Sometimes You Need To 'Destash' Your Friends, Like You Do Your Shoes

by Amy Sward
Originally Published: 
Julia Meslener for Scary Mommy and Underwood Archives/ luanateutzi/Getty

My best friend recently turned me on to the world of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. I was quickly hooked and so is just about everyone else it seems because there are online groups dedicated to buying, selling, and trading these specific shoes, and these shoes only. I am now a part of these groups and find myself perusing them daily — sometimes more.

A common theme of these pages are people “destashing” shoes from their collection. It took me a while to realize this was indeed a thing. These women were selling off some of their shoes for various reasons — to bring in some needed money, letting go of some old favorites, or simply just to make room for new shoes. It got me thinking… shouldn’t we be doing that in our lives, as well?

Destashing our lives — it sounds intense. Getting rid of older things. But, in reality, it’s necessary. I find as I get older, my needs shift. I no longer need a massive group of friends to go out with and who I see and talk to all the time. Instead I need a few friends who don’t get mad when I go MIA for a bit because life is busy or if I forget to return a text because my mind is going a million directions and I can’t remember a simple task. It doesn’t mean I didn’t love those friends; they will always hold a special place in my life, but it’s time to let go.

Then there are the harder destashing decisions — letting go of people and things simply to create more room in your life. More room to grow, more room to experience, and more room to just be you. These may be friends who you never thought you’d be without; they often hold some of the deepest secrets of your life. But they’ve become a distraction. Unsupportive. Toxic. As much as you want to keep them around, you can’t. And you shouldn’t.

The words you hear on these destashing posts are “I no longer grab for them,” “these are not what I thought they were,” and “these just don’t fit anymore.” I once had a friend who I met through a moms group and we quickly became very close. Talking every day, going trips, having playdates. She and I were suddenly intertwined, and I started trusting her through a very difficult time in my life. But I learned the hard way she was not who she seemed. She wasn’t “what I thought she was.”

Think about other hard times in your life. Who do you reach out to? Who do you call or text? Who do you cry to? It may not be the same person it was 5 years ago, or even 1 year ago. “I no longer reach for them.” Perhaps it’s time to let them go. They no longer fulfill basic needs in your life. Time to reach elsewhere.

And what about those friends who were part of your life at a particular time? They were good for a chapter but no longer reflect who you are today — the person you’ve transformed into over the years. There was a friend who I had forever, but when I got married and had kids, she just wasn’t as supportive as she once was. And then when I decided to become a stay-at-home mom, she was really unhappy with my decision and made it known. I tried to hang on, but over time I found that she “just didn’t fit anymore.” We are still passive friends today, and that’s fine. It’s just our season of friendship.

I know it sounds cruel — getting rid of friends. But, you don’t have to get rid of everyone. People just change and not always at the same rate. You might need to rid yourself of some friends forever — they may be just too toxic or unsupportive. Others I find just shift roles. They end up shifting from filling one part of your life to fulfilling another. Some friends may wean off for a while but then come right back into your life full force just when you need them. It’s an ever-evolving process. It’s painful at times, but necessary. So next time you go to grab for your favorite pair of shoes, think abut how your friends fit into your life. The answers may surprise you, but they are guaranteed to better you.

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