“Rejection is not always about someone wanting out of your life, but rather about God wanting them out of your future.” Pastor Kim Jones Pothier (via @RealTalkKim on Exit Strategies, Sat March 22, 2014)
This past Saturday Xcel Christian Radio hosted a special 90 Minute coaching session on how to EXIT out of our relationships properly. The topic was a very HOT one to say the least as many people get on social media routinely and vent about break-ups, haters, toxic relationships, etc. The guests for the show were amazing we had Pastors, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Mentors/Coaches to young girls/teens who chimed in to help us to HEAL and better understand what happens when we get LEFT behind and when we LEAVE people behind the WRONG WAY.
I am not going to do this RECAP Justice but let me say this: Tune in Tonight 9PMET for the REPLAY of the program broadcast via http://www.xcelradio.com (hashtag: #ExitStrategies) you can follow by hashtag on instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can run a search and read it in Storify as well. We had over 40,000 people listening worldwide. Our all-star guests included renowned psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor who gave us some great guidance on how to heal after a bad break up, when to stay in the relationship and fight, and how to do a better job at the OUTSET of a new relationship of managing expectations, paying attention and responding to Red Flags.
I want to use some information provided in his post by PHD and clinical therapist Sr. Sabrina Jackson to frame the context of our discussion. I will write an opinion article about the subject in a week or so in one of my national columns. But here is the crux of what we discussed is there a right and wrong way to leave people, and exit from their lives. I think the general consensus was YES there is. But it also depends. As my co-host Napolian Barnes said, “We need to learn how to enter relationships better so that when we exit (if we must) we can do so better.” I agree. He added, “When I think of an “exit” I think of an emergency. Sometimes I have to run out, leave, because I am in danger. I can’t explain to the person why I have to exit. However, if there is no danger, and as a person of faith I am accountable for what I say and do to people and how I leave them.” I agree again.
The show started off with a bang with Pastors Jacquie Hood Martin, ordained Reverend, Author, Speaker & certified John Maxwell instructor and Sr. Pastor Terrell Fletcher of City of Hope in San Diego helping set a spiritual framework for why it matters how we ENTER relationships before we can get to the EXIT. Pastor Fletcher had a powerful line, ‘Unrighteous entrances almost always lead to contentious exist.’ And the discussion was off. Rev. Martin got into helping us focus on what matters about people when we allow them entrée into our lives. Not their looks, car, etc. But how they live, treat others, what they speak, how they entreat, offer compassion, and love. She said, “Give people enough time and they will always TELL you who they are.” I could not agree more. People always TELL you before they SHOW you. I wrote that on this blog a few weeks ago.
Here is the framework provided by Dr. Sabrina Jackson:
If you are considering EXITING a relationship or friendship use these guide posts:
- Routinely examine your circle of friends, if some no longer fit the circle begin to change the contact. Slowly back away. Shift. Or as Rev. Jacquie Hood Martin said, “There is a drifting process” that occurs when people are going to leave us or we them.
- If the person has hurt you. Forgive and Do Not seek revenge. Decide if you will confront them and address it or not.
- Seek God for guidance on changing the relationship or exiting from it—Christ is compassionate and we should follow His example. We can’t beat up on people or make them do what we want them to do. Likewise, people can’t correct if we do not tell them what is wrong.
- Determine if the person is open to feedback, if so share the challenges or your hurts as a way to assist them in other relationships. (EX: I have been told that I spend too much time on my cell phone and that my friend felt ignored). Although, it did not feel good, I had to look at my behavior and make some changes.
- As Christians, be happy for the person for future successes even if the friendship has changed. Remain cordial and keep lines of communication open when appropriate. The key word is if appropriate if you are in emotional or physical danger it is not appropriate to stay in contact.
For those of YOU who have been LEFT by someone with no explanation (and it will hurt) take these steps to HEAL:
- Do Not take their exiting personally. There can be several reasons why the relationship is ending:
a.) The relationship just ran it’s course
b.) Where God is taking you, new people are necessary and He is creating room/space
c.) There has been growth and they just outgrew you. It’s okay.
- Do Not spend a whole lot of time and energy trying to force a relationship or wondering why. If a person desires to leave…Let them go!!
- Accept the fact that it is over, it will hurt, and you must go through the grieving process for the loss. But acceptance is key to healing.
- Do not spend time speaking ill of the person to others or on social media rants. If you do this, you must reap for your behavior. God has told us not to seek revenge as vengeance is His!! Let Him deal with them for mishandling your heart.
- Know that you must forgive and love!! If you have done something to hurt the other person, apologize. You can only draw others to you by showing loving-kindness. It is a mandate to love even those who have hurt us.
- Be Coachable- Be open to feedback without blaming, making excuses, or taking it personally. Do not just hear make sure you listen.
If any of this seems familiar, please go online, 9PMET/8CST get your wine, your tea, grab a few friends, some family members and get some excellent FREE advice for how to mend your life from a broken heart. Or how to better exit someone’s life when you have to leave them behind.
Have a great week!