Subtraction | M.A.T.H. (Making Adjustments Towards Happiness)
Subtract the people & things in your life who bring drama and negative energy.
In math, subtraction means taking a quantity away from something under specific rules to obtain the difference. In life, subtraction means taking away people and things from your life that have hindered your growth.
Everyone can benefit from a bit of subtraction. Whether it's a bad habit or a bad personal relationship, we could be tolerating something in our lives that has stunted our personal progress and not even have known it. Negative energy is contagious and we have to be actively doing everything we can to combat it. This blog will help you understand why subtraction is important and who you should be subtracting from your life.
The process of subtraction can be scary because depending where you start, you may not have that many people to subtract in from your life. Inversely, you may have started with a large number of people in your life and as you're reading this you know exactly who needs to be subtracted. For me, I could count the number of friends on one hand and the idea of eliminating any of them would mean I had moved into negative numbers. But, in order to change your life and move into a more productive and advanced chapter, you must learn the process of subtraction. This is the next level of thinking that most of us avoid like the plague.
Who to subtract
Read through these statements and if they sound like people or situations in your life, analyze the value added and make the decision that it may be time to subtract.
1. A person with an overall negative energy. When you spend time with this person, you often still feel alone. They have abusive behaviors that perpetuate throughout the relationship. This may be in the form of disrespect or isolation from other friends or family. They may be attempting to control every aspect of your life with little room for mistakes. In general, they are extremely critical of yours and others' mistakes, with no ability to reflect on their own shortcomings. When you argue or disagree with them how do they leave you feeling BEFORE they apologize? For many, this can be hard to identify, not because these things don't sound familiar, but because the person you have in mind has so many other great qualities too, that often in your mind outweigh the occasional selfish act or rude word and demeaning.
However, negative energy continues to grow. Leaving a person angry, bitter, depressed or even in physical pain. The longer you hold on to someone who is deeply connected to their negative energy, the more likely you are to become connected to negative energy as well.
2. A person who doesn't provide what you need from the relationship. Whether it’s a physical, emotional, (and if its your partner) or sexual need that isn't being met, it's time to evaluate. A clear absence of something you need, like having fun together, communicating or feeling supported, could mean it's time to subtract.
3. They have developed a different group of friends that you don't like. Having a new set of friends is never a bad thing, but if a person in your life begins to surround themself with people who do not align with your ideology and/or make you feel uncomfortable. Subtract.
4. They do not invite you anywhere. You’re usually not invited to outings with this person. If this person considers you to be valuable in their life, they will find ways to make you a part of it. If your partner/friend often attends events but you’re not welcome or informed about the outings, subtract!
5. They are a bald-faced liar. You don't have to know everything and people are entitled to their privacy. However if this person is being secretive about everyday activities or not sharing information about people, places and things they do, there may be a larger problem. Remember, emotional affairs are real and still count as cheating in a committed relationship. True relationship grow in trust.
6. A person who make it impossible to openly and honestly communicate. There is a time and place for everything, especially open and honest communication. When communication breaks-down, abnormality sets-in. Sometimes people or couples "store up" issues and put them in a "box", never to opened again. One box my be fine but when you have an attic full of unopened boxes that's a problem. This cultivates distrust and can add to the strain of a relationship, the longer the "box" remains unopened or addressed. The longer you wait to confront unresolved issues the more difficult it becomes to find positive dialogue or solutions because no one will remember "what's in the box". Simple things like; I’ll call you back, let's get together and there are days between return calls could mean it's time to subtract. If you are the person who usually initiates contact, inquire why, and re-evaluate the nature of the relationship.
7. If this person has outgrown the relationship it's okay to subtract. Maybe you changed, maybe they changed, likely it was a little of both. If you see the difference in values begin to shift in vastly different direction check you math. You no longer like to do the things together that you once did and are not connecting around new paths. The stories that you remember about that person feel far away. Growing apart if fine, you just need to know that there's no use in holding on to something that doesn't want to be held.
8. They have gotten emotional or physical abusive. Well adjusted adults use their words, not weapons. An abusive partner or person whether it is emotional or physical abuse is the best reason to bring the relationship to an abrupt end. Friend, family or partner violence is NEVER the answer to for someone you love.
When is it Time to Subtract?
Now that you know who to get rid of, how do you know if it's really time to subtract them from your life for permanently? Simply put, determine how that person leaves you feeling after your social exchange.
If your energy is depleted or they have taken more than they have added….Subtract. The only way you can move on to multiplication is to master subtraction.
Subtraction is easy when the person is clearly a negative influence in our life, but there are some people in our life that are neither positive or negative. They leave you feeling numb. They do not inspire nor do they depress. They are simply taking up space in our life which is part of a more complicated process. To keep it simple, for now, focus on the people and things in your life that seem to be taking away from your self-worth and overall happiness. More complicated relationships can be evaluated at a later day using division.