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 (from the Wake Up Eager Re-Calibrate Daily Habit Area) as Very 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. (Reflect on your relationship quiz results. As we review Truth #1 - see if it helps you objectively view the relationship you assessed in the Quiz...)
You have a part that you play in the 'dance' of the relationship. And, the other person has a part 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 problem.
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 of this free relationship quiz article) 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 guess her part in our 'relationship dance problem,'it could be her own blind spots around talking over people and not listening that well.
What I discovered was that I had changed. 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 own feelings of lack then about her possible blind spots.
I love knowing that every relationship can evolve and improve, when we evolve and improve. The other person does not need to change in order for you to feel better. Knowing that every relationship is a co-creation, a dance we do together, helps us get out of 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.
“If friends were flowers, I'd pick you”
Two Choices, Decide! (Reflect on your relationship quiz results. As we review Truth #1 - see if it helps you objectively view the relationship you assessed in the Quiz...)
My neighbor's ornery-ness with all the other neighbors, but a decent relationship with us, is a great example of Truth #2. (I talked about this neighbor on page 1 of this free relationship quiz article)
As we were moving in to 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 that we would try very hard to find a way to 'make nice' with this person, even though she had a 'grand trouble-maker' reputation. We decided to be nice, 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 very strong word and mindset: to decide.)
We also decided we were not going to participate in the gossiping, finger-pointing and fighting 'vibe.' We decided to change the relationship by changing how we focused our attention.
We choose to focus on kindness and appreciation, and ignore 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 didn't do anything very big or special, we just decided to focus differently. And, by choosing to focus differently, we now have a different relationship then many others.
You, me, all of us, we 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 own view and/or our own exposure).
"Problems in relationships occur because each person is concentrating
on what is missing in the other person." Wayne Dyer
Don't Let the Drainers Drag you Down. (Reflect on your relationship quiz results. As we review Truth #1 - see if it helps you objectively view the relationship you assessed in the Quiz...)
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.
“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that, but the really great make
you believe that you too can become great.”
“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."
If a friendship is not feeling like a treasured gift, it's time to look a little deeper.
Use the results of your free relationship quiz and the
three Universal Truths to
decide your next steps. Paying attention who's in your life matters. That's because when you have energy and positive things going on
in your life, people are drawn to you. They want to spend time with you.
And that's a very nice thing.
But, when you start putting their need to be with you above your own preferences, you could start to 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 all the other tools and resources here on this site to bolster all other areas of your own 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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