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Who Are You Surrounding Yourself With?

It matters more than you think.

Yes, people are complicated and there are many “types” of people in this world. But if you’re like me, you like to simplify. It helps on the execution piece, the other side of the growth coin. Because without it, you will only have ideas. So for execution sake, let’s break it down to the basics.

Two kinds of people.

People who shine.

People who drain.

Let me explain. First, the people who shine. They are not just happy smiley people with perfect teeth. People who shine are light and by “light” I mean self aware, aware of themselves and how their actions, words, and energy impact others. All three, behavior, words, and energy. You can be aware of your words but if your behavior or energy contradicts that, you are not light. Or if your behavior and energy is positive but you talk a lot of shit about others and emotionally unload on everyone, you are not light. You must be self aware. PLUS have the ablity to change your actions, words, and energy. Because awareness alone isn’t enough. It doesn’t matter how much light you are, you are also human and will be the other type some days. Therefore, you must have the ability to change.

People who shine don’t always make it about them. They pull from heart instead of ego. They are authentic and vulnerable. They are uniquely themselves and don’t care what others think. They give. They are considerate. Thoughtful. They pull from curiosity instead of judgement. You miss them when they’re not around. They posses a growth mindset and always see the glass as half full. They get up when they fall and see life obstacles as lessons to learn and grow from.

People who drain. Have low awareness. They need to be the center of attention. They always make it about them. They send you long long texts about every detail of their life. They are needy. Always late. Hijack conversations. Love drama. They talk shit about others. They are insecure, angry, and unhappy. But more importantly, don’t do anything about it. They posses a fixed mindset and see themselves as victims. They suck your energy and drain you by bringing you down with them.

Since people who drain have little awareness, they are not aware they have this impact on others. Or they won’t admit it / look at it. Instead, they are defensive. So they live in their misery and never change.

So here’s the question.

Before we get to who you surround yourself with, first hold the mirror up to yourself.

What type of person are you? Do you shine or drain?

Again, generally speaking. We have all been draining at one point or another. That was all of my twenties and half of my thirties. Take a giant step out of yourself and look at yourself objectively. What would your friends say? The friends who are actually honest with you and call you out on your shit.

If you feel that you’re a drainer, it’s okay. What’s important is that you know. Your life’s not going to change unless you know what’s wrong. Look, it runs deep. Low awareness and lack of tools come from upbringing and lots of events in our life that we didn’t have control over. Ultimately, it’s a reaction to what happened. We are not born with self awareness. It is a practice that must be honed.

So if you’re a drainer, what should you do?

Well friend, it’s time to look inward.

This is where my article forks. Like a choose your own adventure book. If you’re a drainer and want to know what to do, click HERE. Or if you’re not into this topic and want to read something about love, click HERE. Or if you feel that you shine, that you are light but believe people around you are not, keep reading.

Okay, so you are light. That’s not arrogant. That’s just truth. You are rare. Good for you. It takes hard work to be light. It takes a daily decision, a ton of patience and work on self, so congratulations.

Maybe you’re surrounded by people who drain the shit out of you. Or maybe you have one friend who does that. Or maybe you’re in a relationship with someone who used to be light but is nothing but draining now. What ever situation you’re in, it’s time to shake your tree.

If it’s an entire crew you hang with.

Well, I’m not going to lie. This is going to be a tough one. But it doesn’t mean to suddenly leave your tribe. It means to start cheating on them. I mean kind of. Start making some new friends. Even if it’s just one. And make sure he or she is nohting like your crew. Because when you do, you can start to evaulate how you feel around your new friend / freinds and how you feel around your current hommies. It’s important to notice the difference. Feelings will always be more powerful than logic. You will slowly spend more time where you feel the most valued and uplifted. Where you feel the most light.

If it’s one friend.

This is easiler. First, make an effort to have a conversation with her. Don’t blame her or tell her how negative or draining she is. Instead, come from a place of care and concern and ask her how everything is. Because you notice she seems unhappy and you care about her. Then you can slowly layer in how her actions and behaviors affect you and the friendship. ← really important. You can’t miss this step. If she takes ownership, there is hope. This is good news and she may come around. You may be the catalyst that sets her on a new path. If she is defensive, she’s probably not ready to change or look at herself. Then you have to make the decision to invest less in the friendship, depending on how draining she is. There’s no need to announce that you are going to invest less. Just do it. Draw boundaries. Spend less time with her. She will either make an effort to save it. Or she won’t. The friendship will slowly fade or she will come around. Remember, history alone isn’t enough to invest in a friendship. People change and grow a part. If you have a negative toxic friend who is always bringing you down with her, you have draw boundaries and put your energy in something more healthy. For you.

If it’s who you share a bed with.

This one’s the most difficult. It’s the same step as the toxic friend above but you actually have to have a second, third, or maybe forth conversation if he is not doing anything about his negativity and draining ways. Chances are, there’s already been some amount of disconnect. Maybe even resentment. So you need to address this ASAP. Most people avoid it and then they’ve drifted too far to return. Sit down with your partner, come from a place of care and concern, then tell him how his actions and energy is impacting you and the relationship. If you see no change or effort to change, you have to have a few more conversations with him but with more directness each time. If after many conversations he does nothing, then you have to have an honest conversation with yourself. Is it time to leave the relationship? Did you do everything you could?

You heard it a million times and I will say it again. The people you surround yourself with will either make you a better version of yourself or worse. They will sharpen or stunt you. It’s that simple.

Many believe self betterment means locking yourself in a room and reading self help books. Or just doing one on one therapy or life coaching sessions. The “self” in self betterment is misleading. We are designed to grow through others. Self betterment means creating a solid tribe around you that will support and encourage your growth.

So ask yourself who around you is draining you, sucking your energy and taking you as hostage, making you feel insecure and less than, not supporting you and your story. What relationships in your life are lopsided?

But more importantly, what you are going to do about it?

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Written by

Author of “I Used To Be A Miserable F*CK” . IG: theangrytherapist.

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