
4) Clutter bust relationships that don't support you. On some
level you feel like you need this person in your life and you may feel
very attached to them. But if being connected with them means you suffer
in some kind of way, physically or emotionally, then the relationship
is clutter for you. Notice that I don't say the person is clutter --
it's the particular relationship you have with this person that doesn't
work. In fact, you could tell the person that you want to clutter bust
the relationship and build a new relationship that works for you, and if
that person is open to it, you have it made...just let yourself check
the new relationship to make sure it's really changed. In some cases you
just might want to clutter bust the relationship and not offer a new
If you're worried about the harshness, remember that you don't have to
say what you want harshly. You can explain how it's you responding right
now to this person, and not blame them. If you want to go deeper into
clutter busting relationships, I recommend you read my second book, Clutter Busting Your Life.
Please write and tell me your experiences clutter busting people; it helps inspire others when you share.