On Page 1 I shared the Free Relationship Quiz and my own personal examples of friendship challenges. The Quiz and the Three Universal Truths shared here are all designed to help you, the busy and successful Leader make this Statement True: "I do not have any relationships that drag me down."
As you review your free relationship quiz results, and you consider how to now move forward within that relationship, consider these Three Universal Truths About Friends:
Every interaction is a co-creation.
You have a part that you play in the 'dance' of the relationship. And the other person has a role that they play. And you are 'dancing in the relationship' together. If there's a problem in the relationship, you both own a part in the issue.
This Truth is empowering and enlightening to remember because it reminds us that relationships can change and evolve as we make changes within ourselves. My 'great 4-hour dinner' with my long-ago work friend Jane (as mentioned on page 1 turned into a great dinner because I had changed.
Jane hadn't changed - she was always fun, bright, energetic, and eager. And, because I was feeling less confident and less sure of myself back when I first knew her, I had decided that "she was a drainer." And, if I had to guess her part in our 'relationship dance problem, 'it could be her blind spots around talking over people and not listening that well.
Jane still talked a lot, but because I am now more confident and comfortable in my own 'skin' - all I focused on during our dinner that night was her
bright and shine-y self. In the past, my frustrations were more about my feelings of lack than her possible blind spots.
I love knowing that every relationship can evolve and improve when we grow and improve. The other person does not need to change for you to feel better. Knowing that every relationship is a co-creation, a dance we do together, helps us escape the blame game.
When we're not blaming, judging, and making the other person wrong, we can turn our focus on what we can change .And in the process learn about ourselves and become more of who we intend to be.
If I'd held onto my prior thoughts about Jane, I wouldn't have gone to dinner and I would have missed out on rekindling a very positive and bright friendship , with a very positive and bright person.
FREE RELATIONSHIP QUIZ TAKEAWAY For Truth #1:
When you think someone is draining you, take some time to step away from the relationship. Remove yourself, temporarily, if you can. Try to look at the only thing you can control - YOU. Focus on what part YOU could be playing in the 'drain dance' of the friendship. Perhaps there's something you are doing that you can address, that will change 'the dance'.
Share your own Friend examples, comments and wisdom about this Truth here.
Two Choices, Decide!
My neighbor's orneriness with all the other neighbors, but a decent relationship with us, is an excellent example of Truth #2. (I talked about this neighbor on page 1 of this free relationship quiz article)
As we were moving into our dream home, we began to hear the stories from other neighbors about this person. There was nothing we could do to change the situation - we knew we'd probably be neighbors for a long time.
We decided to try hard to find a way to 'make nice' with this person, even though she had a 'grand troublemaker' reputation. We decided to be friendly AND to keep our distance. To be pleasant and helpful, and to do what we could to be slightly removed.
We decided. (That's a powerful word and mindset: to decide.)
We also decided not to participate in the gossiping, finger-pointing, and fighting 'vibe.' We decided to change the relationship by changing how we focused our attention.
We focus on kindness and appreciation, ignoring all the negatives. Ignore them. Give them NO air time, privately or publicly. And, over time, we've developed an easy, light, helpful friendship with this person.
We did nothing significant or unique; we just decided to focus differently. And by choosing to focus differently, we now have a different relationship than many others.
You, me, all of us always have a choice in how we focus on and interact with another person. We get to decide to either put up with it as it is (stay frustrated and aggravated) or change it (which DOES NOT mean change them, but it means we must change our view and our exposure).
FREE RELATIONSHIP QUIZ TAKEAWAY For Truth #2:
Don't Forget - You DO Have a Choice! You get to decide. You are not stuck with anyone. You can put up with the drainer relationship (even a non-decision is a decision) OR you can choose to change it, by either changing your view and/or your exposure. Share your own Friend examples, comments and wisdom about this Truth here.
Don't Let the Drainers Drag you Down.
YOU can always take charge. You do not have to be (or stay) a victim to anyone. On Page 1 of this Blog Post, I share two real-life friend examples, and here's another one for Truth #3:
My Real-Life Example #3 - Joe, Too Nice To The Drainers and It Costs Him, Big Time!
My friend Joe is good-looking, smart and very kind. He ran a successful small business. Out of the kindness of his heart he'd let people work for him, and hang around his business, who were drainers. They would waste his time, use his equipment without asking and were always in trouble and needing help.
He had so many good things going on in his life with a good business, close friends and family. It all seemed to be much more then they seemed to have. Joe thought he needed to 'be there' for these guys because they seemed to need him.
But the longer he allowed them to be around his business, the more he felt drained. (It would have been great if he could have taken the free relationship quiz & begun making more decisions about these 'friends' BEFORE the big trouble hit!)
One day these 'friends' brought legal problems to Joe's business. Because Joe was the business owner he was implicated in the trouble too. It involved the police, fines and jail time. This is a true story.
Joe went to jail for his friends' actions, lost his business and is now, ten years later, still is getting back on his feet as an ex-con. An extreme case of drainer friends gone wrong.
Yes, you can re-focus your thoughts, like Jeff and I did with our neighbor, in Truth #2. But, you are NOT obligated to hang out with, or be friends with, anyone. It does not make you a 'bad' person to decide to remove 'the drainers' from your life.
Truly, as you reflect on your free relationship quiz results, and as you evaluate your friendships to determine if someone is draining to you, you DO get to decide how you spend your time. If old friends are no longer a fit, make the change. Your robust, happy, full, Wake Up Eager Life depends on it.New more upbeat, bright and fuzzy friends cannot find their way to you if your time is all booked with 'drainers.'
Seriously, do you pick the worse restaurant in town for dinner? Trying to 'see the best' in the menu? Do you just choke down the terrible food? No. You look for the best place that will make it easy and effortless to have a good meal. Friends are the same way, pick the people who energize you and choose to spend more time with them.
FREE RELATIONSHIP QUIZ TAKEAWAY For Truth #3:
You ARE at choice and you do get to decide. Sometimes you want to change your focus, and sometimes it is just time to cut the drainers loose. Share your own Friend examples, comments and wisdom about this Truth here.
If a friendship does not feel like a treasured gift, it's time to look deeper.
“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”
“Friendship is a treasured gift, and every time I talk with you, I feel as if I'm getting richer and richer."
You can use the results of your free relationship quiz and the three Universal Truths to decide your next steps.
Paying attention to who's in your life matters. That's because people are drawn to you when you have energy and positive things going on in your life. They want to spend time with you.
And that's a lovely thing.
But, when you start putting their need to be with you above your preferences, you could feel drained.
When you need (if you have this need) to please others, to 'be nice' and to make 'everyone' happy, over and above your own needs, well, then, you start not Waking Up Eager.
It's time to look at your life holistically.
Use the Free Relationship Quiz and these Three Truths to make more decisions about how you spend your time and who you spend it with. Use this site's other tools and resources to bolster all other areas of your Wake Up Eager life...
You're in charge, and you like it that way...really.
What challenges do you face changing or releasing 'drainer' friendships? What's working well? What's not working as well as you'd like?
Do you have any tips that would benefit others who are seeking to improve in this area? Have you found answers you'd like to share? Don't hold back, share here...
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