Take a quick mental inventory of the relationships in your life. Go ahead, I will wait. You might even begin to automatically rank them from people you care most about down to people you care least about. If you did not, go ahead and do this too. This doesn’t have to be perfect, a rough estimate will do.
Okay, now think about the time you spend on these relationships in your life. Where does the majority of your time and energy fall? Obviously, those at the top of your ranking are given the most amount of time and effort because you value them the most.
How often do we actually give the people we love and cherish the most the commitment from us that they deserve? They should be getting the best of us, not just what’s left at the end of the day. You may have noticed that you do not live close to a lot of the people you value highly, so how much time do you spend fostering that connection and staying in touch? I would guess that it is not as much time as you wish you were.
We are constantly trying to please others and “look good”, whether that’s in our friend circle or at work. We jump through hoops to impress people we probably do not even like that much. We want to be liked by others, but at what cost? Sometimes, we bend over backwards just to please the people that do not even rank highly on our lists. We give and give and hope that it “pays off for us in the end.” But does it? How often do we fight as hard and do as much for the people we claim to love the most? This discrepancy only causes the relationships we value the most to suffer. Over worked, over stressed, and just over it when we come home to our loved ones at the end of the day.
Some of you have probably made this realization a long time ago and have already changed your life for the better. Others are probably having a light bulb moment here or at the very least a glow of an idea is beginning to form.
I am not saying that you should suddenly start being mean to these people in your life that take up most of your time but you value the least. However, I am saying that you should take a good, hard look at your relationships and honestly figure out if your energy, effort, and time are going to the right people.
This is not a change that will happen overnight. It will be slow and sometimes painful. This is a decision that you need to make and then do the work to make it happen. It may not even be possible to stop using your time with people low on your ranking but you can change how much effort and energy you are putting into that relationship.
Things that may help you transition:
Keep a relationship-time journal and figure out who you are spending all of your time on. Note if this time allotment is what you want or not with these people.
Make a list of the things you wish you were doing in your relationships. Things like date nights, phone conversations, emails, and letters. Whatever it is you want to be doing in the relationships you care about the most.
Start the change of transitioning your time more towards the things you wish you were doing in your relationships and less towards the relationships you do not want to foster so deeply.
Time to re-prioritize your relationships my friends, but for the better. If you have already started doing this in your life, what things helped you make this change the most? What were some of the hardest parts of the transition?