Cleaning Out the Friend Closet, or "Friend Shui"

Have any of you ever had the experience of hanging out with a friend and then feeling so totally and completely drained afterwards? Or maybe you walk away from that hang out thinking, “Ohmigosh, that person is such a negative Nancy?” Or even, while you are with that person or that group of friends you feel your whole body tense up and you wish you could get the heck away?

The answer is most likely, “YES!”

Well, what do you do with friends like that? 

I say: Clean out the friend closet! 

The people we surround ourselves with are truly a reflection of who we are, and they also have a really big impact on our health and well-being. If we are constantly surrounded by people who are negative, draining, and make us feel all tense inside, how do you think we feel? Yep, negative, drained, and tense. Not fun feelings, right?

It’s actually quite funny that as I was percolating on writing this article, I attended a training in which the trainer spoke about “friend shui,” you know, like feng shui. I was already planning on writing this article, so the idea of “friend shui” was another perfect analogy for cleaning out the friend closet. 

Think about it, feng shui is all about clearing energy, making sure everything flows properly, or as Wikipedia says: “a system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment.” Cleaning out the closet is about creating space, energy, and getting rid of things that no longer serve our purpose or are no longer in with the times (I mean, who really needs to hold on to that prom dress from the 80s, right?). 

Sure, sometimes when we clear out our wardrobe there are pieces that we just don’t want to let go of. For whatever reason we just want to hold on. The same can happen in friendships—sometimes we know there are friendships that no longer make us feel connected and alive, but for whatever reason, we have a hard time letting go. 

Oh, and let me not forget to mention the guilt that sometimes arises at the thought of letting one of our friends go. We start to think, “But, they were such a good friend,” or “We had such fun times together,” or “Ohmigosh, they know that one HUGE secret about me…” 

The reality is, it is difficult to break off any relationship, especially relationships with friends. However, what’s worse is holding on to a relationship that just isn’t working anymore. 

If you are in a friendship (or any other relationship) that just isn’t working for you anymore, I hereby give you permission to take the steps necessary to take care of your own self and your own well-being. It is important to surround yourself with loving, caring, kind, considerate people who nurture you and feed your soul. If your relationships don’t include those things, it’s most likely time to let them go so that you can make space for the relationships that you really want to enter into your life. 

If you are considering engaging in some “friend shui” or cleaning our your friend closet, here are some things to think about:

  • How do you feel when you are around your friends? Are there people in your life whose energy just isn’t matching with your energy anymore? Are there people who you have thought about letting go of but just feel sad or guilty about doing so?
  • What would you like to have from a friendship (or any other relationship) instead? What do you need in order to feel like your soul is being nourished?
  • Does your friend or friend group provide you what you are looking for in the previous question? 
  • How do you feel about letting this friendship go? What thoughts or feelings come up for you? If you are holding on, what is it that you are holding on to? What are you holding on for?
  • What would your life look like if you were to let that friendship go?


Spend some time to really think about these questions before making any decisions. It’s really about assessing what does and does not work for you and what you deserve and are willing to accept. If you get to a point where you are ready to take action, be sure to do it lovingly. 

Regardless of what you decide, know that you are worth it and that you are deserving of being surrounded by people who nurture and feed your soul, not drain it. 

If you need help making change in any of your relationships, contact us today for your free initial consultation.