There's a thought most industries seem to carry- that we must collect people, build networks because our social power and mobility rests on this ability alone. We won't move up if we don't have a network to rely on- expand, maximize, socialize.
Let's break this down. Where does this operate from? FEAR. Fear that we don't know enough people. Fear that we won't get where we want on our own. Fear that we need to be known or else we are nothing.
What would your life look like if you didn't have this need drilled in by your industry? What would you really be? Would you appreciate that night out more than a quiet night at home?
It's fine if your personality still appreciates that night out more than a night at home- but there's a subtle nuance I'm pointing out- that one operates out of fear and FORCE instead of true sociability- that is networking. It's probably true in 90% of cases that the people you are networking with and having meaningless small talk with you could do without. Even if you are naturally extroverted and love getting to know strangers- haven't you felt that the random conversation in the subway or at the deli seemed to mean more than that chat with a potential client? There is always an ulterior motive at play that is a form of covert FORCE. What did I say before? Force depletes life-force. Flow builds.
I understand that a lot of this you may already recognize in your mind- I'm here to serve as a reminder- I know that most of what you do operates out of necessity, of functionality- you thus far have been a functioning, participatory member of normative society and must remain so- I agree. There will be a time that this will no longer be required, and you will be set free. For now I am telling you for survival's sake, put up a barrier between your true self and these learned behaviors. Know that this is not you. So that the fear and force does not deplete you.
See, when we move up spiritually one of the most important lessons and hardest ones is learning to let go.
I was someone who held on to people who I no longer had anything in common with. Our relationships were circumstantial- a study abroad, a job- that was surface level. But I valued friendship and held on (unconsciously I realized it was because I lost my close friends each time I moved as a child- this was in reaction). I was always the last remaining, the one who was willing to put up with shit from a person who lost all his/her friends otherwise. The one who remained compassionate and rationalized someone's awful behavior. The last one who was still connected to people most others lost touch with. I held on because I feared being lonely. I prefer being alone, but lonely is different. As a natural introvert, I was taught all my life that this was not a desired trait, therefore it was better to have a lot of friends, even ones who didn't grow with you.
What I didn't realize was the energetic. Whenever we establish contact with someone and continue to invest in the relationship, we create a stronger energy chord. These are chords extending from your solar plexus to the other person and they either are conduits for uneven energy or balanced energy exchange. When people no longer serve you, it is by nature imbalanced. My chords were draining me of life force.
EVERY SINGLE PERSON you even SLIGHTLY nurture a relationship with has placed a chord on you. This can be used against you, as sometimes those with strong chords will send you ill will through jealousy, negative thoughts or blatant backstabbing- that is why sometimes suddenly you feel drained for no apparent reason.
When we learn to let go, to un-cord, we get some of that energy BACK. You would be surprised how much is taken from you every day. Sometimes you can be the drainer- then I feel sorry for the people who are feeding you unknowingly, and I warn you that once they figure it out and uncord you, you are in for a major surprise.
My Reiki teacher told me the most extreme situation was when she helped a girl uncord from a toxic relationship with her boss- the next day, the boss ended up in the hospital. She was feeding off the girl energetically.
Hoarding people is worse than hoarding things- things don't drain you. You will never look at linked-in the same way. When you spiritually awaken, you naturally become more introverted, appreciating stillness, silence, and self-understanding. Let's be honest- many of these people you don't give a shit about but they serve a valuable distraction from your own shit.