Emotional Body Bags (EBB’s): When is it time to Castaway old friends?



Emotional Body Bags (EBB’s):

When is it time to castaway old friends?


by

L.T. Force, Ph.D.

Gerontologist



Life is a journey and on this “Life-Road” - as with any journey… things change….the scenery changes….the atmosphere changes….the sounds and lighting change. It would be artificial to assume that across time - all things would remain the same. In fact, the only guarantee in life - is that everything passes….everything changes.


In this new technological world we live in - we constantly hear the term: “social media platforms”. Across this country, as in many other high-tech countries, individuals have become consumed and absorbed by the virtual world. On average, it appears that Americans spend approximately 143 minutes (over 2 hours) per day on social media platforms. Some individuals take pride in the vast number of: “connections” they have developed on their social media platforms. However, let’s not confuse the number of “connections” one has on a social media platform - with that of the number of friends people have in their life.


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According to Sarah Fielding a MindBodyGreen (MBG) Contributor in 2019, the question she addressed was: “How many best friends is it normal to have?” Fielding indicated:


“Globally, people reported an average of four best friends, while those from the United States have a little less at an average of three best friends. As for when this best friend was found, the average age across the world was 21, after high school and their early college years.”


In addition, as for regular friends, globally the average number of people was about seven, and when it came to acquaintances, the average number globally shot up to 20. People like "Instagram friends" may fall under the acquaintances bracket.


Those are interesting statistics - and obviously the number of close friends one has - in no way compares or reflects the number of “connections” one has on the platforms of social media - nor should they.


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The definition of friend:


Essential Meaning of friend


1: a person who you like and enjoy being with

2: a person who helps or supports someone or something (such as a cause or charity)

3. are you a friend or foe (do you support me or oppose me)

(Merriiam-Webster Dictionary)


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Friends are closer than acquaintances or “connections”. Friends are more.emotionally embedded in each other’s lives. Friends are more vulnerable and open with each other. The question is what happens when things change - in this relationship - as does everything change. The answer is the universal answer - the need for self-preservation - and you do this by the setting of boundaries and establishing parameters. You know when people in your life are dependable and transparent - and you also know when they are not. “Interpersonal Transparency” is clear-blue - its always cleaner, less murky….and “none transparency” and “gamesmanship” - requires a vacuuming….a vacuuming from your life….similar to the way you would clean a pond of algae….it requires action.


It’s hard to initiate a change in the dynamics of a personal relationship. I see clients struggle with this issue - setting boundaries - I struggle with this issue myself - it’s part of….human interactions - the scenery found on the “Life-Journey”. But the main theme is - although this can be difficult - it’s required, it’s necessary, to maintain your safety….your security….your emotional equilibrium. There’s no room for resentment on the inside….when you are looking for gratitude on the outside and vice versa.


Personally, I love the power of imagery and symbolism. The symbol for me - derived from the picture above of the colander - is that true friends pass through the perforations and become and remain close to you - and those individuals that don’t pass through the perforations and instead bottle up your life with emotional discord - you need to separate from those relationships. My recommendation, the negative energy, emotional sludge and complicated thoughts these individuals create in your life - place that negative energy, emotional sludge and those complicated thoughts in an “Emotional Body Bag (EBB)“ and remove them from your life. One guarantee - on all levels - your own energy will flow easier - the focus on what really matters in your own life will increase exponentially - you will find a sense of freedom of spirit and you will feel better - as you continue on your: “Life-Journey”.


So, the question: “When is it time to castaway old friends?” You know when it’s time. In fact, it’s an easy answer - and you already know what it is.