They say you become who you surround yourself with. Take a look around you. Make a list of the people you fill your lives with. Are they healthy relationships? Are they positive people? Do they believe in themselves? Do they applaud your victories? Do they encourage you to achieve your goals?
Looking in the ol handy dandy Merriam Webster dictionary, the definitions for Like and Love need to be revisited and applied to every relationship you have. Let this soak in:
Like – To enjoy or get pleasure from someone or something. To regard someone or something in a favorable way. To feel affection for. To enjoy being with someone.
Love – A feeling of strong or constant affection for a person. Warm enthusiasm or devotion. Unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.
Never again save a seat at your table for someone who doesn’t Love or Like you. There are plenty of narcissists, manipulators, flying monkeys, and devious people in this world, and the closer they are to you, the harder it is to accept the truth. They are so great at trying to tear people down, because they’ve done nothing with their own lives or that they’re taking their problems out on someone they can manipulate. They will pay for or buy you something so that they can hang it over your head, like you owe them loyalty. They despise hearing that you’ve achieved a goal, gotten a raise, had a fantastic date, hit that goal weight, and endless other things. A great friend once said “If they do it to you once, forgive them. If they do it to you a second time, you are giving them permission”. Some of us live our lives giving permission to people who hurt us over and over and over. We make excuses for their excuses. It might take years, even a decade, but finally we wake up. And it hurts. How could we have let this go on for so long? Why were we so loyal to this person? We’ve gained the strength to walk away. When they realize you’re on to them, this makes them furious. They spread lies, create triangulation, or gaslight you. They are masters at this game. No matter how long you’ve know this person, this is not love. This is not even like. Break out the bleach and scrub this person or people, out of your world. They don’t deserve your presence.
Once we break free from their mental chaos, we find a new freedom we didn’t know we had. We develop healthy friendships. Our happiness returns. We can be ourselves rather than walking on eggshells. It’s easier to achieve goals in the company of people who genuinely want to hear about your thoughts, dreams, and desires, and cheer you on.
So take a long look at the people surrounding you right now.
Surround yourself with people who…
- Applaud your victories
- You can share personal struggles with, and they won’t tell anyone without you having to say don’t tell anyone
- Encourage you to follow your dreams
- Love dogs. You can’t trust anyone who doesn’t love dogs
- Extends a hand when you’ve fallen from grace
- Shows up when you’re sick
- Has a genuine interest in how you are doing
- Stands up for you, when someone is trying to knock you down. They don’t sit back and stay quiet or choose a side
- Makes you a priority, not an option
- Checks in at your lowest moments
- Doesn’t judge or make assumptions as to how you feel. They ask
- Those who give you a great big hug and it feels good, not forced
Go where you are celebrated, not where you are tolerated.