Unfriend. Block! – Are people that disposable?

In Australia, it is cheaper to buy a new personal printer these days than have it repaired.

As a designer I am horrified by the amount of equipment and furniture I see organisations throw in the dumpster when their offices are demolished ready for a refurb.

As ambassador to the Africa Sunrise Foundation, I know firsthand that schools in Ghana have some pretty crappy desks that their students sit at each day – these are the desks that SHOULD be thrown out!

We live in a disposable world.

We want the instant fix; the next dopamine pumping feel good rush, and by and large, we are easily bored.

Social Media, traditional Media, and even online dating, where there is always another person waiting in the wings each time you no longer feel the vibe, contribute to us believing that things and people are disposable.

People disposable? 

Yes! – Unfriend. 


It is well documented that men and women will move towards pleasure and away from pain, but that’s a short term fix. When we run away from a situation, ignore our partner’s frustrations, don’t respond to emails and texts in the hope that the messages will eventually stop, we are giving in to the very basic human need to protect ourselves from risk, harm and hurt, and feeling uncomfortable.

Every single time we operate from our discomfort, we are eating away a small piece of the person inside of us that wants to be seen and heard.

The majority of my clients are successful men and women in their 40’s and 50’s who have ‘done all the right things’ – finished school, went to Uni., got the great job, worked themselves up to the corner office, married, had some kids and look forward to their overseas forays, where they feel they have a chance to be true to themselves for a few weeks of the year. It is common for me to hear how they started out all full of hope for the future they were creating. However, compromising, not saying what needs to be said and putting aside their own values to protect themselves from the pain of being different, or “not a team player” has slowly but surely moulded them in to situations that are now so freaking uncomfortable that they just want to get out altogether – out of their job, their relationships – to create the space to find themselves.


What to do when our first thoughts are to ignore rather than ‘deal’ with a situation:

  • Be honest with yourself – where is the discomfort coming from? A recall of a past experience; a trigger to a deeper problem we haven’t sought professional help to heal?
  • If the words used by the other person gets your back up – work out why. Are they stressed and not communicating as well as they should? Perhaps their tone is different from one you would have chosen to use – is that ‘wrong’ or just different?
  • Are you being lazy – just can’t be bothered responding?
  • Are you time poor and having one more person ask you to do something for them is the final straw!
  • Are you a people pleaser who finds it difficult to say no?


Once you know WHY you are reacting the way you are, jump to the HOW and WHAT:

  • How will not answering the other person’s call to action make you feel? Relieved – “phew, I got out of that!” Disappointed in yourself for not having the necessary discussion and letting them down gently?
  • What are the repercussions of you not following through – for you, for the other person, for the community you are both part of? What do you imagine the ramifications of your inaction will be?
  • How do your actions fit with your values?


They say there are people for a reason, a season and a lifetime, and there are definitely times when we need to move away from people and situations that no longer serve us. When we ‘dispose’ of these people, let’s do it as kindly as we can.

Swipe left or right – it’s up to you, but make sure when you choose, you make decisions based on your values and don’t take the seemingly easy fix where in the end, the only person really hurt is you.


At certain times in our life it is normal to feel stuck. If you are ready to become the architect in your life and Design You® feel free to check out how personal coaching, attending a Design You workshop or buying the book, will help. There’s more on my website www.tinamurray.com. #designyou