Do You Have Too Many People In Your Life? Prune Your People Inventory
Posted on September 10, 2011 by Teri-E Belf, One of Thousands of Life Coaches on Noomii.
Learn a 10-step strategy (with a real client example) for pruning your people inventory to regain balance and keep your purpose allies.
Does this sound like your self-talk?
“I don’t have enough time to see my friends.”
“I have trouble letting go.”
" I really want to spend more time with my family."
“I really ought to visit my grandmother, but. . .”
“Will I ever get around to contacting Susy, its been ages, and we were such good friends.”
“I’m tired of giving, giving, giving, being of service to others, what about my own needs?”
Most professionals have these thoughts and the unnecessary guilt that comes with them. If any of these thoughts are familiar, it is time to take a look at your people inventory.
The article explores what the people inventory is, incentives for pruning it, and issues involved with letting go of people gracefully with integrity. It presents a 10-step process and an example.
By pruning your people inventory you will accomplish 2 main objectives.
1. Regain Life Balance and
2. Keep People who Support you living on purpose (your purpose allies)
Why Prune Your People Inventory?Having too many people in your life may tilt your balance scale so you don’t have enough time for yourself. Balance is essential because we only have a finite amount of energy. Once we deplete our energy by giving it away, we collapse. If you are positive and outgoing, you attract people like a human magnet. If you have too many shirts, you might donate or consign them. If you have too much money, you might contribute it or call me. If you have too much paperwork, you could buy another file cabinet or another wastebasket. What can you do with too many people? Donate or sell them or stuff them into a new file cabinet? Do you have a strategy for dealing with too many people in your life?
Maintaining contact with too many people burdens even the best of networkers. Pruning your people can bring freedom from guilt when you need to say no to people who make demands on your time.
One of the main reasons we do not let go of people is that we fear hurting their feelings or, far worse, we fear they will hurt ours. Most people decline several consecutive invitations, do not return phone calls, say they are too busy, or find some “socially acceptable” excuse. Letting go of a friend or acquaintance requires integrity, tact, courage, and clarity. Pruning your people inventory gives you practice in speaking your truth.Sometimes the main reason for pruning our people inventory is to create space for ourselves, not for others. When we have space, we can take quiet time to reflect, gain perspective on our life situation, and nurture our connection with spirit. So if one of your highest values is being a friend to yourself, go through this 10-step life-changing process. I did.
1. Create a master list of all the people in your life.
2. Reflect on the value received from knowing each person.
3. Consider what value and learning is still possible if the relationship continues.
4. Select those people you choose to prune.
5. Clarify why you elect to delete this person from your inventory (what did you give to the relationship, what did you take from it, what are you willing to put in, and what are you currently getting from it).
6. If you choose to stop seeing this person, write a script depicting a face-to-face meeting.
7. Call to schedule private, uninterrupted time.
8. Rehearse your part of the conversation.
9. After the conversation, review what you learned from the experience.
10. Acknowledge yourself and celebrate.
Rita knew John for five years. They did things together eight to ten times a year and often saw each other at professional meetings. She initiated getting together. They shared adventure, exotic dining and dancing. He taught her to use her new computer.
Rita began to notice that she was giving much more than she was getting from the relationship. She felt the burden of being John’s social worker and felt drained after they met. Instead Rita wanted people who gave her energy and pulled her forward. John had told Rita that she was one of the very few positive persons in his life. As long as he had her around, he had no motivation to broaden his base of friendships.
Rita provided the lightness and fun. John was so serious. Rita listened to his problems and challenged his ideas. She loved the adventures they took, that she planned. Once she had felt valued and needed, but currently she was not getting much except a knot in her stomach each time she said yes when John called when she would have rather said no.
Rita wrote her script and delivered it. "John, I have too many people in my life right now. I need to focus and select those people who can keep me moving on the track I have set for myself. I want to let you know directly that I will not be spending time with you in the future. I value our friendship and I have grown from it. I am a much better problem-solver since I have known you. I have learned many new dance steps, and I can finally use my computer. I have valued our friendship. However, I am clear that I want more time for those things that are directly aligned with my future goals. My needs are to socialize within a group that is in harmony with my future. I will treasure the wonderful memories of our time together.”
You have taken a major step in safeguarding your valuable time. Assess that the remaining people in your support network are ones you choose to have. If not, keep pruning.
NOTE: It is very important to ensure that people hear, see, and feel that there is nothing wrong with them. Your communication is intended to enhance self-esteem rather than to diminish it. Completion from your point of view means that you feel good because you have honestly expressed yourself and your needs, and that you have taken care of yourself.
HAPPY PRUNING. You deserve it!