It’s Who You Know

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Relationships are a powerful force in our lives.  In fact, they can mean the difference between failure and success.   
We all know people who don’t seem that smart or talented and yet they rise to the top.  Why?  Because they know how to connect with the right people.
I have always tried to surround myself with people that lift me up.  I have mentors who know more than me and are where I want to be.  I am very careful about the people I allow into my life. 
This strategy has served me well.  Over the years, I can credit the majority of my success to people helping me, believing in me and giving me advice when I need it most. 
But I’ve also made many mistakes along the way.  I am very trusting and I see the good in people so I have to rely on my intuition and my faith to guide me along. 
I love this quote: “You become most like the 5 people you spend the most time with”.  
We know we need supportive, positive people in our lives, but it can be hard to distance ourselves from long-standing relationships, no matter how toxic. 
Take a look at the 5 people you spend the most time with.  

Do you respect, value and honor them?  Do they lift you up and see the greatness in you?  If not, it may be time to change the people around you, or change the way you see them. 
Here are a few examples of relationships we need to manage, reframe or step away from.  See if any of these people are in your top 5!
1.   Our Fabulous Family
We can’t choose our family.  Many of us would not change them for the world.  And then there are some of us that would love to do a little swap here and there.   
We may be married to someone who zaps our energy.  We love them to death, but they get in “a mood” sometimes.  Or they just don’t see things the way we see them. (the right way…;)
Our beloved children have a way of testing us sometimes and pushing us to the limit. 
What do we do?
Learn to breathe.  Practice acceptance.  Refuse to get triggered.  Change your perception of them.  Practice compassion.  Take breaks and take care of yourself.  Don’t allow another person’s behavior to steal your joy.  
Look at your relationships like bank accounts.  If you have one account that drains you, then open another account that fills you up.  Balance is key. 
2.  The Drama Addicts
Do you know anyone who is involved in a constant stream of drama?  Someone who loves gossip? 
People get addicted to drama because it satisfies the need for excitement in their life.  

This can be exciting, but it can also be exhausting for the one listening.    
There is a fine line between being a good listener and wasting your precious time on things that really don’t matter. 
Keep these conversations short and soon they will learn that you are not open to hearing it. 
3.  The Wallowers
We love our problems.  That’s why we keep them around for so long! 
Do you have a friend who has had the same problem forever?  No matter how many hours you talk to them on the phone, or how much advice you give them, they are in a constant state of being stuck?   
It’s almost like they don’t want to change, they just want to talk about their problem all the time. 
If you insist on keeping them in your life, you can help them change, but don’t let them change you.   
Don’t become an enabler.   We all have our lessons in life.  Sometimes we unknowingly keep someone stuck by allowing a behavior to continue. 
Pay attention to how you feel with this person.  If you feel dread before you see them or you are drained after you leave them, then re-evaluate the amount of time you spend with them.  
4.  The Fakers
These people do not have your best interest at heart.  Maybe they are jealous or insecure.  They may see you as competition.   
Usually they are nice to your face and then talk about you behind your back.  They are quick to point out your weaknesses and almost seem happy when you fall. 
There is no reason to have a close relationship with these people.   It will kill your confidence and leave you feeling as if you are never enough.

Exit gracefully.
5.  The Downers
It takes a great deal of energy to be around negative people.  They always challenge you and take the opposing point of view.  They tell you your dreams are not realistic. 
They always see what is wrong, instead of what is right.  Their glass is always empty. 
Limit your time with them.  If that is not possible then change your view of them.

Remind yourself that their outlook has nothing to do with you and choose not to receive the negativity.   Make sure you have positive people to support you.
6.  The Talkers
You know if you answer their call, they will keep you on the phone indefinitely.   You love them, but you don’t have the time for such long chats. 
Be protective of your time.   Tell them you would love to talk forever but you have a list of things to get accomplished. 
Don’t be so afraid of hurting their feelings that you ignore your responsibilities and then feel stressed.
The quality of your relationships will determine the quality of your life.  Choose wisely!
And always remember…what you allow will continue.  Design your relationships to support you, lift you up and make you feel good. 
You deserve only the best!

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