Surround yourself with what you love: PEOPLE

photo courtesy of h. koppdelaney

The Surround Yourself with What You Love blog series started with your car {10 ways to turn your CAR into your HAVEN}Now, moving to PEOPLE – arguably both the hardest to change BUT the most significant of our surroundings.

The people we are surrounded by {our friends, spouse**, children**, co-workers*, boss*, partner, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, retailers*, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, the list goes on…} either energize or drain us. We all have our bad days and absolutely need to give each other some slack, but it’s crucial for our well-being to surround ourselves with people that are good for us.

{* Those we “work” with – whether in an office or at the grocery store – will be discussed next time.}

{** I’m NOT recommending ditching those in these two categories! However, much of the following can be applied to “spouse” and “kids” too… : )

This post in no way is intended to solve all of our “people issues” but to simply encourage us become more aware of who’s in our lives and how we are affected by them AND to remind us we have more control than we often realize. {I’ve included a few good articles to take you further if needed since I’m NOT the expert!}

OBSERVING

Begin paying attention:  How do you feel:

  • when an email from ___________ is waiting in your in box?
  • when _________’s name pops up on caller ID?
  • after you spend time with _______________?
  • when you see ___________ while going through your photos?
  • when your calendar reminds you that tomorrow you’re having lunch with _______________?

Think about why you feel that good {or bad} vibe.  With the really strong {+ OR -} vibes, do you notice particular patterns?

ADDING + PURGING

How do you add more of what you love?

How can you spend a bit more time those you love? {I’m using the word “love” loosely but you get the idea.} {BTW, I’ve just added “WAYS to add more time with those you love” to my editorial calendar.  It’s something I personally need to do more of, and writing a post on it may just help me figure out how to do!} Who’s missing that you may need?

6 Friends Every Mom Needs in Her Momtourage by Lian Dolan, Oprah.com

How to Make a True Friend Worth More than 14.6 Cents by GoodLifeZen.com’s Mary Jaksch

The Friendship Test: Friends Don’t Let Friends Do All of the Work by Martha Beck, Oprah.com

How do you take out what {who} you don’t love?

Some “situations” are easier to disconnect with than others. {That sounds harsh:  I genuinely try to be a nice person (not perfect, keep reading) but strongly believe in distancing yourself from negative people – or dealing with them head on.  I am much better at the “distancing” than the “dealing” – but I’m working on it.

Confront Your Toxic Relationships by Cheryl Richardson, Oprah.com

How to Deal with Difficult (Even Impossible) People by Deepak Chopra, Oprah.com

REFLECTING WITHIN

Could it be YOU that is:

(A) allowing yourself to be negatively affected by certain individuals? {I do believe in this, but admit it’s  irritating when I’M annoyed and someone says to me it’s MY fault for letting her / him get to me.}

OR

(B) on the giving end of those “negative” vibes? I like to think I’m enjoyable to be around, but know I’m guilty of {occasionally!?!} sending out bad vibes.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of me having a difficult day.  However, there are other times when my own negativity goes a lot deeper, like when I’m:

  • feeling insecure.   This happens less frequently now that I’m older and wiser {caring a lot less about what others think of me – living more authentically – is a beautiful thing}.

The Cure for Self-Consciousness by Martha Beck, Oprah.com

How to deal with insecurity & doubt; from Oprah.com by Deepak Chopra, Oprah.com

  • going against what I know is right;
  • expecting someone else to “fill me up” {co-dependent!}; or
  • rightfully frustrated with someone but am not setting boundaries or standing up for myself.

Begin to Set Personal Boundaries by Cheryl Richardson, Oprah.com

THE BOTTOM LINE

  1. Become familiar with how the people in your life – including you!- are impacting you.
  2. Understand what {who} you need + what {who} you don’t.
  3. Know when to take action and when to let go.

Unlike the car – surrounding yourself with people you love is not a quick fix.  It’s a lifetime thing. But, undeniably worth intentionally cultivating.


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