Ep. 24: Normalizing Healthy Endings Over Painful Ones

Are you struggling to end a relationship in a healthy way? In this episode of the Hustle for Happiness podcast with host Courtney Brooke, discover a practical guide for prioritizing your well-being through compassionate closures. Courtney shares personal stories of trusting instincts to set boundaries and embrace change, then outlines simple steps like communicating needs and allowing emotions to end bonds with care for yourself and others. You’ll walk away feeling validated in your journey and equipped to lovingly close chapters to make room for growth.

As I was preparing for my latest “Hustle for Happiness” episode, the topic of Normalizing Healthy Endings Over Painful Ones really resonated with me. So many of us struggle with knowing when it’s time to let go of a connection and how to do so respectfully. I wanted to provide a safe space for others to feel less alone in navigating these waters.

Diving into my own experiences with endings was vulnerable, but so worthwhile if it helps even one person. I’ll never forget when I ended a long-term friendship that had been draining me for years. Realizing I didn’t fully trust them was eye-opening. While the friendship ran its course smoothly, it showed me how endings don’t have to be dramatic.

I felt depleted from constantly giving emotional support but not receiving much in return. Over time, I noticed repeating negative patterns and started distrusting my friend’s intentions. That’s when I recognized it was time to set boundaries and prioritize my own self-care needs. I trusted my gut feeling that the friendship was no longer serving me well.

That long-term friendship had been feeling draining for a while, but it wasn’t until certain symptoms really surfaced that I realized I needed to set a boundary. I started to dread getting calls and texts from my friend because I knew it would involve venting about the same problems without resolution. Our conversations felt stuck in an unending cycle.

Physically, I noticed I was more anxious and stressed after we hung out. I had trouble sleeping sometimes from replaying our interactions in my head. Emotionally, I didn’t feel like myself when I was around her – I held back from being fully happy or excited about my own life updates.

The distrust built up gradually as well. Little things she said or did left me questioning her intentions. We just didn’t seem aligned on priorities anymore. It felt like she only hit me up when needing support but wasn’t there for me in return.

Seeing those repeating patterns of negativity, physical signs of strain, and loss of trust in the friendship were big clues that I deserved better. That’s when I realized this relationship no longer served me and it was time to set a boundary in a caring way by communicating my needs for space. Prioritizing my well-being meant I had to let go, even when it was difficult.

Let me elaborate more on my experience saying goodbye to my sister and how it relates to healthy endings, especially with family:

One of the hardest goodbyes was when my sister left after I went to college (she left and I haven’t seen her since I was 19). Though sad, focusing on my needs through school kept me afloat. It wasn’t until recording this episode that I truly felt at peace with that transition and how much it set me up for growth.

Ending a family relationship can feel even harder due to the emotional ties and history involved. When my sister left home after I went to college, it was heartbreaking to lose someone so close. However, I also recognized it as an opportunity for both of our growth.

While sad, focusing on continuing my education allowed me to prioritize my needs and personal development during that transition period. Honoring myself through that healthy ending set me up for future success. It showed that even family bonds don’t have to last forever to have value or meaning.

Cutting ties with family can be especially stigmatized in our culture. But learning that endings don’t define your worth or love for someone was so empowering. I came to see it as an act of self-care rather than a failure or betrayal. My sister and I both deserved the space to pursue our own paths.

This experience taught me the importance of trusting my gut when a relationship no longer serves my well-being and goals – even if it’s family. With time and distance, I found peace with that closure and how far it has taken me. Healthy endings, whether with friends or kin, pave the way for new opportunities if approached with care, clarity and compassion.

My hope is listeners walk away feeling validated in their journey through relationship conclusions. If just one person feels empowered to set caring boundaries and embrace change, it makes opening up so worth it. We all deserve to feel good through life’s transitions.

Going forward, I’m committed to bringing more vulnerable discussions that remove stigma around important topics. Our shared experiences can lift each other up when faced with life’s challenges. Thank you for being part of this healing community – I feel honored to be on this empowering path with you all.

Here are some signs when it may be time to let go of a relationship:

– Constant feelings of anxiety, dread or depression surrounding the relationship. If interactions consistently leave you feeling drained or on-edge, it’s not a healthy dynamic.

– Repeating negative patterns over time with no resolution or improvement. Toxic behaviors like blaming, criticism or control tend to resurface without real accountability or change.

– Lack of trust or honesty. Feeling like you can’t be your full self or that the other person has ulterior motives are red flags.

– One-sided dynamic where you give more emotionally or financially without reciprocity. True partnerships are balanced and supportive for all.

– Feeling like you lose your sense of identity when around the other person. Healthy relationships empower your authentic self.

– Physical symptoms like lack of sleep, appetite changes or digestive issues may show it’s taking a toll on your well-being.

– Constantly making excuses for hurtful behaviors instead of having your needs met and feelings validated.

– Gut instincts telling you something is off even if you can’t explain it. Our intuition is there to protect us.

Paying attention to subtle signs can help honor yourself by removing yourself from relationships that deplete rather than uplift you over time.

I hope sharing some of my personal experiences with relationship endings has helped normalize the process a bit. While change can be hard, endings don’t define who we are or the meaning of past connections. In fact, they can open doors to new possibilities when approached with care, understanding and compassion.

The signs discussed and communication tips provided are meant to support anyone navigating this journey. By reframing endings as natural parts of life’s flow, my wish is that you feel empowered to trust yourself through any transitions. We all deserve to feel at peace through changes by caring for our own well-being first.

May this discussion provide comfort and tools to honor wherever your path may lead. Growth happens between hellos and goodbyes when we release what’s not serving the next chapter with encouragement, empathy and grace. Wishing you all the very best as you continue your amazing journeys of self-discovery!
If you’d like to listen to the full podcast episode discussed in this blog, you can find the “Hustle for Happiness” podcast on all major platforms by searching “Hustle for Happiness” or by visiting heycourtneybrooke.com. This blog post reflects on Episode 24: Normalizing Healthy Endings Over Painful Ones.