How many people belong to your “inner circle”?
Who are the most important people in your world?
Now, tell me:
- When is the last time you contacted those people?
- When is the last time you spent physical time with those people?
- How do you feel when you catch up with them?
- Why do you feel comfortable cancelling on them?
- What can you do to engage more fully with those people?
You know when you are spending time with a person who sees you as essential to their life, and who you see as essential to yours. You feel complete, happy, energised, fulfilled, challenged, excited, engaged and wonderfully content.
The time flies by and you find yourself saying “no, seriously, I have to go!!” because you have been trying to leave for 2 hours but keep getting wrapped back into conversation.
But how often do you cancel on these people because they understand you? How often do you find yourself agreeing to catch ups with people external to this inner sanctum, leaving less and less time for those people who are going to fill you up with joy and laughter, comfort and understanding?
I am a people pleaser.
This means that I will often agree to tutor a friend’s friend, grab a coffee with a person considering working for my team, or engage in an activity that I’m only 60% interested in because the other person is really excited. I have done this my whole life, and often exhaust myself doing it.
I have honestly reflected recently that this style of living generates chaos. If you involve yourself in the worlds of many, you will be involved in the drama of many too.
It’s great to be helpful. It’s great to be welcoming, open, kind and generous.
But it has to be on your terms, and it can’t be to the detriment of your essential relationships.
I have spent far too long with good friends asking for help in coming to the aid of a random association who is not affiliated with that friend.
That friend will then graciously and calmly help me, and always ask for updates. But that’s not fair on them. I need to be more present for that friend! What if the 30 minutes we spent brainstorming a solution to someone else’s problem could have been spent working on a problem of their own?!
I am guessing that my friends typically enjoy the part of me that is a people pleaser. But it is also taxing on my relationship with them when it pulls me away from commitments I’ve made with them, or leaves me without energy to be in the moment.
I have been successful in setting up some strategies to help me and I have spoken about them before here, here and here.
But this takes constant reminding. So here is your reminder! Be kind to yourself, and build time for your crew.
One thought on “Weekend Read: Shrink Your World”