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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Mitchell

Relationships-Drain You or Fuel You?

I was blessed with a very emotionally intelligent Mom who taught me a lot about people.  I wanted to share some of the things she would tell me ALL the time growing up. So here we go:

1-How someone treats you, shows more about them than it does about you

2-How you respond, shows more about you than it does about them

3-Your energy, happiness, success, and ability to progress is affected by the people around you and their energy, thoughts, beliefs, ESPECIALLY the 5-10 people that you spend the MOST time with OR/AND the 5-10 people that influence your thoughts/energy/behavior the most.

4-You ultimately train people on how they treat you over time

5-Your outer world, including your relationships, is a reflection of your inner world

If there is one thing I have learned over the years, is to always check in with myself of what I am feeling, why something bothers me or not so I am clear on what is going on inside of me BEFORE I let myself react.  Let me go through each of these and explain why....

So lets start with #1...part of this goes back to the 4 agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (if you have not read it, READ IT.. very good book)  One of the agreements is to not take ANYTHING personally.  For me, anytime anyone tells me anything, good or bad, positive or negative, I always remind myself that is their perception and experience and isn't right or wrong, its just their angle of how they see things.  I then take their opinion, good or bad, and consider if it is something I need to look at, so I am open for feedback, but I recognize where it is coming from.

Going a step beyond someone's opinion is how they TREAT you.  Everyone has different backgrounds and beliefs around how they should treat someone else.  Usually I have found that someone treats you based on how they were trained both by their families and their peers while growing up of what was appropriate.

When you work with someone and they just bug you like crazy, you have two options: 

1-YOU need to change and figure out why they bug you or why their behavior bothers you or

2-They are not healthy to be around.

How do you know the difference?  For me it's all about the person's patterns. Are they consistent in whatever behavior they display and words they use? Have you set your boundaries with them and do they respect those boundaries or abuse them?

Usually when someone is disrespectful they are suffering internally from some issue either from the past or currently happening.  Usually when you level with them and say something to the effect of "You seem to be frustrated, do you want to talk about it?" 

I have found that when you identify and point out someone's behavior and ask what is really going on it gives them the space to talk about what is really going on.

There are times however, when someone is consistently behaving bad, or is complaining or is how we like to say "Draining" to be around. This is hard when they refuse to see their behavior or in denial.

That again is a time for you to point out the behavior of whatever they are doing and see if they can shift it.  A good way to do that is to simply say, "Ya know, I have a goal to be more positive and I am not perfect at it, in fact I struggle a lot, would you mind helping me and when you are around me would you not complain?  I noticed you have a need to complain which is totally fine, however I need to kick the habit myself and would love to have you help me"

I literally said this once to someone and they were flabbergasted by my request, mostly because I was bold enough to say just that and because I was being totally serious, not obnoxious or sarcastic.  They knew I was being genuine in asking for help and they said yes.  From that point forward, they never complained around me.  BOUNDARY SET AND MATCH!

In my opinion, if you have an issue with someone, do not hold it in and fret about it or do not talk to them about it, that causes drama.  When you have sufficiently taken time to be clear on what your issue is so you can CLEARLY communicate it, then go to them and talk to them about it.  

After you have made an effort to resolve the situation and if the behavior continues, it is then time to distance yourself from that person and make sure you are doing so to create a more energizing environment for yourself to thrive in.  It's unfortunate when that happens, but becomes necessary.  I have had to do this only a few times in my life to completely step away from someone because they continued to behave in a way that was unhealthy no matter what I tried to do in my communication with them.  It is ultimately their choice if your relationship is one that is important enough to them to keep intact.  If it isn't do not take it personally, know it is their problem, not yours.

I have had to learn that by setting boundaries and sometimes stepping away from a relationship shows a precedence of how people will treat you.  If you do not put up with "Crap" that will get known pretty quickly.  Make sure you are training people to be open with you and can share any thoughts they have with you, but that they are also open for your feedback and thoughts on any matter.

​Hope this helps in finding and keeping healthy relationships that fuel you!

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