Having the right relationships will help you to soar in life; they’re like the wind beneath your wings. But the wrong relationships will drag you down; they’re like a ball and chain around your feet. To know which relationships are good for you and which are not, here are three guidelines:
(1) When a relationship is not working, acknowledge it. Sometimes you must cut your losses. The old saying goes, ‘When you’re in a hole, stop digging!’ Accept the fact that sometimes your efforts are not enough and that you can’t help everyone. Releasing someone doesn’t mean they will never get better; it just means that God is more qualified to help them than you are.
(2) There is a difference between helping someone and carrying them. This is particularly so when you’re dealing with a person who always turns to you for help and tries to make you feel guilty when you’re ‘not there’ for them. Don’t try to be someone’s God. Your constant help may actually be a hindrance—you have become a crutch and an enabler. Step back and let them learn to walk on their own.
(3) Don’t allow your fear of criticism to restrain your common sense. Here is a fact of life that you must learn to live with: not everyone will be pleased with you! The truth can hurt and often alienate, but it’s still the truth. There are times when you must ‘tell it like it is’ and accept the consequences and disapproval. The only way to avoid criticism is to always say what everyone desires to hear, which is equal to living a lie in a relationship.