Sometimes, being a friend to another can be a very difficult and one-sided relationship. We find ourselves nearly always in the position of being a giver while our friend keeps on taking and taking until we have little left to give.
As a follower of Christ, it is in my very nature to help other people when I can. Often, that means a whole lot of personal sacrifices for the benefit of others. Nevertheless, when it comes to true friendship, I have set a much higher standard, and that standard includes fair reciprocality in that give and take tug-a-war humans refer to as friendship.
My mom, a former social worker and foster care parent, who has witnessed just about everything good and evil about the human race, once said to me,
Friends that suck all the emotional energy out of you are not really friends – they are emotional vampires.
That statement startled me at first, yet the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there were some friends, and even some extended family members that just had to go. The New Year was going to be much more than broken resolutions, it was going to be a time for personal housekeeping. Those friendships and/or relationships that were sucking the very life out of me were going to be swept away.
My standard for housekeeping is really quite simple. Those friendships that have added little to my emotional and spiritual well-being will be slowly cut off. Those people (the emotional vampires) who are sucking the lifeblood out of me will be cut off immediately.
The natural place to start is that black hole affectionately referred to as FaceBook. Unlike many others, I have kept my FaceBook friendships to a rather small and manageable number – immediate and extended family members, a few close friends, and the rest, categorized as associates, i.e., primarily cycling and xc ski associates. By comparison, my contact list dwarfs the number of my Facebook friends by several orders of magnitude. Last year alone, I neatly pruned away about 60 FaceBook friends from various walks of life. Recently, I unfriended a few extended family members. This was not an easy thing to do, but it was absolutely necessary.
I am a relatively patient person, but I instinctively know that, in time, I will unfollow certain individuals even on WordPress.
I consider my common interest relationships with people here to be a valuable part of my life.
Nevertheless, my personal moral and ethical standards, insufficient as they might be to others more noble, will eventually lead me to filter out both content and people on WordPress.
If you watch and/or read a lot of news, you realize that all the horrific events that are blatantly presented to us can literally affect our psyche and emotional well being. I would like to suggest that the content on social media sites can be equally destructive and erosive in nature. Another reason to do a housecleaning in our ever present and often intrusive electronic lives.