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When It’s Time To End a Relationship

Ending a relationship is often one of the most emotionally challenging experiences we have as human beings.

Today I'm specifically thinking about business relationships, as I have a couple that no longer serve me as well as they used to, and that's what is dominating my thoughts.

But, I believe my list can be used in the context of personal relationships as well.

At the end of the day, we're all just people constantly bumping into each other on this long journey called life. We're not going to all get along, and we're not going to all be useful to one another, so when you find that's the case the best thing to do is to sever ties and move on.

It's difficult, but often necessary.

    1. Just because a relationship is working today does not mean it will work tomorrow.

    Times change, circumstances change, and while people often do not change, they certainly can. A relationship that works perfectly well today may not be a good match in the future, so it's alright to acknowledge this fact and end the relationship on good terms.

    2. Relationships are rarely 50/50, give and take, but they should also rarely be 90/10.

    Beware if someone is constantly taking from you and rarely giving in return. People can fall on hard times, and we should be available to help to the extent we can, but otherwise, if someone is drawing from your well and never contributing then it is time to reconsider the relationship.

    3. If someone does not follow through once on a commitment, that is a red flag.

    If someone does not follow through on a commitment a second time, the person is unreliable.

    4. Trust is the foundation of every relationship.

    And if broken, trust is the hardest thing in the world to repair. Possible, but unlikely.

    5. Dishonesty is grounds for dismissal.

    I'm not talking about small white lies to protect an ego. I'm talking about lies that intentionally benefit one party and harm the other. If this happens, the relationship needs to immediately end.

    6. You should never feel like you are a commodity.

    While relationships by nature revolve around the value that two parties provide to one another, that does not mean we should treat each other as objects that give us what we want, when we want it. We're not machines.

    7. Do what you say you're going to do. Always.

    If not, then you are breaking trust.

    8. Communication is the salve for most wounds.

    This goes back to trust and honesty. For all of our fancy communication tools and opportunities to discourse with one another, we still often misunderstand the intent of others. Clear, consistent, honest communication can resolve almost any problem.

    9. Always treat people with grace.

    Everyone is fighting a battle. Be kind and understanding, for most often the fight exists unseen to the rest of the world.

    10. When it's time to end it, end it.

    Be courteous, be kind, tie up loose ends, and do not look back.

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