The people we surround ourselves with

Some people create love, collaboration, creativity or kindness wherever they go. Others create negativity, worry or conflict.

As we grow up, we have to learn to edit our lives so that we have more of the first and few of the second.

In fact, I believe that the people we surround ourselves with is one of the single biggest factors in who we become.

Maya Angelou famously said: 'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'  It's often quoted because it is true.  As I listened to the stories this week in the Oral Fixation show, so much of the narrative was about how others (mostly people, but sometimes dogs) made the storyteller feel.

Those things—both positive and negative— matter.

And in dealings with people, even casual counts.  We interact with sometimes hundreds of people in a day.  The most hurried and casual of transactions can have a major impact. While we can't control how people interact with us, we can control:

1) The love we show up with.
2) What we do with our thoughts.
3) The access we give people.

Have you ever had someone say something cutting to you, then replayed it in your brain over, and over, and over allowing it to ricochet around like some sort of sadistic pinball machine?

Have you ever escalated a negative encounter that could have been diffused with grace?

Have you ever answered the phone with a roll of your eyes because the person calling you is an energy vampire?

Of course, we have.  We all do. Why? Because it takes a lot of energy to manage access, pour love into our dealings and harness our thoughts.  That's the reason the people we surround ourselves really matters.  None of us have limitless personal resources to deal with difficult people.  I find often when mentoring young women, my advice is that they need new friends. We can't pour all of our energy into our passion and purpose if it is constantly being siphoned.

It takes intention to surround ourselves with the kind of people we want to become.  We have to put ourselves out there...make the ask...risk rejection. However, I am convinced that there is no better way to live the life we want to have. We weren't made to go through life alone.  And we have choices in our traveling companions.  

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall