NAUGHTY OR NICE
It’s that time of year when we’re making our lists and checking them twice. Here at G and T we end up making all sorts of lists. Lists trying to locate the headwaters of our issues; Lists of our goals, or mistakes, the wrongs we want to right and the things we are grateful for. And those are just a few.
While many people start pondering turning over a new leaf on the strike of midnight on December 31st, we tend to do it every day as we examine our behavior on a daily basis, and see where can maybe do a little better and sometimes reach around and give ourselves a good pat on the back for a job well done.
But there is another kind of list I have been thinking about as this year winds down, it’s about the people in my life. In keeping with the spirit of the season – one could say who has been naughty and who has been nice.
Though that would be an over simplification and it really doesn’t always boil down to naughty or nice. I think the bigger question to ask ourselves is which friends are supportive, constructive and trust worthy? Who makes us feel good about ourselves yet has the integrity and faith to be honest about where we might be slipping up? Then gently point out where we might be missing the mark and they allow us to do that with them. Not accusatorially or passive aggressively or to make themselves feel better, but lovingly and honestly and constructively.
And then one of the biggest questions – who is really encouraging us with the changes we are making in our individual journeys to being a better person? Who wants what is best for us, be it healthier lifestyle or more positive attitude? Who is on board with us dropping the negative behavioral patterns that heave held us back?
Those are the people who we can say come under the heading of nice and those are the friends we must hold close, cherish and try and spend as much time with as possible. That is our real support system. They have earned the gift of our friendship over the last year.
And then…there are the others….they might be holdovers from another part of our life, place or behavioral time. They could have been our drinking buddies or partners in negative thinking crime. They could be the people we acted out our fears and insecurities with. They may be the ones who remind us of other unhealthy relationships and when we were still stuck we tried to work out the pot-holes of our past with these people in our present.
They could also just make us feel crappy about ourselves. They might not be as honest as we know require, they may try and goad us back into the way they are used to us being.
It could be a hundred and one things. The point is, the same way we clean out our closets and purge our lives of things that we no longer use or need, we sometimes need to purge our emotional closets as well.
We need to take stock. The same way we might put on a skirt we once loved, but now on inspection we realize it makes us feel frumpy or a bit out of shape, we have to look at some of the people in our lives as well.
Do they make me feel like the best me or do they make me feel self-conscious, defensive, on edge, not enough? Do they have my best interests at heart or are they fundamentally out for themselves?
When we change, our needs change and our perspective changes. Things that once felt right and acceptable, now feel wrong and out of place. The same way those jeans once fit but now that you’ve lost ten pounds they fall off you.
There is nothing wrong with distancing ourselves from people who no longer fit into our life.
Of course if they are family or we work with them that is another story and we address it in the book.
But if they are merely there by choice we can gently choose not to be with them.
We don’t have to announce it, or make them feel badly or act out in any way…we gently remove ourselves from certain situations. Maybe we see them in large groups and not one on one; if they are long time family friends or people close to our spouse. There are many ways to not allow yourself to be in situations that make you feel uncomfortable.
So open your friendship closet, see who fits or who might be hanging a bit crooked on the pole of life and make your decision.
We aren’t being mean here. We aren’t been exclusionary we are being self-protective and choosing the positive over the negative.
Like Santa we are checking our list twice and figuring out who has been naughty and whose been nice. And we want to start out the New Year with a closet full of nice!