Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm with her unique system for decluttering your home and living a simple, more organized life. With a #1 New York Times best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and now a Netflix series, everyone is talking about the KonMari Method™ that focuses on keeping the items that spark joy and letting go of the items that don’t. The idea is that, by doing this, people feel happier and more at ease in their homes.
It’s an interesting parallel between what we’re trying to teach children with respect to their friendships. And, in its humblest terms, the same principles apply to relationships.
Does this friendship bring me joy?
We encourage children to surround themselves with friendships that feel good. As young as 6 years old, we start teaching children the difference between healthy and unhealthy friendships. What does a great friendship look like? What does it feel like? Using our Friend-o-meter, we want children to really understand the importance of spending the most time with friends in the green zone…friendships that bring them joy.
But what if the friendship doesn’t bring me joy?
Just like a pair of pants that don’t fit right or shoes that give you blisters, sometimes you’ve got to accept they don’t feel good anymore. Marie Kondo recommends thanking the item to show gratitude for the time it served you, then say goodbye.
Within friendships, we want children to understand URSTRONG’s Friendship Fact #4: Friendships change…and that’s okay. Sometimes children will hold on so tightly to a friendship that doesn’t feel good – like continuing to wear that pair of shoes that give you a blister every time. When a friendship is in the unhealthy zone of the Friend-o-meter, we encourage kids to spend less time in that friendship and let it go. In following the KonMari Method™, acknowledge and feel grateful for what the friendship gave you and then say goodbye.
Like going through your home and mindfully creating a space that brings you happiness, do the same in your friendships. Surround yourself with people who spark joy in your heart…because, let’s face it, there’s life-changing magic in tidying up your social circle too.
Written by Dana Kerford
Friendship Expert and Founder, URSTRONG