There’s a saying that people often use when they reflect on their life, relationships and overall persona. Someone somewhere came to the realization that you are the sum the rough sum of the five people that you spend the most time around. This could be family, friends, co-workers…it all depends on your situation.
Since transitioning into minimalism in early 2018, I’ve begun to apply minimalism into my social life as well, the same way I would with material possessions. Minimalism taught me to discard what is unnecessary and does not add value in my life and keep what I consider necessary and valuable. Why don’t I have an alarm clock? It’s unnecessary to me and doesn’t add any value other than screaming at me in the mornings. I can do without that, please and thank you.
I’ve done the same with the relationships and friendships I choose to partake in. This doesn’t mean that I’m the heartless person who cuts everyone out and focuses solely on himself. I’ve simply more intentional about the people who I choose to dedicate my time to.
I don’t go around, socializing and internally asking myself: “Does this person add value to my life? Would this relationship be fulfilling for me? Is my time worth spending around them?” Most of that goes on subconsciously, you know how you get the feeling that you don’t like someone within seconds of meeting them, completely void of judgement. Everyone has it. It’s just a feeling, an instinct you get in your stomach. This is what I’m talking about.
Likewise, you don’t even need to talk to the person on a day to day basis or see them every day to consider the relationship fulfilling. In fact, some of my best friends I see in person once or twice a year in person, although I try and make time to call or Facetime them periodically.
It’s not so much about the amount of time that you spend with someone which determines their value and what you both bring to the relationship, it’s the connection that you two have.
As a dedicated and intentional person, having people actively walk into your life and waste your time contradicts the entire premise of intentionality. That’s the worst thing and thus why I decided to act more intentionally about who I spend my time around and who I choose to keep in contact with.
People change with time. The girl you once had a strong relationship with, may no longer find value in your companionship. Or the guy you used to play sports with just isn’t the same guy anymore. It’s a harsh truth but true, nonetheless. Hell, that’s why people break-up (it’s part of the reason anyways). One half of the partnership changes and the other half either doesn’t want to accept it or both start heading down separate paths.
Just keep that in mind next time someone calls you asking to pick your brain or says, ‘the drink’s are on me, I just want to talk’. Be intentional with your time. Be intentional with who you spend that time with.
There will always be those people in your life that you know you can trust with your life, that will have your back regardless, or are always there for you. You want to keep those people closest. Don’t neglect others simply because you think that they ‘don’t add value to my life.’ They’re human beings to and they deserve the same respect as anyone else.
You just can’t let them soak up all your time.