When was the last time you asked yourself this question – Who’s Taking Up My Precious Time? Not what is, but who is? We can talk about the what another time.
Reflecting back on my life, I realize I spent a lot of time with Takers, not Givers. How about you? Do you ever stop and really think about who you’re hanging out with – who gets your time and energy?
I didn’t…I just went along because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do.
But then I moved – across the United States to a place where I knew no one. I just moved and some of my people moved with me – sort of…via telephone calls. We do live in the 21st Century, so phone calls are easy.
There was another group, however, who apparently decided that out of sight, out of mind. Gone…poof…just like dust!
I used to call them and leave messages and hope for a return phone call. And then I would call again and wait, and maybe a month or so later, they would call back and act surprised that my feelings were hurt.
Finally…I stopped asking, why this was happening because you’re never going to get an honest answer to why. So just don’t ask. And don’t complain about it either, because then you start losing sleep and feeling bad about yourself. Who needs that?
Life is pretty hard. I’ve gone through some really hard times since moving. I went through them before, but when you’re struggling in your life, it’s easy to wonder, “What did I do?”
Answer: You moved. Period. You did nothing. You just moved.
And the bigger issue is that I was clearly hanging out with people who weren’t good for me. At some point you have to own this stuff and get on with it.
Do you think Tony Robbins hangs out with people who don’t share his zest for life?
Or how about Richard Branson? Who might he hang out with?
And then there’s Oprah? Do you think she spends her precious time with people who give nothing? I doubt it.
So why do you?
So Who’s Taking Up Your Precious Time?
How do you know if someone is just not good for you? There are signs.
Try asking these questions:
- Do you sometimes feel worse after you’ve spent time with them?
- Do you give more than they do? It’s okay to be the giver and the taker. It’s also okay to be the lifter and the liftee.
- Do they constantly tell you what you’re doing wrong? Are you hanging out with know-it-alls?
- Do they try and isolate you from others?
- Do they pick apart all your ideas? Not in a constructive helpful way.
- Do they tell you what you should be doing? We’ve talked about shoulders.
- Do you find yourself in conflict with them more often than not?
- Do they have a lot of drama that they try and involve you in? Are they gossipers?
- Do they reach out to you when you’re hurting?
- Do they celebrate your successes or resent it?
This is a good start. There are more things but start here.
How many did you say yes to? If it was more than one, then why are you still hanging out with these people? You have to get up and exit. You have to move on. It will be lonely for a time, but if you think about it, what’s lonelier? Hanging out with negative Nellies who don’t really care about you, or figuring out who you want in your life and cultivating those relationships?
Relationships are meant to complete us – not bring us a bunch of aggravation. We have enough of that, thank you very much.
So who do you want in your life? Just take each of the questions above and reverse them. That’s who you want to be spending your time precious time with.
Chances are good there won’t be many of these people in your life. That’s okay. Real life is not based on how many Facebook friends you have.
Here’s the question – the big, looming question. Ready?
Do you believe that you deserve to fill your life with awesome, supportive people who celebrate and cry with you…who boost your confidence and ultimately, who make you feel better at the end of an interaction than when you started?
When you find your people, you’ll know it and then you hang onto them. You care for each other. You give and they give. You help each other. You have to take care of yourself on every stinking level and it’s hard. I’m not going to tell you it isn’t.
But it’s so worth it. Find your people and watch what happens. You don’t need many. In fact if you have too many you can’t be a great friend.
I know this stuff is scary – believe me, I know. I’ve walked away and I’ve woken up the next done and thought, “What in the world did I do?” Don’t listen to that voice. It’s your Inner Critic talking. It’s never, ever going to serve you well. If you have second thoughts, read the checklist again and you’ll have your confirmation.
This Stuff is Tricky and Hard
Do you need some help with all this life strategy stuff? Life is challenging and sometimes we need a guide. I’ve set aside time in my weekly calendar to help you with this crazy life stuff. If you want to chat, let’s do that. You can find a time here.