Spring Cleaning Check List: Which Friends to Keep and Which to Sweep Away

Its that time of year again - the time when pre-college me would come home to numerous belongings of mine having disappeared followed by a smile from my mom and a comment about her “spring cleaning”. Traditionally spring cleaning is thought of as menial household chores, and donating old clothes to charity.

However, spring cleaning can be more substantial than that - after all, the whole point is to rid yourself of obstacles so you can begin the season with a fresh start. Spring cleaning is not restricted to inanimate objects, sometimes the biggest obstacle can be the people in your life. While it may seem sad at first, you'd be surprised how much lighter the load on your back is after freeing yourself from things/people who hold you back - even if you were close at one point. Sometimes the closest people in our lives can be the most toxic. To some of us, the mere thought of our best friends being obstacles in our lives is straight up crazy. But others of us begin to notice that people who were once our personal cheerleaders are now the people who tear us down.

Here is a check-list to reassessing whether or not your friendship is healthy or not - and if its not, I’m sorry but its time to sweep that sh*t away. 

1. Are you comfortable being yourself around this specific friend/group of friends? For some of us that could translate to full on laying with your belly out, tub of ice cream resting on it, and releasing the occasional burp without being uncomfortable. For others, it could just be chilling in a pair of sweats and a shirt that totally clash. Either way, it is important to feel comfortable around your closest friends - if you aren’t comfortable around them it isn’t going to work hun.  

2)  Do you find the need to censor the things you say around your friends? Okay yes, this one is tricky as everyone has a different sense of humor - and depending on that certain things are okay to say - and some should straight up be wiped from everyone's vocabulary. But that’s not what I’m talking about - I’m talking about feeling comfortable sharing stories, feelings and experiences with your friends openly - without being scared of what they’ll say or think. In my opinion, the whole point of having friends it to be able to honestly talk to them, and if you find yourself having to pick and choose thoughts to share, just in case one of them thinks it’s silly or unimportant, then the friendship may already be in jeopardy. 

3) Can you count on these friends to be there for you when you're feeling down? It’s understandable if a friend is having a crisis of their own - but if they are merely “busy” when they see you at the lowest of your lows - can you help but question whether or not you're actually friends? I don’t know about you but friends who grab a tub of ice cream and binge watch rom-coms with you when you’re sad, or just go out of their way to talk to you about your issues are the kind of friends I want. 

4) Is everything a competition? Are there times in your friendship where you withhold telling your so-called best friend accomplishments or life details so that they don’t get mad at you, or go out of their way to “top” that achievement. Friendships are about celebrating each others accomplishments together and genuinely wanting the best for your friends. If you find your friends consistently competing with you and maybe even secretly wishing that you don’t get a certain grade/position (all those negative vibes) - then that's a major sign that you are in a toxic friendship. 

5) Are you excited to tell them things and hang out with them? Something major just happened to you and who is the first people you want to tell - your friends? Or a new movie came out and you can't wait to see it with them on the weekend? If you don’t find yourself getting excited about talking to/hanging out with your friends - there may be something wrong. Remember, friends are people we choose to surround ourselves with - you should want to be with them!

This Spring, I encourage you to sit down and sort through your friendships like you do your room. If everything is going great and you know they've got your best interests at heart - kidnap them and keep them locked in a room near you. Okay, I'm totally kidding, but definitely keep them close and treasure their friendship. But if you find yourself feeling let down, uncomfortable, judged, or put down - there is no reason you need to keep them in your lives. While you may have had a good run in the past, it may be time to move on and start fresh this spring,