Take a look at everyone you know. Your friends, your loved ones. Your acquaintances. Now think about your interactions with all of these people. I’m not talking about every single time you speak to each one of them, but rather a general overlying tone of your interactions with these individuals. There are two kinds of people in your life. The first group are those that add positive things to your life. These are the positive influences and loving people, those you love to see, and think about with warm thoughts when you are not together. These are the people you want more of in your life. The second type of people are those that are a source of the negative parts of your life. These are the nay-sayers, those that require a great amount of effort and when you are with them, the interactions leave you feeling tired and worn. These are the people you want less of in your life. It really is this simple.
Let’s look at the group you want more of. You see these people, spend time with them and you feel recharged and loved. You give and you get: your relationship is equal in that there is not one side that is taking more from the relationship than they are giving. Your day-to-day life might seem emptier if you didn’t have these people in it. They care and respect your feelings and admire your thoughts. Being with these people elevates your mood and your sense of being.
You can count these people as blessings in your life.
And then we have the other group. You see a person from this group, spend time with them and end up feeling tired and worn, emotionally drained. The people in this group may be pessimistic in nature and spend less time focused on others as they do themselves. They may complain more, or have frequent negative comments. Beyond that, though, what they do is weigh heavy: they will talk more, and listen less; they will ask more, and offer less; they will need more. And needing more from you, means that’s one more person you will begin to think of as an obligation.
Do you need more obligations?
Only you can answer this. Only you can decide who you do and do not include in your life. But when you look at what people are contributing to or taking from your energy reserve, ask yourself why would you spend time with those that are a drain?
What’s the answer? You have to learn to limit your time with people who don’t offer positive influences in your life. You need to say no. If need be, you need to say goodbye. It’s hard – very, very hard – to put yourself first like this. Sometimes, it’s the only thing you can do. And the breathe of relief you will feel afterward will be your reward.